When most of Germany's synagogues were destroyed on the night between November 9th and November 10th, 1938, a centuries-old tradition of Jewish life in Germany and Austria came to an abrupt halt.
The aim of this website, based on the book Gedenkbuch der Synagogen und jüdischen Gemeinden Österreichs (ISBN-13: 978-3850285650), is to memorialize the tradition and its more mostly destroyed synagogues and prayer halls, as well as the communities affiliated with them. It documents, in words and photographs, their history, from the beginning through their golden age and until their destruction.
The institute conducting the research for this work is the Synagogue Memorial "Beit Ashkenaz". It was founded by Prof. em. Dr. Meir Schwarz, an eyewitness of the pogrom in his then-home Nuremberg, Germany, in 1985. It is the declared aim of the Jerusalem-based "Beit Ashkenaz" to perpetuate the memory of German Jewry, its members, traditions, achievements as Jews in Germany and Austria in science, culture, and social life, communities and synagogues. In addition to various other memorial projects, "Beit Ashkenaz" has published a series of memorial books in German, hitherto consisting os seven volumes. These books, the basis of this website and the affiliated two-volume book, were published in cooperation with German institutions and universities.
This website consists in large parts of the institution's prior findings but also of additional research conducted by German archives and local historians who contributed their knowledge to "Beit Ashkenaz". The project manager and author is Mrs. Elisheva Shirion.
The publication was kindly supported by grants of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the Austria Future Fond and the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation. Contributes were made by the state of Upper Austria and the governments of Lower Austria, Vorarlberg and Styria.
Synagogue Memorial "Beit Ashkenaz"
58 King George St
91073 Jerusalem, Israel
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