Berlin- 79-80 Fasanenstrasse (Charlottenburg Locality)

Summary: In response to the growth of Berlin’s Jewish population (5,000 in 1895 to 23,000 in 1910) an additional synagogue was built on Fasanenstrasse between the years 1910 and 1912. The synagogue was inaugurated in August 1912. Rabbi Julius Gallinger and senior cantor Magnus Davidson served the synagogue’s Liberal congregation from 1912 until 1938; Rabbi Leo Baeck, too, often conducted services there. The impressive new building, built in the Neo-Romanesque style, had three cupolas. Other Berlin synagogues had been erected in courtyards, but this one was a front building with a richly decorated facade. The Fasanenstrasse synagogue seated 1,720 congregants and contained a loft for the organ, a weekday synagogue, classrooms, a wedding hall, apartments and offices. Mosaics and ornaments decorated the interior. In 1931, members of the Hitler Youth attacked Jewish worshippers at the Fasanenstrasse synagogue with the support of the SA. On Pogrom Night, SA troops invaded the synagogue and its annex, destroying prayer books, furniture and the organ. The fire brigade watched the SA set fire to and destroy the entire building. In 1943, the building’s ruins were damaged during an air raid. In 1959, a Jewish community center, housing a library and an adult education center, was opened on the site. The synagogue’s former front gate adorns the present-day entrance, and a memorial plaque has been unveiled there.
Photo: The interior of the synagogue on Fasanenstrasse after Pogrom Night, November 1938. Courtesy of: Federal Archives of Germany, Art. No. 147-1118.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn; Sources: EJL,SIB, WDJB; Petra Domke: Synagogen in Berlin, Berlin 1996
Located in: berlin