Frankfurt am Main - Freiherr vom Stein Strasse, the West End Synagogue

Summary: After Frankfurt’s Jewish ghetto was opened up in 1806, Jews moved to the East End area of the city and to the city center. Later, as the Westend (or West End) area started to attract wealthy Jews of liberal persuasion, it became necessary to build a suitable synagogue in the neighborhood. In contrast to the other three large synagogues in Frankfurt, which adhered to the local building style, the West End synagogue (Westendsynagoge) was an art nouveau building with Assyrian and Egyptian influences. The seating arrangement was a novelty: although separated, men and women shared the main synagogue hall. The complex included an entrance hall, a yard and an additional wing with administrative rooms, a weekday synagogue and apartments for the janitor and rabbi. On November 10, 1938 (Pogrom Night) the interior of the synagogue was set on fire, but the fire brigade intervened before it burned down completely. The West End synagogue was the only one in Frankfurt to survive Pogrom Night. Although the building sustained further damage during the war, it was reopened for services in 1945. Dr. Neuhaus, the congregation’s last rabbi and a survivor of Theresienstadt, presided over those services. The synagogue was rebuilt and consecrated in 1950; a complete restoration was undertaken in 1994, and the beautiful synagogue serves the city’s Jewish community today.
Author / Sources: Ruth Martina Trucks
Sources EJL, LJG
Located in: hesse