Danzig – Synagogengemeinde
Jewish Community archives
The Free State of Danzig was embroiled from 1933 onwards in the conflict between Poland and Germany. In 1937 the minority rights provided by the League of Nations lapsed and acts of persecution against Jews became more and more frequent. In October of 1937 the Senate initiated an official emigration of Jews from Danzig, which was accompanied by a forced liquidation of their property. By October 1938 half of the community had emigrated. After the pogrom of November 1938 the community leadership made even greater efforts to hasten the emigration of the remaining community members, and attempted to finance it through the orderly sale of community property and real estate. A growth in anti-Jewish legislation heightened this process even further.
The dismantling of the synagogue was begun in May 1939. The rich collection of silver artifacts was sent for safekeeping to the Joint in New York, and the community archives (about 2000 files), reflecting its history from 1765 to 1938, was shipped to the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, which turned them over to the newly founded Jewish Historical General Archives. This was the first major community collection to be deposited in the Archives, which, aside from the voluminous Moritz Stern collection (P17), held until then only isolated files and documents.