Kristallnacht: Wonderful surviving — and restored — synagogues to mark the anniversary

 

 

Arad, Romania. Synagogue interior

Arad, Romania. Synagogue interior

 

The night of November 9-10 marks the  78th anniversary of the so-called Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938, when the Nazis launched coordinated violent attacks on Jews, Jewish property and Jewish places of worship all over Germany and German-occupied territory: more than 1,000 synagogues were torched that night; at least 7,000 Jewish businesses were devastated; nearly 100 Jews were killed and tens of thousands of Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps. In the following years, hundreds more synagogues and prayer houses were destroyed during World War II, and even after the War ended, hundreds more were either destroyed, left derelict and abandoned or converted for other use that totally obscured their original identity.

We feel that the best way to mark the  anniversary is to post images of some of the beautiful synagogues that still stand in Europe — or have been renovated and refurbished — or have been newly built. You can CLICK HERE  to see the selection of photos from 2013.  To see the photos from  2014 CLICK HERE – and for the photos from last year, 2015, CLICK HERE.

November 9 also marked the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990. The collapse of communism sparked a sea change in the recovery, recognition and reconstruction of Jewish heritage sites, particularly in post-communist Europe. It is a process that is still going on, often slowly, but one that has seen the restoration and revitalization of scores of synagogues across the region — and  elsewhere in Europe — as well as the documentation, clean-up, and preservation of scores of long-abandoned Jewish cemeteries. Most of the reconstructed synagogues are used today as cultural spaces,  but others are used by local Jewish communities: most of the synagogues we feature in our post today are currently in used by congregations.

 

Tourists in the Scuola Spagnola, Venice

Tourists in the Scuola Spagnola, Venice

The ark in the Remuh synagogue, Krakow, Poland

The ark in the Remuh synagogue, Krakow, Poland

Tempio Maggiore, Rome

Tempio Maggiore, Rome

Interior, Jubilee (Jeruzalemska) synagogue, Prague, CZ

Interior, Jubilee (Jeruzalemska) synagogue, Prague, CZ

Trnava, Slovakia Status Quo synagogue, with Holocaust memorial in front

Trnava, Slovakia Status Quo synagogue, with Holocaust memorial in front (now an art gallery)

Synagogue in Falticeni, Romania. Photo: Daniel Gruenfeld/Centropa

Synagogue in Falticeni, Romania. Photo: Daniel Gruenfeld/Centropa

Synagogue in Malacky, Slovakia, used as art school

Synagogue in Malacky, Slovakia, used as art school

Interior of the Garnethill synagogue, Glasgow. Photo: GLAMJ via Creative Commons/wikimedia GNU Free Documentation License

Interior of the Garnethill synagogue, Glasgow. Photo: GLAMJ via Creative Commons/wikimedia GNU Free Documentation License

Exterior of the Scolanova synagogue in Trani, Italy

Exterior of the Scolanova synagogue in Trani, Italy

Interior of the Scolanova synagogue, Trani. Photo © Ruth Ellen Gruber

Interior of the Scolanova synagogue, Trani.

Interior of synagogue, Florence, Italy

Interior of synagogue, Florence, Italy

Exterior of the Brno synagogue. Photo courtesy of Arno Parik

Exterior of the recently renovated modernist synagogue in Brno, CZ. Photo courtesy of Arno Parik

Interior, Brno synagogue. Photo courtesy of Arno Parik

Interior, recently renovated modernist synagogue in Brno CZ. Photo courtesy of Arno Parik

Nozyk synagogue, Warsaw, Poland

Nozyk synagogue, Warsaw, Poland

Szombathely synagogue. Photo © Ruth Ellen Gruber

Szombathely, Hungary synagogue, used as concert hall. Photo © Ruth Ellen Gruber

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Kristallnacht: Wonderful surviving — and restored — synagogues to mark the anniversary

  1. Doubtless these photographs pay tribute to survival and…the exceptional synagogues’ architectural
    beauty ,nonetheless some small ,simple synagogues,restored,in villages,may contribute to feelings of trust and a warm welcome,remembering what happened at that time especially .
    So my personal experience.
    Many thanks to mark these days by your article.

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