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Never Forget – Rays of Light Commemorate Vienna Synagogues and Prayer Houses Destroyed in “Kristallnacht”

Jewish Prayer House in Vienna's 2nd District on November 10, 2014 with candles in remembrance of "Kristallnacht" 76 years ago.

Jewish Prayer House in Vienna’s 2nd District on November 10, 2014 with candles in remembrance of Kristallnacht 76 years ago.

Perhaps you’ve read about the Lichtgrenze (border of lights) created by artists Christopher and March Bauder and 8000 balloons released into the night sky of Berlin this past Sunday in commemoration of the fall of the Berlin wall. What perhaps didn’t make it into the international newspapers and online reports was an equally riveting show of lights into the sky commemorating another dark chapter of European history – Kristallnacht.

This past Sunday evening, November 9, rays of light originating from various points throughout Vienna’s Leopoldstadt (2nd district) stretched high into the night sky and marked where synagogues and Jewish prayer houses once stood before they were destroyed and sent aflame during the Kristallnacht campaign of violence and destruction on November 9 and 10 in 1938, 76 years ago.

Locations in Vienna’s Leopoldstadt (2nd district) of former prayer houses and synagogues:

Czerninplatz 4 Prayer House Or Thora
Glockengasse 4 Prayer House Marpe Lenefesch
Große Schiffgasse 8 u. 10 Synagogue “Schiffs School”
Große Schiffgasse 24 Prayer House Emes Wescholaum
Große Sperlgasse 31 Prayer House Ojse Chesed wu Emes
Haidgasse 1 Prayer House Machsike Hadath
Leopoldsgasse 29 Synagogue “Polish School”
Lilienbrunngasse 18 Prayer House Gemilath Chesed
Malzgasse 16 Synagogue “Beth Hamidrasch”
Novaragasse 40 Prayer House Beth Jakob Josef
Pazmanitengasse 6 Synagogue “Am Volkert”
Praterstraße 60 Prayer House Misrachi
Rembrandtstraße 32 Synagogue “Rembrandt-Temple”
Taborstraße 38 Prayer House Montefiori
Tempelgasse 3 Leopoldstadt Temple
Zirkusgasse 22 Synagogue of the Turkish Israelites

The solemn vigil was an initiative of the Israeli Kultusgemeinde. In Vienna 42 synagogues and prayer houses were destroyed and of the 6547 Viennese Jews arrested, almost 4000 ended up in the concentration camp Dachau.

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Click on this link to the Austrian newspaper Der Standard to see some great photos

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