Synagogue destroyed by Nazis on Kristallnacht opens in Russia (PHOTOS)
A new synagogue has been opened in the Russian city of Kaliningrad on the spot of another Jewish place of worship, destroyed by the Nazis during the so-called Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht) in 1938.
"On this spot, there used to be the Konigsberg synagogue, which was torched on the night of November 09-10, 1938. Later, Jews, who remained in the city, were forced by the Nazi authorities to dismantle the building and clear the site so that barracks for craftsmen, who were brought from concentration camps to work in the city, could be erected,” Aleksandr Boroda, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, said at the ceremony.
Kaliningrad, which used to be a part of Germany till the end of World War II and was called Konigsberg back then, is the only city in modern Russia to be affected by the Night of Broken Glass.
The new synagogue – which is capable of hosting up to 2,000 people – is the first one to be built in the Kaliningrad Region, a Russian enclave in the Baltics, in the last 80 years.
The front of the building is modeled after the Kaliningrad synagogue, which was destroyed by the Nazis. Boroda expressed hope that the construction of synagogue will “contribute to the facilitation of interethnic dialogue in the region and improving the atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect for faith, culture, language and traditions of all the peoples of Russia.”
In 1938 a vale of anti-Jewish violence, which spanned across Germany and Austria, leading to 90 people being killed and 30,000 others send to concentration camps, is considered to be the beginning of the Holocaust.
The events of that tragic Novermber night received its name Kristallnacht due to the shattered glass from the windows of the destroyed Jewish stores and homes being scattered on the pavement everywhere across Germany.
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