The revival of the Nazi destroyed synagogue in Hamburg

EJP member Igor Jourist reported the long awaited event: The Hamburg Parliament, with the support of the burgomaster, decided to fund the restoration of the great Bournplatz synagogue. The long-standing efforts of the Jewish community of Hamburg were crowned with success.

Talmud-Tora-Schule building

In the center of Hamburg, not far from the University of Hamburg, right next to the square bearing the name of Rabbi Joseph Karlebach, there is the Talmud-Tora-Schule building, which today houses the Jewish community and school. The memorial mosaic in the cobblestones recalls that earlier on this square, called Bornplatz, there was the largest synagogue in northern Europe, built in 1906. The building, 40 meters high, built in Neo-Romanesque style with colored stained-glass windows, accommodated up to 1200 believers and made a magnificent impression.

The memorial mosaic in the cobblestones

During the wave of Jewish repression of Kristallnacht in Germany in 1938, the synagogue became the victim of Nazism. It was destroyed, and in 1939 it was totally demolished by the Nazis. At the same time, the Jewish community was forced to bear the cost of demolishing the building. Further, the city “bought out” the land for pennies from the community.

Eighty years after these terrible events  a discussion to restore the synagogue was made by the city parliament under the initiative of the land rabbi Shlomo Bistritzky and with the support of the first burgomaster of Hamburg, Peter Tschentscher and the second burgomaster of Katharina Fegebank. The decision, made almost unanimously, to support the restoration of the synagogue in its former place, showed a desire to support Jewish life, to see it not in the archives or on plaques, but as blooming as it was in Hamburg before the Holocaust.

The Bundestag has already allocated 600,000 Euros from the German federal budget for the feasibility study of the construction project. The construction of the building is planned to be carried out preserving as much as possible its old design and to restore the synagogue in its original view.

The information is given by EJP member Igor Jourist ( Germany).