Leipzig - Gottschedstrasse, Gemeindesynagoge [Community Synagogue]

Summary: In 1855, the 80 members of Leipzig’s Jewish community inaugurated an Orthodox synagogue (with 1,600 seats) on Gottschedstrasse. The Leipzig Jewish community grew quickly after the synagogue was built, and by 1875 it had 2,500 members, many of whom were Jewish businessmen who regularly attended the Leipzig fair. The Gemeindesynagoge (Community Synagogue), designed by the famous architect Otto Simonson, was built in the Moorish architectural style. As the layout of the site was rather odd, the building was designed in the shape of a trapezoid. With the passing of time, the synagogue adopted liberal practices: In 1865, for example, the congregation voted to install an organ; the synagogue also became known as Der Temple. In 1925, the Leipzig police uncovered a plot, hatched by followers of Hitler, to blow up the synagogue. Years later, on Pogrom Night, November 1938, the synagogue was plundered and set on fire, after which the Jewish community was billed for costs of demolishing what remained of the building. In 1966, a memorial stone was erected on the former synagogue’s site.
Photo: Curious onlookers at the main synagogue in Leipzig, after it was burned. Courtesy of: City Archive of Leipzig.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: JSIL
Located in: saxony