BIELEFELD: North-Rhine Westphalia PDF Print E-mail

Coat of arms of Bielefeld52°02' N, 08°32' E, Bielefeld is a city in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe Region in the NE North-Rhine Westphalia. population:323,000. Bielefeld is home to a significant number of internationally companies, including Dr. Oetker. The town's synagogue was burned in 1938. American troops entered the city in April 1945. Bielefeld was a linen-producing town. In the early 1920s, the Town's Savings Bank (Stadtsparkasse) issued money made of linen, silk and velvet known as 'stoffgeld'.

JewishGen GerSIG

The Jewish community Bielefeld is a religious community founded in 1705 in Bielefeld, but Jews are documented there in the 14th c.  The Jewish community is now a member of National Federation of Jewish Communities of Westphalia-Lippe.

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN WIKIPEDIA WEBSITE with photograph: In a document dated 23 April 1345 Count of Ravensberg mentioned annual fees of Jews in Bielefeld. During the Plague1348-1350, the Jews also were expelled from Bielefeld. In Lübbecke bloody 1350 anti-Jewish massacres occurred. On 12 February 1370, the Count of Ravensberg, William of Julich, allowed the Jews to return to their homes. The Jews living in Bielefeld (Saul Vinoes, Jutta Simon, Nennkun of Hamelen, Nennken un Rethberghe, Joan of Hamme with families) were from now on under the direct protection of the sovereign, with residence and freedom to come and go from the city of guaranteed. Also 1384, 1408 and 1430 mentioned in the documents Jewish settlements in Bielefeld. Since the mid-16th Century in Bielefeld probably no Jewish residents because of Duke Wilhelm V of Jülich, who in 1554 for the whole country excluded Jews ("Jülich Police Ordinance"). End of the 16th Century a slow return began. The first evidence of a renewed presence of Jews in Bielefeld  is the "Council Negotiations of Bielefeld" of 11 July 1586, when a family Hertz paid 20 for a short stay in the city. Upon payment of an additional fee other Jews could be added. In1705 the Jewish community was formally founded in Bielefeld.  Through a gift in 1800, the community came into possession of a building of the monastery in Bielefeld's old town (the former Wendt's yard) where the first services were held. That building was used until 1847 with the establishment of the synagogue. After the beginning of the 20th century, the premises in the old synagogue on Klosterplatz 5, various renovations to the contrary, became too small so the community decided to build a new church. A loan from the city of Bielefeld enabled the purchase of land on the Turner Road near the Brinks boiler. On 20 September 1905, the synagogue was inaugurated according to the plans of Edward Fürstenau for 800 Jews, topped by a 41 meter high dome topped with a gold-plated Mogen David. Kristalnacht also visited Bielefeld. The synagogue was set on fire and the ruins later completely eliminated. Today, a plaque on the old synagogue location can be seen. The burning of the Bielefeld synagogue was captured by amateur filmmakers. The resulting film is one of the few recorded synagogue burnings during the pogroms on 9 November 1938 and can be seen at Jewish Museum Berlin , the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and see in various TV documentaries. The anti-Semitic incitement in the local press increased. On 13 December 1941 some 1,000 Jews were taken from the Gestapo headquarters in Münster to Riga, including about 420 from Gestapo District Bielefeld, 88 Jews from Bielefeld disguised as "deportation", "evacuation", "Eastern Front", "deportation". Further deportations followed in the concentration camp Auschwitz and Theresienstadt and to unknown destinations, until no Jew lived in Bielefeld. Following WWII, the "Jewish Community Bielefeld" was founded anew. In 1951, a building at the Stapenhorststraße in west Bielefeld was procured. The immigration of Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union since the 1990s significantly increased in the community so that plans for a new synagogue resulted in purchase of the former Paul Gerhardt church at the Detmold Road inaugurated in 2008 as Beit Tikvah Synagogue. ("House of Hope").

community leaders

  • about 1826: Dr. Friedhelm
  • 1845-1889: Mr. Blumenau
  • after 1889: Felix Coblentz
  • thereafter: Moritz Katzenstein
  • until the end of the church in 1942: Dr. Hans Kronheim
  • after 1945: Max Hirschfeld
  • around 1962: Robert Green Oak
  • thereafter: Artur Sachs, died on 24 June 1997
  • Then Alfred Spier
  • 2001 to 2010: Irith Michel son, Yuval Adam Paul
  • since 2010: Elena Kolmakova, Paul Yuval Adam

  1. FCdische%%% 20in% 20Gemeinden 20Westfalen07.pdf
  2. Union of Progressive Jews: Bielefeld . In: Union for Progressive Judaism , 2005. Accessed on 20 September 2008.
  3. a b History of the Jews in Bielefeld before the Nazi seizure of power (1933) . In: Jewish Community of Bielefeld, 2007. Accessed on 20 September 2008.
  4. Sunderbrink, Wagner (2001): This was the 20th Century in Bielefeld. First Ed Gudensberg-peer: Wartberg Verlag. P.9
  5. synagogue fire on film / Bielefeld unique document in the museum / gift the couple Böcker . In: Bielefeld daily paper, 20 September 2005. Accessed on 10 October 2008.
  6. The Jewish community life and the synagogue . In: Historical Museum Bielefeld . Retrieved May 15 October 2008.

