Monday, October 17, 2011

Rebirth of the Königsberg Synagogue.

The ceremony of laying the cornerstone in the foundation of Königsberg synagogue was held on October 16, 2011 at 12:00 in Konigsberg, Oktyabrskaya Str, 3.
The new synagogue will be repeating the architectural style of old synagogue which were burnt and shattered during the "Kristallnacht" in Koenigsberg.
The ceremony was attended by more than a hundred members of the Jewish Community of Königsberg, including rabbi David Shvedik, as well as Chabad representative, mayor Alexander Yaroshuk, the MPs of the regional Duma and City Council, the consuls of Poland,Lithuania, and Germany.
This event is a great importance for Europe and the region.
The local businessman V. Katzman granted around 5.000.000 Euro for the construction of synagogue.
The synagogue is bearing the historical name "Koenigsberg", not a bloody communist-"Kaliningrad."
Photo: rabbi David Shvedik, sponsor V. Katzman and mayor Alexander Yaroshuk.
Photo: Dr. Aristide Fenster, the German consul in Königsberg.
Photo: Sergei Sterlin, member of the Baltic Republican Party.

In 1704 there was the formation of the Jewish congregation, when they acquired a Jewish cemetery and when they founded a "Chevra Kaddisha". In 1722 they received a constitution. In 1756 a new synagogue in Schnürlingsdamm street was dedicated but destroyed by the city fire in 1811. In 1815 a new synagogue was constructed on the same location, meanwhile called Synagogenstrasse #2. The second constitution of the Jewish congregation was issued in 1811.

Some Orthodox congregants seceded from the Jewish Congregation of Königsberg, which they doomed too liberal, and founded the Israelite Synagogal Congregation of «Adass Jisroel». In 1893 the Israelite Synagogal Congregation built its own synagogue in Synagogenstraße #14–15. Soon later the mainstream Jewish Congregation of Königsberg built a new and larger place of worship, therefore called New Synagogue, dedicated in August 1896. The synagogue in Synagogenstrasse #2 was called Old Synagogue since.

The New Synagogue, as well as the Old Synagogue, were destroyed in the November Pogrom in the night of November 9–10, 1938. The Adass Jisroel synagogue was terribly vandalised, but spared from arson, and could thus be restored to serve as Jewish place of worship. In July 1939 the Gestapo ordered the merger of the smaller Israelite Synagogal Congregation in the larger Jewish Congregation of Königsberg, which now had to enlist also all non-Jews such as Christians and irreligionists, whom the Nazis categorised as Jews because they had three or more Jewish grandparents. The systematic deportations of Jewish Germans, starting in October 1941, and brought the congregational life in Königsberg to a halt by November 1942.
Photo: the Old Synagogue right after the "Kristallnacht", Königsberg, 1938.
Update! The vandals smashed the sign on cornerstone. Before the cornerstone was sprayed with neonazi signs.

1 comment:

  1. That as of old - and in the spirit of religious tolerance adhered to by Frederik the Great - Königsberg may again revel in the strength of a free and diverse population.

    In the hope, in time, of the reconsecration of the Königsberg Masonic Lodges, that Light might once agail shine in the city.