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Die Synagoge

The Schleusinger Synagogue

As early as 1836, a prayer room can be found in the inn "Zur Sonne". This stood on the property of the following synagogue. Likewise for the religious instruction of the children in the Langen Gasse 149, in the III. floor premises were used. When the old inn "Zur Sonne" had burned down on 14.8.1876, the Jewish community, through Louis Mayer, the head, submitted a building application for a synagogue. In the years around 1880 the Jewish community of Schleusingens had a number of members of approx. 80. (see the population figures of Schleusingen).

After the building authorities had given their approval, the church was built with a ritual bath, the so-called Mikwe, and inaugurated on 26 October 1881 by the Leipzig Rabbi Goldschmidt.

Skizzen aus dem Bauantrag der jüdischen Gemeind
Skizzen aus dem Bauantrag der jüdischen Gemeind

Sketches from the building application of the Jewish community (KrA Hildburghausen: City of Schleusingen, 3/901, new buildings and repairs 1878 - 1884, new building of a synagogue for the Jewish community)

Extract from the Henneberger Kreisblatt

The following can be read in the "Henneberger Kreisblatt" on 11.11.1938:

Auszug aus dem „Henneberger Kreisblatt“

Die Schleusinger Synagoge

Photo: The Schleusinger Synagogue (Collection: Archive Bertholdsburg Schleusingen)

Die Schleusinger Synagoge

Photo: "Gasthof zur Sonne" (Collection: Hans Schulz)

On the opposite side of the street, the city built the new "Gasthof zur Sonne" after the city fire.
In the Reichspogromnacht from the 9th to the 10th night of the pogrom, the city of the city built the new "Gasthof zur Sonne". November 1938 the synagogue was plundered, the interior burned, the coloured bull's-eye windows smashed, the hearse, which was behind the right door (round arch door in the picture), was taken out and set on fire.
The firefighters who came running to extinguish the fire were locked up in the fire station. But local residents extinguished the flames for fear of the fire spreading.

That night, well-known Nazis arrested the Jewish men between the ages of 18 and 60: Oskar Schwab (48 years old) and Karl Müller (52 years old) were picked up from their flat in Adolf-Hitler-Straße 2, today Bahnhofstraße 2, as was Theobald Götz (58 years old) from his house in Langen Gasse 149/Brauhausgasse 1. His son Gustav (18 years old) was already imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp, his other sons were still too young. In the Bertholdstraße 22 Harry Lang would have been still in the appropriate age, but also he was already since 1935 in the concentration camp Dachau and so remained for the Aktionists only the family father of the Daniels, who lived in the 2nd floor of his house in the Bertholdstraße 24.

The unusual story of the 15-year-old Erich Rosengarten, who worked as an assistant for the Theobald Götz family, is well known. He is said to have managed to take the Torah role from the synagogue and bring it to safety. He would have hidden it in a barn, but would have been observed by Schleusingers and, as his brother later reported to a classmate, "beaten up" and taken away together with the other Jewish men.

Together with the prisoners from Hildburghausen and the Hildburghäuser Unterland they had to spend the night in the gymnasium of the school, in Fischbacher Straße, in order to be transferred to the Buchenwald concentration camp the next day. More than 9800 new Jews were recorded there. Erich Rosengarten only stayed in the Buchenwald concentration camp for a short time due to illness.

The fact that the pogrom night had been prepared on a long-term basis is shown by the instructions for action from the "Telex of the Secret State Police Office to all State Police Headquarters": "Actions against Jews, especially against their synagogues, will take place in the shortest possible time throughout Germany. They are not to be disturbed [...] It is to be prepared the arrest of approximately 20-30 000 Jews in the realm. Above all, wealthy Jews [...] should be selected."

The plaque

Today the former synagogue is commemorated by a plaque initiated by a Schleusinger citizen.

Gedenktafel an der ehemaligen Synagoge

Photo: The commemorative plaque at the former synagogue (Collection: Kerstin Möhring)

In the 50s the building was rebuilt, only the foundation walls have been preserved. At times the house was used as a doctor's surgery, today it is a residential building.

Das heutige Gebäude der ehemaligen Synagoge

Photo: The present building of the former synagogue (Collection: Kerstin Möhring)

Teil des Bauplans zur Neunutzung der ehemaligen Synagoge

Part of the building plan for the new use of the former synagogue (Original Friedrich Schmidt)

In memory of the Reichspogromnacht

Every year in memory of the Reichspogromnacht the commemoration events take place here.
On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Reichspogromnacht the Jewish survivors were invited to Schleusingen for several days by the alliance against right-wing extremism Schleusingen.

On the following page you can read a contribution to the commemoration ceremony with pictures, newspaper articles, video recordings and a radio report.

The commemoration ceremony
Die Gedenktafel mit Kranz

Photo: The memorial plaque with wreath (Collection: Kerstin Möhring)