Jews in Unna before the Seizure of Power
The oldest evidence of Jewish life can be found in the city’s history in 1336:
Margrave Adolf II allowed the Jew Samuel to settle in Unna for eight years. At the beginning of the 15th century there was an upswing in Jewish life in Westphalia, but in the second half of the 17th century only seven Jewish families lived in Unna.
In 1885, 146 Jews lived in Unna and the first synagogue in Unna was mentioned in the city books. It was completely burned down in 1938.
In 1901 the first graves were desecrated in the Jewish cemetery on Massener Straße. Nevertheless, Jews in Unna were integrated into the community as citizens, some Jews also took part in the First World War and were even decorated.
After the turn of the century, several Jewish associations emerged, such as the local association “for Jewish history and literature” founded in 1902 and a local group of the “Association for Liberal Judaism” in 1909. She was even active until 1936. In 1920 there was also a local group of the “Zionist Association for Germany” in Unna.
At the beginning of 1933 about one percent of the inhabitants of Unna were Jewish: there were 156 Jews in Unna.
As early as March 28, 1933, major anti-Semitic riots broke out in Unna.
The names of all Jews from Unna who died during the Nazi era are impressively immortalized in the newly built synagogue of the community “haKochaw”.