Virtual reconstruction
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


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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)


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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.