COTTBUS, city in Germany. Jews are first recorded in Cottbus in 1448. They were expelled in 1510 and not allowed to enter the city until 1712 and 1739, when Jewish wool merchants from Poland were permitted to stay temporarily for business purposes. From the middle of the 18th century a few individual Jews were allowed to settle permanently and to open businesses, but a community was not formed until 1858. It grew from around 40 in the first half of the 19th century to 128 in 1871 and 460 in 1895. The first rabbi was Marcus Dienstfertig (1872–95), followed by Solomon Posner (1895–1935). The synagogue was erected in 1902, and in 1933 the community had two charitable institutions, two cemeteries, and five cultural societies. In 1930 a training farm was established near Cottbus, under the auspices of the Reichsbund Juedischer Frontsoldaten. In 1933 there were around 450 Jews in Cottbus. From May 1933 the Jews were prohibited from taking part in the annual fair in Cottbus, and in June all Jewish employees were ousted from the trade unions and deprived of their jobs. The majority of the Jews emigrated from Cottbus after 1933, and by May 1939 only 142 were left. Most were deported in 1942. In 1943 Polish Jews were brought to a forced labor camp at Cottbus. The community was not reinstituted after the war.
S. Posner, Geschichte der Juden in Cottbus… (1908); FJW, 64; Yad Vashem Archives, Arolson index. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Rueckert, in: I. Dieckmann (ed.), Wegweiser durch das juedische Brandenburg (1995), 5–82; S. Krestin (ed.), Die juedischen Friedhoefe in Cottbus (2004).[Chasia Turtel]
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.