Ruins of synagogue destroyed in Kristallnacht found in Munich river

The Ohel Yaakov synagogue was one of the largest in the city


2PH7YJ9 The Ruined Ohel Yaakov synagogue in Munich. Kristallnacht was a nationwide pogrom that was organised and carried out by the nazi Party on the 9th November 1938. Shops and synagogues were destroyed and people humiliated and beaten while the police looked on, or even helped. Though the amount of damage and the number of people attacked was quite small, the fact that it was completely unopposed showed the Nazis that they could really start in on the Jews and, as such, is one of the major milestones on the way to The Holocaust.

(JNS)Construction workers have uncovered stones in the Isar River from a Jewish temple obliterated in Germany just before World War II.

In June of 1938, Munich’s main synagogue was demolished following an order from Adolf Hitler. The rubble was then stored until 1956, when it, along with the remains of other destroyed buildings, was dumped into the river, where it has rested ever since.

A department store now stands in the synagogue’s original location.

Bernhard Purin, head of the Jewish Museum Munich, described seeing the remains of the synagogue as “one of the most moving moments in 30 years of working in Jewish museums.” He noted that the discovery of the Ten Commandments was especially powerful.

“These stones are part of Munich’s Jewish history,” said Charlotte Knobloch, 90, a leader in Munich’s Jewish community who had worshipped in the synagogue in her youth. “I really didn’t expect fragments to survive, let alone that we would see them,” she added.

"The synagogue was very beautiful, like those synagogues in Budapest & Berlin," said another Jewish resident Rolf Penzias in his testimony for AJR Refugee Voices archive. Rolf, now 100, was at a Jewish school at the time the synagogue was torn down.

"We took the Sefer Torah out and they stored them somewhere. They dismantled the synagogue, they didn't burn it. They just put bulldozers in it and took it away."

In an interview with German media, the deputy mayor of Munich, Katrin Habenschaden, said the city would endeavour to return the rubble to the city's Jewish community.

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