About Jacob Klaber
Jacob was born in the small town of Zuelpich, NRW, Germany where from approx. 1725 Klabers became citizens. He came to the area of today's Nettetal when he married a Jewish woman from Bracht.
Before 1900 there were not enough Jews in Breyell to necessitate the building of a Synagogue and organizing a local Jewish community. But that changed after 1900 and more families needed to walk (some 8 km.) each Shabbat from Breyell to Kaldenkirchen and back to participate in the synagogue services of the Kaldenkirchen Jewish community.
Jacob was one of the initiators and founders of the Jewish community of Breyell. He put at the disposal of the community a piece of land for building a synagogue on it. On October .... 1911 the synagogue was inaugurated festively and many non-Jewish local authorities came to pay respect.
Jacob functioned as Cantor at the synagogue until he died suddenly at a rather young age of 58 in 1931. Because he was the first local Jewish citizen who died here, the town council decided to reserve an adequate sized part of the communal burial grounds for their Jewish citizens. Jacobs grave lied desolated in this rather large part of the cemetery of Breyell until 1989. The town council needed urgently burial grounds and it was obvious that no further Jews would be buried here, so the grave of Jacob was fenced in by a small, low hedge and since then new non-Jewish graves have been installed next to it.
During the Shoah, Jacob's gravestone was taken to an farm to be used as lid for a cesspit. This was known to several people in the area. Fritz, his son, who came back from his hiding place in Holland, located the stone and returned it to its original location.
During the installation of the Stolperstones for Jacob's wife Babette and his grandson and daughter-in-law November 2010, an article in the local newspaper surfaced telling the story of a local 'hero', the communal undertaker, who undertook the most dangerous task of hiding the gravestone during the Nazi regime and returning it afterwards. Except his story, no further sources can substantiate this. The usage of the stone as cesspit lid however has been verified by several sources.