DUISBURG, city in Germany. A small Jewish settlement existed there from the second half of the 13th century whose members were massacred in the wake of the *Black Death (1350). No Jews lived there subsequently until the 18th century, when a few families are mentioned. A few Jewish students studied medicine at the university between 1708 and 1817. In 1793 there were ten families living in the town, who formed an organized community. A small synagogue was consecrated in 1826 and replaced by a more impressive edifice in 1875. The Jewish population increased during and after World War I as a result of immigration from Poland and Galicia. The community (united with Hamborn) numbered 2,560 in 1933. In October 1938, 144 Polish Jews were expelled. On Kristallnacht, the synagogue was set on fire; 40 Jewish homes and 25 stores were vandalized and 25 Jews were sent to Dachau. In December 1938 Jewish youngsters were sent to Holland on a Kindertransport; some later reached England, where they survived the war. The remaining 809 Jews were crowded into 11 Jewish houses from which they were deported in 1941 to ghettos in the East and later to death camps.
In 1969, 75 Jews lived in Duisburg and Muelheim an der Ruhr, which constituted one community. In 1989 the joint community of Duisburg, Muelheim, and Oberhausen had 118 members; due to the immigration of Jews from the Former Soviet Union, their number rose to 2,653 in 2003. The new synagogue, designed by Zvi Hecker and inaugurated in 1999, is an architectural hallmark of the city.
I.F. Baer, Protokollbuch der Landjudenschaft des Herzogtums Kleve (1922), 54–55; Kober, in: MGWJ, 75 (1931), 118–27; Germ Jud (1934, repr. 1963), 90–91; 2 pt. 1 (1968), 178. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: G. von Roden, Geschichte der Duisburger Juden (1986); F. Niessalla, K.-H. Keldungs, 1933–1945: Schicksale juedischer Juristen in Duisburg (1993); M. Komorowski, in: Juden im Ruhrgebiet (1999), 541–54.
[Zvi Avneri /
Michael Birenbaum and
Stefan Rohrbacher (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.