Olomouc Synagogue

Olomouc Synagogue, (Czech: Synagoga v Olomouci), located in Olomouc, Czech Republic, was built in 1897 and was destroyed during a Nazi attack in March 1939.


In the late 1850s, Olomouc's "Izraelitische Cultusverein", the religious society, was founded. The institution of regular worship in rented halls in 1859 was due to the efforts of Hermann Zweig and the well-known Jewish scholar and physician Adolf Brecher. These services were officially approved by the authorities in 1860; and in 1863, an entire floor, which was subsequently acquired by the community, was dedicated by the Rev. Dr. Schmiedl, at that time of Prossnitz, and subsequently of Vienna. In 1892, the "Cultusverein" was changed into a "Cultusgemeinde", and its constitution was confirmed two years later in conformity with the law of March 20, 1890. It was then that the notion of building a synagogue arose. In 1894, the community purchased a site adjacent to the Teresian Gate. The handsome new synagogue, designed by Jakob Gärtner (1861–1921), was completed in and duly consecrated by Rabbi Berthold Oppenheim, the first rabbi of the community, on April 11, 1897. A two-story building with flats and offices for administrative use was built adjacent to the synagogue. In 1904, the town of 21,933 had a Jewish population of 1,676. The edifice was one of the biggest and finest synagogues in Czechoslovakia, but was so for only half of a century. On the night of March 15-16, 1939, the synagogue was attacked and burned to ashes. The Nazi instigators refused to let the town’s firemen to extinguish the flames. Looters salvaged what remained of the synagogue's ornaments and furnishings until 1941 when the whole area was transformed into a grassy park.

This article incorporates text from the 1901–1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, a publication now in the public domain.


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