Past and present
The history of the Jews in Dortmund has been very unsettled, regularly marked by discrimination and persecution.
The first documentary records of stays by individual Jewish traders in Dortmund date all the way back to the 11th century. A settlement of Jews (men and women) is described in the early 13th century. For many centuries, however, the Christian majority denied Jews the right to settle within the town, to engage in trade or to purchase land. In 1596, they were driven out of Dortmund for a period of more than two hundred years.
It was not until the 19th century that a new Jewish community became established, whose first synagogue was consecrated in 1853. This was later followed by the new synagogue on Hiltropwall. Jewish citizens (men and women) now held prominent positions in both the political and social sphere.
In the course of the Holocaust, of the once approximately 4,500 members of the Dortmund Jewish community, some 2050 men, women and children were murdered.
Some of the survivors returned to Dortmund in 1945 and began to work for the re-establishment of the Jewish community. Today, through the influx of Jews from the former Soviet Union, the community now numbers around 3,000 members once more.
On this site, you will find information on the history of the Jews from the Middle Ages to the present.