Breslau - 8 Schweidnitzer Stadtgraben/2-6 Am Anger, the New Synagogue

Summary: Built at 8 Schweidnitzer Stadtgraben during the years 1872 to 1886, the New Synagogue (Neue Synagoge) was inaugurated on September 29, 1872. According to Willy Cohn (see sources), the synagogue’s address was 8 Am Anger; according another source, the property was situated on a corner lot. The house of worship, which would become a center for Breslau’s Liberal Jewish community, was presided over by Abraham Geiger’s successor, Rabbi Manuel Joel. The impressive Byzantine-Romanesque building featured a high cupola, small corner towers and, in the interior, an organ and semicircular arches. With a seating capacity of 2,000, the synagogue was the second largest in pre-war Germany. During the 1930s, Breslau’s Jewish cultural association organized concerts at the New Synagogue. In an effort to collect money for needy Jews, concerts were held there in June of 1933 and in February of 1936. In 1933, the Breslau police moved its headquarters into the adjacent building. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), SA troops set the synagogue on fire; all night, locals watched as the flames consumed the building. The synagogue’s ruins were torn down shortly after the pogrom, and the site was later converted into a parking lot for the police department. At the synagogue site, now a school playground, a memorial stone has been unveiled.
Photo: The main synagogue of Breslau. Courtesy of: Ghetto Fighters House Photo Archive, 45335.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: BJ, CUS, EJL, FGJ, KRN, SE
Located in: silesia