Hamburg - 8 Bornplatz (Rotherbaum Locality)

Summary: In the early 20th century, the center of Jewish life in Hamburg moved from Neustadt to the Rotherbaum area, because walking to the Orthodox synagogue in Neustadt had become difficult. The Jewish prayer rooms in Rotherbaum were unsatisfactory; therefore, a grand synagogue with 1,100 seats was consecrated in 1905. Built in a style that suggested patriotic values, the synagogue included red sandstone, yellowish roof tiles and Romanesque features. The white marble Torah Ark, which rested on a black marble base, was crowned with two Tablets of the Law. The building housed conference rooms, a mikveh, a weekday synagogue and the administrative offices. Bornplatz was Germany’s first freestanding synagogue, and also its largest. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), the Bornplatz synagogue was set on fire and vandalized. Afterwards, the congregation was forced to sell the property and pay for the demolition of the building, even though the structure was still intact. A bunker was later built on the premises. The site now accommodates a large floor mosaic and several memorial and informative plaques. The square has been renamed Joseph Carlebach Platz, after the last acting chief rabbi of Hamburg.
Photo: The Bornplatz synagogue in Hamburg, probably in the 1920s. Courtesy of: Photo Archive of the German Historical Museum.
Author / Sources: Ruth Martina Trucks
Sources EJL, LJG
Located in: hamburg