Category: Neue Synagoge

Berlin’s Days of Jewish Culture

Considering the history of Berlin's jewish community in its totality, it would be no great feat to conclude that persecution and catastrophe have served as recurring themes. Although the first jewish grave in this region dates from 1244 in nearby Spandau (embedded in the wall of the Citadel), the first mention of jews in Berlin's city documents is in an ordinance enacted on October 28th 1295 forbidding wool merchants from selling yarn to jews. [caption id="attachment_4257" align="alignright" width="300"] The 'court jew' Lippold is executed, 1571[/caption] This act of institutionalised discrimination was to set the tone for future treatment of the jewish community, routinely blamed for failed harvests, epidemics and accused of host desecration while numerous times over the next three centuries being expelled en masse. Following the death of Elector Joachim II in 1571, the jews of the city were expelled "for all time", their property plundered and confiscated and the…

On this day: Berlin’s monumental Neue Synagoge opens

On this day: Berlin's monumental Neue Synagoge opens with a ceremony marking the Jewish New Year (September 5th 1866) Consecrated in the presence of Prussian minister president and future German chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, the Neue Synagoge once served Berlin's thriving Jewish community as one of the largest synagogues in the world. A pioneering example of iron construction, highly unusual for the time, the synagogue is still recognisable by its distinctive Moorish style, colourful brick facade, and the three bulbous gilded domes that crown the structure. Impressionist painter and president of the Prussian Academy of Arts Max Liebermann was once a member of the congregation. Albert Einstein performed two violin concertos metformin online inside the building for charity in 1930. The world's first female rabbi Regina Jonas lectured at the synagogue before being deported to Auschwitz and murdered. Ransacked by SA troops in November 1938 during the November Pogrom (Kristallnacht),…