Antisemitisch Verfolgte registriert in Bielefelds 1933-45: Eine Dokumentation juedischer Einzelschicksale (, 1985). Title: Antisemitisch Verfolgte registriert in Bielefeld 1933-45: Eine Dokumentation juedischer Einzelschicksale
Author: Monika Minninger, Joachim Meynert and Friedhelm Schäffer
Publication Date: 1985
No. of Pages: 308
Publisher: Stadtarchiv Bielefeld
Available at:  Leo Baeck Institute

Title: Some Jewish Families of Hesse and Galicia
Author: Nathan Reiss
Publication Date: 2006
No. of Pages: 1,100+
Comments: ISBN 1-4243-0069-X; see for more info or to purchase

Title: Aus einer Hochburg des Reformjudentums: Quellensammlung zum Bielefelder Judentum des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts
Author: Monika Minninger
Publication Date: 2006
No. of Pages: 241
Publisher: Bielefeld: Verlag fuer Regionalgeschichte
Comments: ISBN 3-89534-611-X

Title: Verlorener Raum: Geschichte der Bielefelder Synagoge
1905 - 1939 - 2005. Die Tafeln einer Ausstellung des Stadtarchivs
Bielefeld in Kooperation mit der juedischen Kultusgemeinde, dem
Historischen Museum und der Volkshochschule Bielefeld. (Translation: Lost space: history of the Bielefeld synagogue 1905 - 1939 - 2005. The displays of an exhibition of the Bielefeld city archive in cooperation with the Jewish Community, the Historical Museum and the Bielefeld Adult Education Center)
Author: Monika Minninger
Publication Date: 2006
No. of Pages:
Comments: 5 Euros; order via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Title: Die Juden in der Stadt Bielefeld waehrend der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus
Author: Joachim Meynert and Friedheim Schaeffer
No. of Pages:
Publication Year: 1983
Comments: at Princeton Univ. library, call no. DS 135 G4 B54 M49

Title: Die Juden in Bielefeld
Publication Date: 1962?
Publisher: Stadtarchiv Bielefeld
Comments: at Leo Baeck Institute, call no. q DS 135 G4 B54

CEMETERY: 33617 North Rhine-Westphalia

NEW CEMETERY: 8,459 sq. m., address Haller Weg, administered by Jüdische Kultusgemeinde, Stapenhorststr. 35, 33615 Bielefeld. Last names taken from map/layout plan of gravestones at Jewish Cemetery in Bielefeld, with the title "Umplanung des Friedhofes der Synagogengemeinde" dated December 29th, 1975 prepared by the architect Wolfgang Strohmeyer, Stettiner Str. 114 in Leopoldshöhe-Bechterdissen and sent to me by Mr. Spier, who was then head of Bielefeld's Jewish Community. Source: Nancy Grossman.

BOOK: "Der gute Ort"; die Jüdischen Friedhoefe in Bielefeld, by Karl-Wilhelm Röhs. Bielefeld: Garten-, Forst- u. Friedhofsamt 1987, 43 pp. ISBN 3-927085-69-3. With illustrations. In the holdings of Bielefeld University Library. Call no: ZA105 N5, book no. 998/1671287.

Cemetery documentation can be found here.

Weg, entrance on Locust Cemetery, Ostwestfalendamm was used 1891 to date. 500+ gravestones visible. At the entrance to the right are 11 gravestones from the 17-19th century moved from the old cemetery, among them the oldest grave stone (1663) of East Westphalia, Minninger. During the Weimar period, the cemetery was desecrated. 1944/45 was destruction by bombs. In 1968, the cemetery was reduced on the southern border to about 1700 m2 for construction of the motorway: Ostwestfalendamm. The Jewish community agreed that the southern part of the cemetery hadfollowing changes: Many previously standing steles were laid in the grass flush in order to facilitate maintenance. On the anniversary of Kristallnacht in 1986, the cemetery was desecrated again.
- 1982 - 1988 by Monika Minninger (allocation list, many photos)
- 1984 - 1985 by Charles - William Röhs (transcripts, photos)
- 1984/1996 by Dieter Peters (burial list of Röhs 223 Photos)
- History in Westphalia-Lippe 1987 , p.26
- Transcripts, photos in Röhs 1987 , pp. 16 - 34
- Story, the photos in Bielefeld 1988 , pp. 102 -103, 183, 261, 265, 267
- Assignment list in Peters 1996 , pp. 4 - 41
- History in Minninger 1998 , 32 - 46
- History in splendor 1998 , pp. 36 - 37, 52 - 53

  • OLD CEMETERY: Formerly "at the gates of the city" in Gadderbaumer valley at Bolbrinkersweg later, Used between 1665 - 1891. No gravestones. The cemetery was also in the Brackwede Schildesche and Werther used by surviving Jews until 1953. Following a Council decision of Bielefeld in coordination with the Jewish community, he was sacrificed to the road, take place without any prior documentation of the grave stone could stand. Even during the time of expropriation zwischen1940 until the restoration of the cemetery in 1945 lost at least 18 grave stones were transported by a stonemason, others were destroyed on site. 11 grave stones are now in the cemetery Bielefeld (Weg), whether others were transferred into the 40's is unclear. Röhs assumed that originally in the old cemetery about 400 burials have been located and is for the time after 1953 by a loss of about 350 stones. [Sept 2012]
  • - 1943 by the Imperial Institute (32 photos) Some photos from the period 1930 - 1940
  • - A shot in the Leo Baeck Institute, New York: Rabbi Dr. Hans Kronheim
  • - Four in the City Archives Bielefeld.
  • - Approximately 1975 - 2000 by Heritage Office (Photos)
  • photos and story [Sep 2012]

- History in Maass 1968 , pp. 92
- History in Röhs 1987 , pp. 9 - 15 (with five photos)
- History in Bielefeld 1988 , pp. 47 - 49
- History in Minninger 1998 , 35 - 39
- History in splendor 1998 , pp. 34 - 36, 51

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