Alsfeld inaugurates!New building of the synagogue
Around 1840, a so-called “Israelite religious community” had been founded in Alsfeld, in whose house in Metzgergasse services were held until 1905, while a new synagogue was built in parallel in Lutherstraße. As in many towns, there were many fellow citizens of Jewish faith in the town’s ruling class.
They owned stores, companies and businesses, paid taxes and were able to use donations to build a new synagogue of a considerable size for this small town. The representative building, designed by the architect Adam from Fulda and built in both Moorish and neo-Romanesque styles, was inaugurated on December 29, 1905 with a “solemn, imposing act with an extremely large participation of the local and foreign Israelite population, as well as numerous representatives of the state and municipal authorities and representatives of other denominations invited as guests”.
On the evening of November 9, 1938, windows of Jewish homes and businesses in the city were smashed and the interior of the synagogue was set on fire. “Although the alarmed fire department was not allowed to extinguish the fire by order of the local group leader of the NSDAP”, “almost all the walls remained intact, only the interior of the house of worship was badly burned”.
Members of the GMV saved cultural objects and the only slightly damaged Torah cabinet the next morning. The damaged synagogue building was purchased by the Savings Bank that same year, partly demolished, partly rebuilt, and is still used as a residence today. MNic