The Jewish community of Dedemsvaart was officially recognized in 1836.

The oldest surviving document pertaining to the Jews of Dedemsvaart dates to 1835 and pertains to the rental of a space for use as a synagogue. By 1854, a synagogue existed somewhere to the south of Dedemsvaart proper. In 1886 a new synagogue was built on the Markt in the center of the town. This synagogue remained in use until the German occupation of the Netherlands during the Second World War. Jewish communal institutions in Dedemsvaart included a religious school and a women's society for the provision and maintenance of synagogue accoutrements. The oldest Jewish cemetery in Dedemsvaart dates from 1844. From 1883 on, the community buried its dead in a separate Jewish section at the municipal cemetery.

Former Dedemsvaart Synagogue, 1985

Former Dedemsvaart Synagogue, 1985



During the Second World War almost the entire Jewish population of Dedemsvaart was deported and murdered. Only a few members of the community managed to survive the war in hiding. A number of Jewish patients passed the war in the nearby psychiatric institute Rijksasiel Veldzicht.

The Jewish community of Dedemsvaart was dissolved in 1947 and administratively merged into that of the city of Zwolle. The Dedemsvaart synagogue was used as a workplace during the war. The building passed into private ownership in 1987 and, despite attempts to save it, was razed in 1988. A Star of David inscribed in the pavement marks the site of the vanished synagogue.

The Jewish section of the municipal cemetery was declared a national monument in 2003. It is now maintained by the local authorities. An inscribed stone commemorates the lost Jewish community of Dedemsvaart.

The Jewish population of Dedemsvaart and surroundings:

The size of the Jewish community over time