Mönchengladbach’s 14th-century Jewish community was destroyed during the Black Death pogroms of 1349, when local Jews were either murdered or forced to flee.
It was not until 1621 that a new Jewish community was established in the town.
After 1870, its congregation was the largest in the region. In 1883, a new synagogue was inaugurated on Karlstrasse (present-day 15-17 Bluechenstrasse).
On the Kristalnnacht, SA men set fire to the synagogue and its Torah scrolls; the fire department attempted to extinguish the blaze, but was prevented from doing so by the SA. Jewish homes and stores were also destroyed, and more than 50 Jewish men were sent to Dachau. Of the 638 deported Jews, only 27 survived the Shoah. A memorial plaque was later unveiled opposite the former synagogue site.
The new Jewish community was established after the war, numbering 100 members in 1960 and 270 in 1993 and now more than 750 members.
In April 1967, the community established a Synagogue and a Community Center in the former schoolhouse at Albertusstrasse.
Since 2002, the Jewish Community is very active in the Jewish Culture Days Rhine-Ruhr offering an opportunity to non-Jews to get to know Jewish literature, tradition, music, film, literature and Jewish everyday life.
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