Former Munich synagogue debris discovered in Isar

Fri 7th Jul, 2023

Richard Bartz, CC BY-SA 2.5 , via Wikimedia CommonsDuring work on the Isar weir near the Großhesseloher Bridge, remnants of the former main synagogue in Munich were found. Excavators came across the fragments in the middle of the river at a depth of two to eight meters, according to a spokeswoman for Stadtwerke München. The Ten Commandments were written in Hebrew script on an ancient law tablet that was displayed above the Torah shrine in the synagogue, according to Bernhard Purin, director of the Jewish Museum.

Albert Schmidt, an architect, designed the old main synagogue, which was built in 1887 on Herzog-Max-Strasse. One of the first synagogues in Germany, Adolf Hitler gave the order to have it destroyed on June 9, 1938. The discovery is "emotionally very moving" for the history of liberal Judaism in Munich, according to Eva Ehrlich, chairwoman of the Beth Shalom community. There is a chance that the community will receive at least one of the stones discovered there. "The stone represents our culture and identity for us. ".

The Stadtwerke spokeswoman claimed that the main synagogue's fragments were likely transported into the Isar in the 1950s "to deal with flooding.". The weir, constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, is currently being updated to provide flood protection. The State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments and the Jewish Museum were immediately contacted last week when the excavators discovered an increasing number of the intricate, well-preserved pieces with Hebrew characters. The spokeswoman claims that "they could recognize it immediately and were very happy.". Where the discoveries will be taken for additional research is still a mystery.

Richard Bartz, CC BY-SA 2.5 , via Wikimedia Commons


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