The 'Kippenheuvel' at Gulpen, with the synagogue (building with tower), approx. 1920Jews settled in Gulpen in the middle of the eighteenth century. At first, the local population was hostile to the new arrivals and a number of near violent incidents took place. By 1786, the Jewish population of Gulpen was sufficiently large for the requisite ten adult males to be found for prayer. Religious services commenced to be held in an improvised synagogue in a private residence.

In 1818, the community at Gulpen was officially recognized as a Bijkerk (local community) within the district of the Ringsynagoge (regional community) at Eijsden. In 1823, the Gulpen community built a synagoge of its own, located on the present-day Kiebeukel (the former Kippenheuvel). The Jews of Gulpen also organized a Jewish school for their children and inaugurated a new school building in 1875. Jewish communal organizations at Gulpen included men's and women's associations, both originally founded as burial societies. The community buried its dead in the Jewish cemetery on the Rijksweg.

The 'Kippenheuvel' at Gulpen, with the synagogue (building with tower), approx. 1930 1930The Jewish population of Gulpen peaked in about 1870. By the outset of the twentieth century, the number of Jews at Gulpen declined to the point that the community was merged with that at Vaals, whose numbers also were declining. In 1935, the combined community was officially renamed Gulpen-Vaals.

Under the German occupation of the Netherlands during the Second World War all the Jews of Gulpen-Vaals were deported to Nazi death camps in Poland where they were murdered. Not a single Jew returned to Gulpen and Vaals after the war. What was left of the synagogue building, which had been in poor condition even prior to the war, was used as a stable and by a cheese-factory. Years later a private residence was built on this spot. In 1947 the Jewish community at Gulpen-Vaals was officially dissolved and the locale placed under the jurisdiction of the community at Maastricht.

The Jewish cemeteries at Gulpen and at Vaals presently are maintained by the local authorities. In 1989, a monument to the Jews of Gulpen murdered during the war was unveiled on the Kiewegracht in Gulpen. A smaller such monument can be found at the Jewish cemetery in Gulpen.

Jewish population of Gulpen and surroundings:

1809 36
1840 66
1869 80
1899 64
1930 37

Collectie en mediatheek

Dossiers (158) van de Commissie voor Oorlogsschade mbt 155 joodse
gemeentes (Amsterdam en mediene), 1945-1950.
Collectie > Documenten > 00005954

 Uitnodiging  1988-04-11
Uitnodiging voor expositie ivm herdenkingsmonument Gulpen, 1988.
Collectie > Documenten > 00003799

 [Joodse begraafplaats te Gulpen]  1920
Gezicht op de Joodse begraafplaats te Gulpen. Donkere grafstenen en
-monumenten temidden van groen gras, bomen en struiken.
Collectie > Museumstukken > B0359

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 Overzichtsfoto  1930 (ca.)
Overzichtsfoto van de Kippenheuvel in Gulpen met op de achtergrond
(gebouw met torentje) de synagoge, circa 1930.
Collectie > Fotos > 40006301

 Prentbriefkaart  1920 (ca.)
Prentbriefkaart van de Kippenheuvel in Gulpen met synagoge, circa 1920.
Collectie > Fotos > 40006196

 Verslag van de handelingen der Permanente Commissie tot de Alg. Zaken van het Ned. Isr....  
Tweede deel en slot van het jaarverslag van de Permanente Commissie
over de periode juni 1907 tot juni 1908.
Collectie > Joodse pers > 20063726

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 De synagoge van Maastricht en de synagogen elders in Limburg  1967
De synagoge van Maastricht en de synagogen elders in Limburg.
Collectie > Literatuur > 12003075

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