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SPANDAU , city in Germany; since 1920 part of the metropolitan area of *Berlin. Jews settled in Spandau as early as the 13th century. Although a source dated 1307 gave Jews permission to maintain a communal slaughterhouse, meat selling was limited to those who maintained a house in the city. Jews were engaged mostly in moneylending, having been given permission to do so providing they charged a reasonable rate of interest and refrained from debasing the coinage. In part, the granting of the privilege was intended to help provide the funds for the building of the city walls. As an additional stimulus to Jewish settlement, Duke Rudolph submitted to the city council (1324) a plan for exempting Jews from all taxes for a period of two years. A cemetery was noted in 1324 and a synagogue in 1342. (In 1955–56, 19 Jewish gravestones which dated from 1284 to 1947 were unearthed in Spandau.) The Jews of Berlin buried their dead in Spandau until the 15th century. While some Jews reached high levels of governmental administration in the financial service of Duke Louis, the Jewish community itself went through a period of considerable unrest at the time of the *Black Death persecutions. In 1496 there were 50 Jews in the city. In 1510, however, Jews were accused of desecrating the *Host and were driven from the city. Their cemetery and synagogue were confiscated. No Jews lived in Spandau until the 18th century. In 1782 there were eight Jews in the city, and in 1812 there were 52. Religious services were held in a private home, and a religious school was established in 1854. The Jews of Spandau joined with those of Nauen and Kremmen as a single community until 1894. After that time the Jews of Spandau again maintained a separate community, building a synagogue in 1895. Expanded commercial activity brought additional Jews to the city. By 1880 there were 165 Jews in Spandau; 316 in 1910; 514 in 1925; 725 in 1933. In 1937 there were 381. On the eve of the Nazi accession to power, the community maintained a religious school and three philanthropic organizations. Its fate during the Holocaust was part of that of the Jews of all Berlin. In 1989 a memorial was consecrated to the former synagogue that was destroyed in 1938.


Germania Judaica, 2 (1968), 772–4; vol. 3 (1987), 1382–84; F. Kohstall, Aus der Chronik der Spandauer Juedischen Gemeinde (1929); fjw, 62. add. bibliography: A. Kaulen and J. Pohl, Juden in Spandau. Vom Mittelalter bis 1945 (1988) (Reihe Deutsche Vergangenheit, vol. 33; Staetten der Geschichte Berlins); Juedische Buerger Spandaus nach 1933: Informationen zur Ausstellung einer Arbeitsgruppe der Carl-Diem-Oberschule Spandau (1991).

[Alexander Shapiro]

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