Synagogues mentioned in Contemporary Era:
Synagogues in Baden
Heinrich Herz was permitted to have in 1820 a prayer room adjunct to his kosher restaurant in the Neugasse (Franz Josef-Ring). In 1839 a prayer hall was established at Wassergasse 14 which could house up to 258 people. Until 1938, the building served as a Beth Midrash (place of Torah study). Another Beth Midrash functioned at Grabengasse 12, where the first public synagogue opened in 1871. A small prayer house was built in Vöslau-Gainfarn in 1911.
The large synagogue in Baden was built in 1872/73 by Franz Breyer in Grabengasse 12-14 in late-Classical style. It was enlarged in 1883.
A large ceremonial hall, planned by the Viennese architect Wilhelm Stiassny,
was built at the Jewish cemetery, in 1904-1906.
On Kristallnacht (November 9th, 1938) the houses of prayer and the ceremonial hall at the cemetery were destroyed, the synagogue in the Grabengasse was plundered and desacrated, but not destroyed, because it was not built in the “Jewish style” and was to be used for other purposes, namely by the NSV (Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt, National Socialist Welfare).
The “Synagogen- und Kulturverein Badener Schule” (The Jewish community organization – founded in 1988) took the building under its wings, prevented its demolition in 1988 and works for the complete renovation of the building.
Synagogues in Graz
A temporary prayer house was established in 1946 at the community building at Grieskai 58. The building was renovated in 1969 and a new prayer house was established. A new ceremonial hall at the cemetery was built in 1989/91 by architects Ingrid and Jצrg Mayr.
In 1988, the year of the 50th anniversary of the Austrian Anschluss (the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938), all political parties of the city of Graz pledged to rebuild the synagogue as “an act against forgetting.” As Mayor Alfred Stingl said, “rebuilding the synagogue should not be viewed as “compensation,” since nothing can compensate for what happened to Austrian Jews during the Nazi period”.
October 21, 1998 the city council passed a unanimous resolution of all parties to rebuild the synagogue. The architects Mayr’s were chosen to build the new synagogue of Graz. The architects situated the building on top of the old foundation, incorporating portions of the ruins, which date from 1892.
The glass dome of the synagogue lets in light and the skycan be seen. The dome is supported by 12 columns – symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel. A Star of David forms the center of the dome.
The architects’ assignment was to design a new building which would not be a simple reconstruction of the synagogue destroyed during the “Reichskristallnacht,” but instead would incorporate certain references to it.
The plan by the Mayrs fulfills this assignment by integrating the bricks from the original synagogue. After the architect had suggested using these bricks in construction of the new synagogue, they first had to be carefully removed from the garage building and cleaned of mortar. Approximately 40,000 bricks were needed for the synagogue wall.
More than 150 students from three public schools in Graz worked over 10,000 hours to gather bricks from the old synagogue, clean the stones, and select pieces for the new construction.
Thus the surrounding wall made from the old bricks signifies new life growing out of the old structure. The fact that the new building is smaller than the one destroyed in 1938 is also a symbol of the decimated post-war community. The synagogue was opened on 9 November 2000, 62 years after the November Pogrom (Kristallnacht).
Synagogues in Innsbruck
After the Holocaust a prayer house was opened in 1961 at Zollerstrasse 1. The old synagogue in Sillgasse suffered much damage during the war and was torn down in 1965.
A new synagogue was built on the site of the destroyed synagogue in Sillgasse 15, and was opened on 21 March 1993.
Synagogues in Salzburg
The old synagogue of Salzburg was rebuilt in 1967/68. The original facade was able to be reconstructed, but the complicated windows were replaced by simple ones modelled after the windows in the ‘Altneuschule’ (Old-New Synagogue) in Prague. The interior is modern with a marble ‘Aron Kodesh’ decorated by a ‘parochet’ from Deutschkreutz (one of the seven famous Jewish communities in Burgenland). The synagogue has 128 places, 43 for women, with a separate entry. Annexed to the main building are the offices, a lecture hall, kitchen and mikveh (Jewish ritual bath), the only one in Austria outside Vienna. In 2001 the community celebrated 100 years of the city’s old synagogue.