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Obj. ID: 9234
Jewish Architecture
  Memorial on the place of the Hauptsynagoge in München, Germany

© Vladimir Levin, Photographer: Levin, Vladimir, 2013

What is Commemorated?

The Main Synagogue in München destroyed in June 1938

Description:

The monument stands at the place of the Main Synagogue and is intentionally put on the pathway so that a bypasser would stumble in. The memorial consists of five different-sized granite blocks brought from quarries of Flossenbürg, where prisoners from the Flossenbürg concentration camp worked in 1938-45. The monument alludes to the ruins of the synagogue.

The block looking toward the Maxburgstrasse has a Magen David inscribed with verse 18 of Psalm 74 in German and Hebrew. On the backside, Tablets of the Law with the Decalogue and a seven-branched menorah are carved in the stone. Under the menorah is verse 8 of Psalm 74 in Hebrew.

Inscriptions:

The side looking toward the Maxburgstrasse inscribed with verse 18 of Psalm 74 in German and Hebrew:

Ge-
denke
dies der Feind
höhte
dich

 זכר זאת
אויב
חרף ד

 74. Psalm / Vers / 18

 Translation: Remember this, how the enemy has mocked you, Lord (Ps. 74:18)

 Above and below of the Magen David, a German inscription in square letters reads:

Hier stande die 1883-87
erbaute Hauptsynagoge
der israelitischen
Kultus-Gemeinde
Sie wurde in der Zeit
der Juden-Verfolgung
im Juni 1938 abgerissen
Am 10. Nov. 1938 wurden
in Deutschland die Syna-
gogen niedergebrannt.

Translation: Here stood the Main Synagogue of the Jewish community, built in 1883-87. In the time of persecution of Jews, it was destroyed in June 1938. On 10 November 1938, in Germany, synagogues were burnt down.

On the backside, Tablets of the Law with the Decalogue (first two words in Hebrew) are carved in the stone. A seven-branched menorah surmounts verse 8 of Psalm 74 in Hebrew:

שרפו
כל
מועדי
אל
בארץ

TranslationThey burned all the meeting places of God in the land (Ps. 74:8).

On the left side of the monument, another menorah surmounts verse 7 from Psalm 74 in Hebrew:

שלחו
באש
מקדשך
לארץ
חללו
משכן
שמך

TranslationThey burned your sanctuary to the ground; they defiled the dwelling place of your Name (Ps. 74:7).

A metal plaque with the name of the artist on the back of the monument reads:

Gestaltet 1969 von
Herbert Peters

Translation: Designed in 1969 by Herbert Peters.

Commissioned by

The Jewish community of Munich (Die Israelitische Kultusgemeinde München und Oberbayern K.d.ö.R., IKG)

4 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Memorial on the place of the Hauptsynagoge in München | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
1969
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Peters, Herbert (artist)
(Unknown)
{"3360":"German, 1925-2006. See:https:\/\/de.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Herbert_Peters"}
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Germany | Bavaria (Bayern) | München (Munich)
| Herzog-Max-Straße / Maxburgstraße
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Material Stucture
granite
Material Decoration
carved
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
carved
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
3 m
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Languages of inscription
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance

In the beginning of June 1938, the Jewish community of Munich (IKG) was forced to sell the synagogue (est. 1883-1887, arch. Albert Schmidt) for a symbolic price on the pretext of traffic-related needs. The synagogue was demolished in June 1938, i.e. before the Kristallnacht. 

In 1964, IKG bought back the plot of the former synagogue, and in 1966, the competition for a memorial to dedicate the destroyed synagogue was announced. Among 70 artists that took part in the competition, IKG chose the design by Herbert Peters. The unveiling ceremony took place on November 9, 1969, on the 30th anniversary of the Kristallnacht. 

In 2006, the plot of the former synagogue was built up; currently, it is occupied with the extension to the Munich department store Oberpollinger that was erected just several meters behind the memorial.

Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

Kraus, Wolfgang, Berndt Hamm and Meier Schwarz, eds. Mehr als Steine… Synagogen-Gedenkband Bayern (Lindenberg im Allgäu, 2007-2010), 377.

Pfoertner, Helga. Mit der Geschichte leben. Bd. 1 (München: Literareron, 2001), 185-191., http://www.ns-dokumentationszentrum-muenchen.de/files/pfoertner1.pdf (accessed December 27, 2021)
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
|
Author of description
Vladimir Levin, Anna Berezin | 2021
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.