© RIA Novosti / Alexei Filippoupolitis in photosangelina. Archival photo© RIA Novosti / Alexei Filippoupolitis the image Bank
The opening of the synagogue, built on the site destroyed by the Nazis in 1938, königsberg, will be held in Kaliningrad on Thursday on the eve of the 80th anniversary of the tragedy, dubbed the «crystal night», which began the first wave of the Nazi pogroms in Jewish neighborhoods in Germany.
«Kristallnacht» or «Night of broken glass» occurred on 10 November 1938 in Germany and Austria and became the first mass action of physical violence of the Nazis against the Jews. Only on 9 November killed more than 90 people, 30 thousand Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps. The Nazis called it the «Crystal night» due to the fact that all the streets were strewn with broken glass from Windows of Jewish shops and Windows of houses. Night of pogroms is considered the beginning of the Holocaust that destroyed about 6 million people.
«This day will mark 80 years since the tragic massacre that went down in history under the name «crystal night». In the cities of Germany and Austria maddened with impunity, the crowd began to RAID houses and shops belonging to Jews. Destroyed and synagogues. Not spared this tragedy and our region», — reported on the website of the Foundation for the construction of the synagogue.
Kaliningrad (until 1945 königsberg, the capital of the German province of East Prussia) is the only place in contemporary Russia, where there was this European tragedy. Every year there is a mourning date of November 1938, when the Nazis plundered and burned the synagogue on the island of Lomza (now Kant’s island) near the Cathedral and expelled Jewish children from orphanages.
The organizers of the construction of a new synagogue was made by the Jewish community of Kaliningrad and the nonprofit recovery Fund the Konigsberg synagogue in Kaliningrad, the founder of which became a philanthropist Vladimir Katsman. The first stone in the Foundation of the future synagogue was founded in the fall of 2011, in July 2013, the project passed the state examination. The synagogue was built on the historic site where from 1894 to 1938 was located the synagogue of Koenigsberg.
In the synagogue, before the war housed the philosophical library of the Jewish community of Koenigsberg. During the war this place was the living barracks where settled people, one of whose parents was of Jewish origin. The synagogue is adjacent to the surviving building of the former Jewish orphanage, where a memorial plaque dedicated to the tragic events of the November night in 1938.
Restored synagogue will be the most Western in Russia, it is most similar to the historical synagogue of königsberg, but will be 10 meters below 37 meters. The building is designed for 2 thousand people. The synagogue will function under the auspices of the Federation of Jewish communities of Russia (FJC).
It is expected that at the ceremonial opening of the synagogue among the many guests there will be representatives of Federal and regional authorities, officials of foreign States, as well as the Jewish religious leaders of Russia, the FJCR President Alexander Boroda and the chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar.