A 6 million euro project to restore the Reichenbachstrasse synagogue in Munich has been announced. The synagogue, designed by the architect Gustav Meyerstein and built in 1931 -- just two years before Hitler came to power -- has fallen into disuse since a modern new synagogue, Ohel Jakob, was dedicated in 2006 as part of a complex including a JCC and Jewish museum.
JTA reports that cultural activist Rachel Salamander, the daughter of Holocaust survivors and founder of post-war Germany's first Jewish bookstores in Munich and Berlin, formally announced the renovation plans on Tuesday. Work is to be completed by 2015.
Architect Christoph Sattler, a founding member of the Association for the Reichenbachstrasse Synagogue, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that he thought $5.2 million would be needed to renovate the synagogue, with another $2.6 million to restore the historic brewery underneath.
Speaking to Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Salamander said the synagogue symbolizes "the presence of absence," and noted that it makes no sense to lament the loss of Jewish life and culture and yet allow the landmark synagogue to slide into decay. Salamander, who was born in 1949 in a displaced persons camp in Deggendorf, attended the synagogue as a child.