First Jewish presence: 1728; peak Jewish population: 164 in 1871; Jewish population in 1933: 34

Records do not tell us where the Jews of Heilsberg (presentday Lidzbark Warmiński, Poland) initially conducted religious services, but we do know that they eventually built a synagogue on Fleischerstrasse. The community also maintained a Jewish cemetery in a nearby forest. In his memoirs, Carl Rosenberg wrote that Jews and Christians in Heilsberg lived as one large, happy family. Towards the end of the 1800s, however, Jews began to leave Heilsberg; within a few years, the Jewish population was one-third of what it had once been. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue interior was ransacked, after which the building was set on fire; a young Jewish couple was shot, their corpses thrown into the burning synagogue. SA men broke into Jewish homes and businesses, destroyed the interiors, and abused the owners. By the end of the 1930s, hardly any Jews lived in Heilsberg.
Moshe Finkel
Copyright: Pogrom Night 1938 - A Memorial to the Destroyed Synagogues of Germany/


Sources: The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust, Shmuel Spector [Ed.], [publisher] Yad Vashem and the New York University Press, 2001., Lexikon der jüdischen Gemeinde in Deutschen Sprachraum, Klaus Dieter-Alicke, [publisher] Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2008.

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