White Stork synagogue in Wroclaw reopens 61 years after its destruction

12 May 2010
12 May 2010 Facebook Twitter Email Print

More than six decades after its destruction in the Nazi ‘Kristallnacht’ pogrom of November 1938, the White Stork Synagogue in the Polish city of Wroclaw – which in 1938 was called Breslau and was part of the German Reich – has been re-dedicated following several years of renovation work. Over 800 dignitaries and guests were in attendance at the opening ceremony of the neo-classical building.

Rabbi Yitzhak Rapoport, an emissary of the Shavei Israel organization and chief rabbi of Wroclaw, recited a series of prayers to celebrate the structure’s consecration and renewal. Before World War II, Breslau was home to one of the largest Jewish communities in Germany. The White Stork synagogue, which was opened in 1829, derives its name from an inn which had previously stood on the spot where it was erected.

The Nazis ransacked the synagogue and devastated its interior. The synagogue was later turned it into a garage and warehouse. After the war, Poland’s Communist authorities seized control of the synagogue. It was only returned to the Jewish community a decade ago, which began refurbishing it. Wroclaw is home to a very small Jewish community.