German President Christian Wulff has inaugurated a new synagogue in the city of Mainz, on the very site where Nazis destroyed the previous one more than 70 years ago. "Exactly 98 years after the opening of the last major synagogue in Mainz, the Jewish community once again will have an architectural and religious center," Wulff said at the official ceremony. Wulff spoke of "a small miracle." The ”revival of Jewish life in Germany is continuing" thanks to the new synagogue, he said, calling it a “blessing for our country, a blessing for Germany."
Cologne architect Manuel Herz designed the US$ 13 million modern structure, which seats some people, and inscribed five Hebrew letters forming the word ‘Kedushah’ (holiness). The previous synagogue was burnt during the ’Kristallnacht’ pogrom in November 1938. Mainz was considered a center for Jewish culture for centuries, and some 2,600 Jews lived there in 1933, when Adolf Hitler rose to power. More than half of them perished in death camps.