First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 132 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 48

The Jewish community of Stallupoenen (Russian: Nesterov), which emerged after the Jewish emancipation of 1812, maintained a synagogue on Muehlenstrasse, as well as a mikveh and a cemetery. Professor Dr. Max Ashkanazi, the renowned Jewish physician and pathologist, was born in Stallupoenen on February 24, 1864. Ashkanazi received the Marcel Benoist prize in 1934 for his work in cancer research and, in 1935, was made an honorary citizen of Geneva, where he passed away on October 23, 1940. The only daughter of Walter Blumenthal to survive the Shoah was also born in Stallupoenen; in 2008, she celebrated her 100th birthday in the United States, where she settled after surviving Westerbrok and Bergen-Belsen. In 1932, the leaders of the community were Paul Finkelstein, Paul Kleinschmidt (treasurer) and Ch. Suessmann; Isaak Blum served as both chazzan and shochet. That same year, six students studied religion in Stallupoenen. The synagogue was destroyed on Pogrom Night, as was Isidor Dobrowolski’s adjacent property; outside, SS men burned prayer books and ritual items. Although it is not clear how many Jews lived in Stallupoenen on Pogrom Night, we know for certain that the last Jewish family left the town in July 1940. At least 35 Stallupoenen Jews perished in the Shoah. Stallupoenen was renamed twice: once, by the Nazis, as Ebenrode; in 1945, after the arrival of Russian troops, as Nesterov.
Esther Sarah Evans
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., Führer durch die Jüdische Gemeindeverwaltung und Wohlfahrtspflege in Deutschland 1923-1933, Andreas Nachama, Simon Hermann [Eds.], [publisher] Edition Hentrich, 1995.

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