Jews are presumed to have existed in Cologne since Roman times.  The aerial bombings during World War II laid bare the foundations of the medieval synagogue.  The remains showed four stages of development: (1) the first stage was from 1000 to 1096 when Crusaders damaged the building; (2) 1096-1280, ending with a remodeling; (3) the third stage lasted until 1349 when there was a pogrom and expulsion of the Jews; and (4) the fourth lasted from 1372, when the Jews were readmitted, until 1426, when the synagogue was converted into a church.  From 1424 to the end of the 18th century, Jews were excluded from living in Cologne.

       By 1880, the Jewish population was 4,523.  In 1900, this number was 9,745, and by 1933, it was about 20,000 (2.5% of the total population).  More than 40% of the population emigrated by 1939.  By the end of 1941, all of the Jews had been deported to various camps where few survived.  

       Depicted in the postcards below is the Roonstrasse synagogue which was dedicated in 1899.  It was destroyed during the war, but rebuilt in 1959.  The first postcard is postmarked May 29, 1903, and the second is postmarked September 16, 1907.



Carole Herselle Krinsky, Synagogues of Europe, P.273-74

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