History of the current Synagogue building

[graphic of the Synagogue] The new Synagoge
1868built as Baptist chapell
1906Home of the Loge named Guttemplerorden (free masons)
1916usage by the "Peter-Friedrich-Ludwig-Hospital" (PFL)
1994/95rebuilt as Synagogue
03/05/95solemn opening

History of the Oldenburg Jewish community

Since the beginning of the 19th century, there was a Jewish community in Oldenburg that held the status of a public corporation.

On march 28 1938 this status was withdrawn from all Jewish communities by the Nazi government; so from the Oldenburg community, too. Left was the possibility to register as an association. In Oldenburg this was done by the remaining members. Registered was the "Jüdische Kultusvereinigung - Synagogengemeinde Oldenburg" (Association of Jewish Religion - Synagogue Community Oldenburg). President was Adolf de Beer, father of Charlotte Seligmann geb. de Beer, who lives in our community up to this day.

[picture of the Oldenburg Synagogue after its destruction in November 1938] The Oldenburg Synagogue after its destruction in November 1938

In November 1938, the Oldenburg Synagogue was destroyed, too. When finally the last Jews had to leave Oldenburg in 1940, the community was deleted from the register of associations. The graveyard was conceived, and the property of the former Synagogue was transferred to the "Gemeinnützige Siedlungsgesellschaft" (a settlement organization).

Soon after 1945, when the surviving and homecoming Jews began to settle in Oldenburg again, so the Jewish community was founded anew. Starting as "Jüdische Gemeinde für Stadt und Land Oldenburg" (Jewish Community for the city and the state Oldenburg), it was renamed into "Jüdische Kultusvereinigung Oldenburg e.V." (Association/Society of Jewish Religion) lateron. And again, the returned Adolf de Beer was its president.
In October 1946, a small prayer room was opened in Cäcilienstr. 9. From the receipt of the returned property of the former Synagogue and the reparation, the house in Lambertistraße 48 was acquired, which now served as center of the community.

In the end of 1960, the community had to be disbanded again, since there were no longer enough members present.

It took a long time, but Jewish life started to grow up again in Oldenburg. The few people who returned or survived, were isolated up to this time, and had to go to Hannover for services.
In 1989 the time had come. One was listening, asking friends for Jewish acquaintances - and started meetings. The first Jewish holidays were celebrated again, and meetings for Shabbat took place. Finally the Jewish Group was founded. The "Jüdische Gruppe e.V." consisted of Jewish and Gentile members. The wish to build a Jewish Community again was getting stronger and stronger amongst the Jewish members. This includes courses in tradition and religion, welfare and burial institutions and, of course, services to be restored in Oldenburg again - as usual in all Jewish communities.

On August 6 1992, 17 of 32 counting members were able to sign the statute, and finally the "Jüdische Gemeinde zu Oldenburg e.V." could be re-entered into the register of associations. By this, the Jewish Community in Oldenburg became member in the Landesverband (Association of Jewish Communities in the State of Lower Saxony) as well, next to Hannover, Osnabrück und Braunschweig.

A hard time of building started for the small Jewish Community in Oldenburg, and - of course - the wish for a Synagogue was understandable. Conversations and negotiations lead to the result; the city of Oldenburg determined to commit the former Baptist chapel in Wilhelmstraße 17 - belonging to the Peter-Friedrich-Ludwig-Hospital (PFL), which is under preservation order - to the Jewish Community. Funds for the reconstruction came from various sources, so e.g. from the City of Oldenburg, the state of Lower Saxony, the above mentioned "Landesverband" (association of Jewish communities in the state of Lower Saxony) and many other juristic and privat persons.

Since March 5 1995, the building is in hand of the Jewish Community Oldenburg, which now counts more than 200 members. Besides "normal services" there is also rambling cultural usage - with Jewish topics, of course. This started with an exhibition on modern Jewish religious objects, and many more will follow.

as of April 2001