Obj. ID: 48151
Modern Jewish Art Holocaust Memorial Plaque in the Sephardi Synagogue in Bordeaux, France, 1956 (?)
To the main object: Sephardi Synagogue in Bordeaux, France
Who is Commemorated?
Members of the Jewish community of Bordeaux who were murdered in the Holocaust
The plaque is made of smooth marble slabs set into the western wall of the forecourt of the synagogue. The vast majority of the plaque is taken up by two sets of tablets of the law with the words "memory" and "forever" above lists of victims' names.
The upper part of the memorial is decorated by Maged David flanked by the years 1940 and 1944.
Along the upper portion of the monument, in French:
A nos martyrs
Dans cette synagogue
et devastee transformée
en geole le 10 Janvier 1944
par la barbarie nazie:
((Des larmes des pleurs et des
sanglots on couvert l'autel
du Seigneur n'avons nous pas
tous un seul pere n'est ce pas
le méme Dieu qui nous a créés))
Malakhie Ch. 2.
Translation: To our martyrs / 1940 1944 // In this synagogue Wildly desecrated and devastated transformed [into a] prison on January 10, 1944, by Nazi barbarism // We cover the altar of the Lord with tears, weeping, and moaning [...] Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us / Prophets, Malachie, Chapter 2 [alludes to Malachie 2:10 and 2:13; the source of the French translation is not clear].
The tops of the tablets are inscribed in Hebrew, one word per tablet:
זכרון עולם זכרון עולם
Translation: memory / forever / memory forever
The rest of the tablets are filled with the names of the killed Jews in French:
[List of Names]
The bottoms of the two middle tablets are inscribed in Hebrew with a traditional Hebrew formula that usually appears on a gravestone:
Translation: May their souls be bound in the bundle of life
Along the lower portion of the monument a quote from Isiah 57:2 in inscribed in French and Hebrew.
Vienne La Paix
Ils Resposeront en Paix
dans le Sein du Seigneur
Isaie L VII 2
יבוא שלום ינוחו
Translation: Yet he shall come to peace, He shall have rest on his couch / Isiah 57 (JPS, 1985). [The french quote of Isiah 57:2 is given in the version unknown to us.]
This commemorative plaque is dedicated to the members of Bordeaux’s Jewish community who lost their lives between 1940 and 1944. The plaque mentions the date of 10 January 1944, which is when Jews were rounded up at the synagogue and the building was desecrated and turned into a prison.
The synagogue was refurbished and returned to function in 1956. Probably this is the date when the memorial was unveiled.
"Jewish Fates in Bordeaux During the Second World War" Centre National Jean Moulin (Ports of Exile), https://destinees-juives.expositionsvirtuelles.fr/en/sections/bordeaux/#div-bordeaux-15-1-0 (accessed March 19, 2023)