Welcome to the Synagogue Internet Archive
Here you can ...
- retrieve information about more than 2200 German and Austrian synagogues
- join us to provide additional images, written information, comments and links
With this archive we want to remember more than 2200 synagogues that were closed,
desecrated or destroyed in Germany and Austria during the Nazi regime. At the same time, we want to inform the
user about what happened to the buildings that remained standing after 1945 and to other
The Internet as the new medium of cultural memory offers us never existing forms of creative and participative
remembering, which can be practiced independently of time and place. It allows people all around
the world to cooperate with each other. We hope this site will give us the opportunity to activate this
potential. With the help, support and cooperation of numerous individuals and institutions our goal
is to offer fresh and up-to-date information as external contributions to the archive and provide you with a framework
for your own individual engagement.
The historical source material for many synagogues is spread throughout the world. For the first time, the Internet makes it possible to integrate these scattered documents with one another. Thus the Synagogue Internet Archive is turning to other archives with the request to make their source material available to the public on this Internet archive. An archive that has specialized itself on the history of the German synagogues is the Synagogue
Memorial, Jerusalem directed by Professor Dr. Schwarz. Dr. Schwarz has already published numerous books about the synagogues in North Rhine Westphalia, including "Feuer an den Heiligtum gelegt". Synagogue Memorial has begun to enter its manifold visual material in the Synagogue Internet Archive.
Sources of information
For each synagogue there is an internally generated article with basic information
that was gained from literature sources. First sources were used which give an overview about synagogues
in a certain region or in a federal state.
This allowed us to include a very large number of former places of worship and synagogues,
while keeping the necessary amount of work within reasonable limits.
Information from the additional external contributions can later be added to the basic information, provided
it refers to one of the originally quoted references and the source is made available to us
as the original or a copy of the same.
Additional information about sources used
Hints for the visitor
If you look for information or if you want to add some, then search for one or several synagogues.
Under New Entries you'll find the results of external cooperation, as well as internal updates.
Background information regarding this project, Nazi times and the history of Jewish sacral architecture, as well as a glossary of terms used, can be found under Background Information.
If you would like to let us know your opinion or provide any information on synagogues that have yet to be included, feel welcome to use our
Searching for eyewitnesses
We are looking for people with memories of synagogues in Germany and
who are ready to share them with others. For many synagogues the historical sources
are so scarce that your contribution may be the last chance to record them for our memories.
Of special interest, are accounts of the colors and the interior decoration of the synagogue,
personal memories of the liturgy used, as well as reports about the
destruction of the synagogue and the local persecution of Jews during the Nazi regime.
Synagogues in danger of being torn down or rebuilt ?
Synagogues and places of worship have been torn down or rebuilt (in ways that made them completely lose their old identity)
on the territory of present day Germany, even after 1945. According to the information that is available to us, we
are talking about more than 350 such places. If you are aware of any measures planned, please contact
Center for Jewish Art, Hebrew University Jerusalem, Prof. Aliza Cohen-Mushlin, or
the Department Baugeschichte, TU Braunschweig, Prof. Harmen Thies. Contact: Tel +49 (531) 3912524, Fax +49 (531) 3918205, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For years these institutions have been actively collecting the documentation about still existing Jewish sacral buildings. In case of an imminent danger to the status quo, they will be able to step in on time with the necessary information.
Last update: October, 26 2008
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