Jewish community of Hagen

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The Jewish community of Hagen was founded in 1819. She is a member of the regional association of the Jewish communities of Westphalia-Lippe .


The development in the 18th and 19th centuries

The history of the Jews in Hagen goes back to around 1722, when there are testimonies of four Jewish families among the 675 inhabitants of Hagen, two glassmakers and two slaughterers . In 1800 the family of Gabriel Levy joined them, in 1805 the sixth Jewish family moved to Hagen. As part of the Jewish emancipation after the Napoleonic and Prussian reforms , the Jewish community in Hagen also flourished : in 1819 a synagogue was set up on Wasserstraße. In 1830 Levy Hammel started a Jewish school with an average of 30 children. in Bible translation, natural history, mental arithmetic, Hebrew, Taught singing, German grammar and biblical history. In 1854 the synagogue community was reconstituted and in 1859 the synagogue on Potthofstrasse was inaugurated. From 1865 to 1875 the number of Jewish people grew from 140 to 309. In 1902 the city took over the Jewish school as a public school. The Jewish cemetery in Eilpe was laid out in 1920, while a cemetery on Böhmerstrasse ( 51 ° 21 ′ 14.1 ″  N , 7 ° 28 ′ 23.1 ″  E ) existed as early as 1820 , which was divested in 1966. From the beginning of the 1920s, German-ethnic ideas began to take hold more and more. The highest level of the Jewish population in Hagen was reached in 1930 with 679 people (0.4% of the total population).

Destruction of the community during the Nazi era

The Nazi takeover of power also led to the destruction of the Jewish community in Hagen. In the hope of taking the Nazi propaganda and boycott measures at the top, an advertisement appeared in the Hagener Zeitung at the end of March 1933 , signed by the Hagen synagogue community, the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith and the Reich Association of Jewish Front Soldiers , in which “any interference from abroad in domestic German conditions ”was rejected. As a result, some Jewish business people had to go out of business. On the night of the pogrom from November 9th to 10th, 1938, the synagogue and many shops fell victim to the Nazi terror. 292 Jews from Hagen managed to emigrate between 1933 and 1945. 156 people were murdered in the Theresienstadt concentration camp , in Auschwitz and other camps, driven to suicide or perished in custody at home. The fate of about 150 Jews is unknown.

New beginning after 1945

Synagogue Hagen, Potthofstraße (2018)
Synagogue Hagen, Volmeblick

On March 20, 1946, the few Jews in Hagen re-established their religious community under the chairmanship of Richard Hirschfeld, survivor of the Dachau concentration camp . A new synagogue was inaugurated on September 18, 1960 in Potthofstrasse. In 1962 the number of members was 84. From 1995 to 2004 the community was looked after by the rabbi of the State Association of Jewish Congregations of Westphalia-Lippe Henry G. Brandt from Dortmund . The community has a Chewra Kadisha . Due to immigration, especially from Eastern Europe and Russia, the number of members rose to 264 in 2020.

Foiled explosives attack in 2021

In September 2021, the police in North Rhine-Westphalia received specific information from a foreign intelligence service that there could be an explosive attack on the synagogue in Hagen on Yom Kippur . A 16-year-old Syrian was provisionally arrested. The North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of the Interior spoke of an "Islamist-motivated" threat. The central office for the prosecution of terrorism at the Public Prosecutor's Office in Düsseldorf is investigating suspicions of the preparation of a serious, state-endangering act of violence. On September 17, 2021, an arrest warrant was issued against the young Syrian.

Chairwoman of the community

  • after 1945: Richard Hirschfeld
  • before 1994: Gondrard Karlé
  • from 1994 to 2011: Roman Kanarek
  • since 2011: Hagay Feldheim


Individual evidence

  1. F. Manskopf: Plan of the city of Hagen (scale 1: 7500). (XML) In: Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen, Westphalia department. Verlag G. Butz Hagen, 1885, accessed on June 24, 2019 .
  2. ^ Jewish cemeteries in Hagen. Business enterprise of the city of Hagen, accessed on June 24, 2019 .
  3. Central Welfare Office of Jews in Germany eV ( membership statistics for 2020 (accessed on February 20, 2021)
  4. Reul: We had specific references to the place, time and perpetrator. Retrieved September 16, 2021 .
  5. Terror suspect Syrian arrested , Der Spiegel, September 17, 2021.

Coordinates: 51 ° 21 ′ 27.1 ″  N , 7 ° 28 ′ 39.8 ″  E