PADERBORN


PADERBORN, town in N.W. Germany. The earliest documentary source reflecting the presence of Jews in the city of Paderborn dates from 1342; the existence of a stone house belonging to them at this time attests to their wealth. In a dispute between Bishop Herman von Spiegel in 1378 and the city of Paderborn, the bishop referred to "his Jews" who were under his protection. Nevertheless, an organized Jewish community came into being in the city only in 1590. A prayer room was opened in the 17th century. In 1640 seven Jewish families were permitted to live in Paderborn; by 1652 the number had increased to 14 families. The Jews of the city were mentioned among those benefiting from a general letter of protection granted in 1661. They played a leading role in the federation of Jewish communities in the bishopric. Numbers remained fairly constant until the end of the 18th century. By 1764 a synagogue is noted in the city; a cemetery plot was purchased in 1728. In 1778 there were 19 "protected" Jews in the town and in 1803 there were 26, in addition to two communal employees. In the course of the 19th century the community grew from 288 persons in 1840 to 389 in 1913. A new synagogue was built in 1881 (destroyed by the Nazis in 1938). Together with the synagogue, the community also maintained a religious school. After 1938 the prayer room of the Jewish orphanage (consecrated in 1863) was used as the cultural center for the continuously declining community. In 1932 there were still 310 Jews in Paderborn, but in 1939 only 123 remained, the greater part of whom were later deported. In July 1942 the staff and children of the orphanage (founded 1856) were also deported. From the summer of 1939 until March 1943 the town contained a so-called "Jewish Retraining Center" for some 100 people who were forcibly employed by the Nazi authorities in Paderborn. On March 1, 1943, all the inmates of the center were deported to Auschwitz; only 10 survived. After World War II a community was reestablished in Paderborn in 1950, including the districts of Bueren, Hoexter, Lippstadt, *Soest, and Warburg. In 1962 it numbered 55 members. The new synagogue was dedicated in 1959. The Jewish community numbered 35 in 1989 and 85 in 2004. About 70% of the members are immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

[Bernhard Brilling]

Province (formerly Bishopric) of Paderborn

The presence of Jews in the bishopric of Paderborn is first mentioned as early as 1258; in 1281 they were put under the protection of the bishop who intervened actively, following the murder of Jews in Bueren in 1292. Sources remain scanty until the 17th century. In the intervening years, Jewish communities were slowly built in the towns of the bishopric. Jurisdiction over the Jews had passed to the municipalities, which restricted Jewish economic activity to trading in unredeemed pawned articles, gold, and jewels, so as not to compete with local merchants. In the 16th century the Jews of Warburg were permitted to engage in *moneylending and restricted commercial activity, providing it did not interfere with the guilds. In the beginning of the 17th century jurisdiction over the Jews reverted to the bishop. By 1646 there were 67 Jewish families in the bishopric, and by 1677 there were 144. From 1619 the rabbinate for the *Landjudenschaft of the bishopric was located in Warburg, the largest Jewish community until the emancipation. In 1661 a general letter of protection was addressed by Bishop Ferdinand von Fuerstenberg to the Jewries of Warburg, Paderborn, Beverungen, Peckelsheim, and Borgentreich (among others), granting them liberal privileges. In part as a result of the need to defend themselves against the municipalities and in part due to the need for funds to support a rabbi and maintain a cemetery, a federation of Jewish communities in the bishopric was organized in 1628, responsible directly to the bishop. At the head of the community was an Obervorga enger at whose suggestion the other officials were appointed by the bishop. During 1649–50 the office was filled by Solomon Levi, and in the following year by the Court Jew Behrend *Levi, later accused of embezzlement and removed. Some of his successors in the well-paid position were likewise corrupt, and in 1677 three non-salaried officials took over the duties of the head of the community. A Diet (Va'ad Gadol) met once every three years in varying places. During the 18th century the Diet elected the community's elders. Among the duties of the organized community, tax assessment was perhaps the most important; the community was often divided over the inequities of the tax system and the domination of the federation by a few wealthy families. The rabbinate was given a free hand in ritual matters; dues collected through taxation of se'udot mitzvah went to the support of Ereẓ Israel.

The economic condition of the Jews in the bishopric steadily improved as restrictions on their economic activity were removed. In 1661 they were granted permission to engage in retail trade in dry goods; permission for peddling was granted in 1687. They became prominent in the import trade in tobacco, as well as the leasing of the salt monopoly. All restrictions were lifted in 1704 and Jews expanded their commercial activity still more, trading in agricultural produce and playing a leading role in establishing Warburg as a grain center. They were among the prominent merchants at the *Leipzig fairs. In 1802 the bishopric was secularized and in 1803 became a province of Prussia. Emancipation, introduced during the Napoleonic invasion, was eclipsed during the reaction that followed and came into its own only toward the end of the century. In the period following the Franco-Prussian War, Jews took an increasingly active part in the economic and social life of the province, as well as coming into prominence in the arts and sciences, a development that came to an end only with the liquidation of Jewish life by the Nazis.

[Bernhard Brilling]

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Baun wir doch aufs neue das alte Hausjuedisches Schicksal in Paderborn (1964), incl. bibl.; Westfalia Judaica, ed. by B. Brilling, 1 (1967), 119, 213; Germania Judaica, 2 pt. 2 (1968), 643f.; Aus Geschichte und Leben der Juden in Westfalen, ed. by H. Ch. Meyer (1962), 45–46, 254 (bibl.); M. Kreutzberger, Katalog, 1 (1970), 203; B. Altmann, in: JSOS, 3 (1941), 159–88; 5 (1943), 163–86; idem, Die Juden im ehemaligen Hochstift Paderborn zur Zeit des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts (1923), unpublished dissertation, University of Freiburg in Breisgau; M. Grunwald, in: ZGJD, 7 (1937), 112–4. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Germania Judaica, vol. 3, 1350–1514 (1987) 1083–84; M. Naarmann, Die Paderborner Juden 18021945. Emanzipation, Integration und Vernichtung. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichter der Juden in Westfalen im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (Paderborner historische Forschun gen, vol. 1) (1988); G. Birkmann, Bedenke, vor wem du stehst. 300 Synagogen und ihre Geschichte in Westfalen und Lippe (1998), 192–95; M. Naarmann, "Von ihren Leuten wohnt hier keiner mehr," in: Juedische Familien in Paderborn in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus (Paderborner historische Forschungen, vol. 7) (1998); D. van Faassen, Juden im Pa derborner Land im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert (2000). WEBSITE: www.jg-paderborn.de.


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.