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Unearthed and Buried again – the Remains of Verden’s Synagogue

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Verden Synagogue site, Johanniswall, 2011

Verden Synagogue site, Johanniswall, 2011

This used to be the site of Verden’s synagogue, from 1858 to 1938, before it was burnt down in the “Night of Broken Glass”. The place has been car dealer’s parking lot since early after the end of the war. In summer, the bulldozers were back. A shopping center will be built here, soon.

My guess about the future: one eighth of Verdeners may continue to add stolpersteine memorials to their city, and people will continue to traipse across them (literally, stolperstein means stumbling stone, but these won’t make you stumble), and try to put a Reichsbahn waggon next to the train station to remind people of the concentration camp transports, another quarter of Verdeners may continue to oppose  Reichsbahn waggons, and all other Verdeners will be shopping on this site, and listen to the sermons in church on christmas eve.

A small town in Germany – or: how to avoid remembering a real bit of the past.

Oh, and the foundations and underground facilities (including the mikveh, I seem to understand) were unearthed in summer, and then returned to the underground.

The Kreiszeitung referred to the location as a “place of memory”. But that was long ago, in 2010.


Written by taide

November 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I entirely sympathise with those who do not want to turn their neighbourhoods into eternal places of mourning. Still . . .


    November 15, 2011 at 10:42 pm

  2. That, in turn, is understandable, too. Still, I know at least one case in this town where someone from my grandfather’s generation, as an SS member, grabbed a neighboring property there. These family histories are usually the bigger stumbling blocks. Also, mourning those killed during the 1930s and 1940s has become something theoretical in our generation – it matters, but it’s usually nothing personal now. To me, respect for our former fellow citizens is important. That respect can’t help them, but it can be beneficial for our society today.

    The last surviving Jewish Verdeners were deported seventy years and a day ago.


    November 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm

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