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Informations in English

- Former Synagogue of Bensheim-Auerbach

- The History of the Synagogue

- The Auerbacher Synagogue Society

 

Former Synagogue of Bensheim-Auerbach

Former synagogeThe country synagogue in the centre of Bensheim-Auerbach (Bachgasse) was built in 1779 in the style of the late baroque period, and belongs to the few Jewish places of worship that did not fall victim to the flames in the Reichspogrom night on November 9th/10th ,1938. At that time the building had already been sold and used for other purposes. Only few Jewish people still lived in Auerbach at that time.

The City of Bensheim recognized the former synagogue as a building of historical value, and in co-operation with the Hessian curator of monuments ensured its outer renovation with outstanding commitment. The City generously provided the necessary means to make an appropriate restoration possible.

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The History of the Synagogue

Year Event
1756 The Jews of Auerbach make a contract with the Jewish congregation of Bensheim about the joint use of the Bensheim synagogue
1780

The Auerbach Jews have their own synagogue. The complex of buildings comprises a house for the teacher, a ritual bath and a barn, which at times housed a matzo bakery

1841

The Israelite religious community in Auerbach is granted independence by a country law

1911

The inside of the synagogue is renovated. Remains of ornaments from that time can still be seen today

1915

The synagogue is turned into a house of prayer

1928 The last wedding ceremony is held in the Jewish congregation of Auerbach
1934 The chairman, Mr. Frank, leases the synagogue, the former school, and the barn. The tenant carries out repairs of agricultural machinery in the barn and later also in the synagogue
1938 The owner prevents the destruction of the synagogue. In 1939 he acquires the premises
1974 The city of Bensheim acquires the complex of buildings for demolition
1979 The city of Bensheim decides on the restoration of the former Auerbach synagogue. The other buildings had already been demolished
1980 The outside of the synagogue is renovated
1986 The interior renovation follows. On October 26th, the City of Bensheim hands the restored synagogue over to the Auerbach Synagogue Society, as a place for religious and cultural events
2001 The inside is renovated again

 

innen
Außenansicht der synagoge
Interior view of the former Synagogue
Exterior view of the former Synagogue

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The Auerbach Synagogue Society

The former synagogue was seen as a spiritual challenge by citizens from Bensheim-Auerbach and from the environs of Auerbach. Thus the Auerbach Synagogue Society was founded on March 29th, 1984, on the initiative of the Protestant and the Catholic Congregations of Bensheim-Auerbach. This society was entrusted by the city of Bensheim with having a part in the interior layout, and with the task of finding appropriate ways of using the former synagogue.

GedenktafelWith their activities the members of the Auerbach Synagogue Society would like to

  • keep alive the memory of the Jewish congregations in Auerbach and the district (Kreis Bergstraße)
  • contribute to a better understanding of Judaism throughout history and in the present time
  • to activate the public conscience with regard to xenophobic tendencies in our society
  • to encourage tolerance and a peaceful coexistence with minorities in our country

The Auerbach Synagogue Society gladly welcomes everybody who wants to join in helping to create a meeting place for people, who want to have a critical look at the German past, to derive an obligation to humanity and international understanding.

The inscription on the memorial plate on the outside of the synagogue is a verse from the bible shared by Jews and Christians, from Deuteronomy, 4,9:

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.

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