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Bremen, Germany

BREMEN, city and Land in Germany. There are a few references to Jews in Bremen from 1199. In 1345 Jews were prohibited from trading in Bremen, but Jewish moneylenders are still mentioned in the 14th century. Subsequently, Jews were not admitted to Bremen until 1803, when the inclusion of the Hanoverian townships of Barkhof and Hastedt within the boundaries of Bremen brought a viable Jewish community within its jurisdiction. Although Jewish settlement was still officially prohibited in Bremen, at the time of the Napoleonic Wars several Jewish families were living in the city, besides those settled in its two suburbs. The community sent representatives (see Carl August *Buchholz ) to the Congress of *Vienna in 1815 to press for Jewish rights in the German cities. The community in Bremen continued to grow, still without official authorization, and numbered 87 in 1821. The situation was regularized by the act of 1848 permitting Jews to settle in the city, and the community moved its institutions from Hastedt to Bremen. A synagogue was built in the Gartenstrasse in 1876. Subsequently, Bremen became an important port of transit for many thousands of Jews emigrating from Eastern Europe to America. The Jewish population in the Land Bremen numbered approximately 2,000 in 1933, including 1,314 living in the city. On Nov. 9, 1938, five Jews in Bremen were murdered and Jewish men were imprisoned in the Bremen-Oslebshausen jail until mid-December. By 1941 over 400 Jews had managed to emigrate. About 500 were deported directly from the city between November 1941 and September 1942, including 180 from the Jewish old age home. Other Bremen Jews were deported from different German cities and places of refuge outside Germany. The community was revived after the war, and a new synagogue was inaugurated in 1961. There were about 150 Jews living in the Land Bremen in 1967 and 132 in 1989. As a result of the arrival of Jews from the former Soviet Union, their number rose to 1,154 in 2003.


Festschrift zum 60 Geburtstag von Carl Katz (1959); R. Ruethnick, Buergermeister Smidt und die Juden (1934); M. Markreich, Die Beziehungen der Juden zur Freien Hansestadt Bremen von 1065 bis 1848 (1928); idem, in: MGWJ, 71 (1927), 444–61; idem, Historische Daten zur Geschichte der israelitischen Gemeinde Bremen 1803–1926 (1926); AWJD, 16 (1961/62) no. 22, 25; Germ Jud, 2 (1968), 126. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: R. Bruss, Die Bremer Juden unter dem Nationalsozialismus (1983); J. Jakubowski, Geschichte des juedischen Friedhofs in Bremen (2002).

[Ze'ev Wilhem Falk]

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