Hengelo (Gelderland)

In 1750, two Jewish families lived in Hengelo. By 1787, the adult Jewish population was sufficiently large to enable the regular gathering of a quorum of ten men (minyan) for prayers held in a synagogue in a private home. In 1789, the community was assigned a plot of land along the Varsseveldseweg to use as its cemetery.

Prentbriefkaart met gezicht op Hengelo (G) met uiterst links de synagoge, ca. 1931

Postcard with view on Hengelo (G) with the synagogue on the far left, ca. 1931

During the first decade of the nineteenth century, the Jewish population of Hengelo grew to the point that the community received independent status. This status, however, lasted only until 1821, when the Hengelo community was placed under the aegis of that of Doetinchem.

Nevertheless, in 1822, the Jews of Hengelo consecrated a synagogue of their own in a collapsing storage shed on the Hofstraat. The building was repaired in 1837. The community regained its independence during the 1870's and two years later built a new synagogue in the Korte Hofstraat. The community opened a school of its own in 1875, however by 1911 the school had closed. Thereafter, the small number of Jewish children in Hengelo received their Jewish education from a teacher from nearby Lochem. The synagogue council of Hengelo consisted of two members. The community established a council for aid to the poor in 1892.

Luchtfoto met synagoge, eind jaren '30 (collectie H.A.G. Boerman)

Under the German occupation of the Netherlands during the Second World War only a few Hengelo Jews succeeded in going into hiding. The rest were deported and murdered. Germans and members of the Dutch collaborationist NSB party burned a number of the Hengelo community's Torah scrolls. The Torah scrolls that came through the war undamaged were later sent to Israel along with a portion of the other remaining ceremonial objects belonging to the community. Those ceremonial objects that were not sent to Israel were divided amongst a number of Jewish communities in the Netherlands.

Synagoge Hengelo - Agnes van den Brandeler, 1956

The Hengelo synagogue was sold soon after the war and razed some years later. The name of the street where the synagogue was located, Korte Hofstraat, was later changed to Synagogestraat (Synagogue Street). The Jewish community of Hengelo was administratively dissolved in 1947 and added to the jurisdiction of the community at Zutphen. The Jewish cemetery at Hengelo was cleared away in 1965. The remains of the dead were exhumed and, together with the cemetery's gravestones, brought to the Jewish cemetery at Zutphen.

A monument in the Raadhuisstraat in Zutphen commemorates local residents who fell during the Second World War. Of the 56 names inscribed on the monument, 32 are those of murdered Jews from Hengelo.

The Jewish population of Hengelo (G) and surroundings:

The size of the Jewish community over time