of the Siegen synagogue
November 9, 2021
within the framework of the anniversary year
„1700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany“
Location: Exterior wall of the Bunker (Aktives Museum Südwestfalen),
Obergraben 10, Siegen
Time: Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Video of the virtual reconstruction of the Siegen Synagogue
To commemorate the Reichspogromnacht (the Night of Broken Glass), multimedia artist Gabriela von Seltmann and her international team virtually resurrect the Siegen synagogue. In an animated video and sound installation, the synagogue, which burned down on November 10, 1938, rises from the rubble and appears on the outer wall of the Hochbunker (Aktives Museum Südwestfalen) in its previous form. Thus, the center of the Siegerland Jewish community, inaugurated in 1904, returns to the memory of the city.
The virtual reconstruction of the Great Synagogue of Warsaw, which premiered in 2018, will be shown at the open-air event at the same time – as a cross-border symbol of how death and destruction can be overcome through memory, reconciliation, and love. The Great Synagogue, a landmark of the once flourishing Jewish life in Warsaw, was built in 1878 and demolished in the Warsaw Ghetto by the SS on May 16, 1943. The Warsaw Ghetto stands – along with Auschwitz – as a symbol of the extermination of Eastern European Jewish life by the Germans. Before the Shoah, Warsaw was home to the largest Jewish community in Europe, with over 300,000 members.
Since 1973, the district of Siegen-Wittgenstein has been closely connected with the district of Emek Hefer in Israel through an official partnership. The partnership was the first official district partnership between Germany and Israel. The university and industrial city of Siegen has about 100,000 inhabitants and is located approximately 130 kilometers north of Frankfurt (Main) and 90 kilometers east of Cologne.
“Only an honest open engagement with the past can guarantee a process of mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence in the present and the future.
Death and destruction must not have the last word!
Through memory, reconciliation, hope, and love, we can overcome death and destruction.“
Gabriela von Seltmann
A look behind the scenes: Virtual reconstruction of the Siegen Synagogue (Making of)
The collage shows the Siegen synagogue during its destruction on November 10, 1938, at the Richtfest (topping-out ceremony) on October 15, 1903, and after its dedication on July 22, 1904.
Collage by Gabriela von Seltmann and Popesz Csaba Láng with historical photos from the inventory of the Siegerland Local History Association and the „Aktives Museum“ South Westphalia.