Foundations of synagogue destroyed in 1938 uncovered in Poland
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Foundations of synagogue destroyed in 1938 uncovered in Poland

Archaeologists find ruins of New Synagogue, which once featured four towers and a 210-foot-high dome

Illustrative image of a Synagogue burning on Kristallnacht, in Nazi-Germany, 9 November 1938. (Public domain, Wikimedia commons)
Illustrative image of a Synagogue burning on Kristallnacht, in Nazi-Germany, 9 November 1938. (Public domain, Wikimedia commons)

WARSAW, Poland — Archaeologists in Western Poland have found the foundations of the New Synagogue, in the city of Wroclaw, which was destroyed in 1938.

At the time the region was part of Germany and it was the second largest synagogue in pre-war Germany.

The archaeological digs are being conducted with the financial support of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The synagogue was built in 1865 and had four towers and over a 210-foot-high dome. The synagogue served the liberal Jewish community. It was destroyed during Kristallnacht, or Night of the Broken Glass, in November 1938. At present, on the site where the synagogue sat, stands a monument.

Drawing of New Synagogue of Wrocław in 1879. (Public domain, Wikimedia commons)
Drawing of New Synagogue of Wrocław in 1879. (Public domain, Wikimedia commons)

Archaeological works were initiated by the Bente Kahan Foundation and the Jewish community in Wroclaw. The $28,000 used for the excavations was part of the Ignatz Bubis Prize, awarded to German President Frank Walter Steinmeier. The prize is awarded to those whose public activities are characterized by the values embodied by German Jewish leader Ignatz Bubis (1927-1999). Steinmeier received the award in January 2017.

Archaeologists uncovered the foundations and fragments of the floor at the former entrance to the synagogue. The Bente Kahan Foundation wants the place to be appropriately commemorated before next year’s 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

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