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Text in Deutsch

Destroyed architecture is again perceivable:
Synagogue Internet Archive

Press Notice, 03.11.2003

On the 65th anniversary of the Reichsprogromnacht as of November 9,2003, the presentation of the project Synagogue Archive under will be expanded to include Austrian synagogues. Since the year in which it was founded, the archive which stems from research done by Dipl. Ing. Marc Grellert and Professor Manfred Koob from the University of Technology in Darmstadt, has been enriched through many new computer reconstructions, bibliographical references, eyewitness reports and photos from private persons and thus has become an important source for research and remembrance. "The impressive images of the virtual synagogues make one curious," praises the vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dr. Salomon Korn.

The Synagogue Internet Archive started on November 9, 2002, the anniversary of the Reichspogromnacht, and gave the public for the first time an overview of the more than 2000 synagogues in Germany, including those in the new federal states, which still were used as houses of worship or existed as buildings in 1933 when the Nazis took power. Up until now about 40,000 users have found images and information about the synagogues, desecrated or destroyed during the Nazi years. They have helped to expand the archive with about 1000 eyewitness reports, comments, bibliographical references, images or links. The external contributions can be individually added and are immediately online. For example, a user found two until now unknown pictures of the burning of the synagogue on the Bleichstraße in Darmstadt in the estate of an relative and made them available for the archive. The growth of the archive shall be even quicker now through the inclusion of the synagogues in Austria.

The vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dr. Salomon Korn, supports the project: "I have accompanied the work of the University of Technology in Darmstadt since its beginning. I consider both projects – the reconstruction of the synagogues and the Synagogue Internet Archive – very important as examples of practical remembrance work. What the grandfathers completely destroyed cannot be rebuilt by the grandsons but it can be brought back from the dark by research and documentation."

The Synagogue Internet Archive is part of an extensive research work done by Dipl. Ing. Marc Grellert at the University of Technology in Darmstadt, Department CAD in Architecture (Professor Manfred Koob). The purpose of this work is to examine the potentials of new digital technologies for cultural remembrance, using the synagogues as an example. The origin of the Synagogue Internet Archive is based on many years of research done by Marc Grellert on the 3D-CAD reconstruction of destroyed German synagogues. Since 1994 at the University of Technology in Darmstadt, Department of CAD in Architecture, synagogues have been computer reconstructed with the intention of recording the cultural loss by means of the visualization of the destroyed architecture, of calling to mind the architectural importance of the buildings and of contributing to the admonishment and remembrance of the Nazi years.

As of the summer of 2003 the Synagogue Internet Archive is supported by a team that is adding on the Austrian synagogues. This team consists of Dr. Piere Genée, who has done research on the Austrian synagogues for many years and has published two standard books about Viennese and Austrian synagogues, Professor Dr. Bob Martens, professor of Architecture at the University of Technologoy in Vienna, who on his part had many destroyed Viennese synagogues reconstructed on the computer as well as Dr. Barbara Schedl, art historian with extensive experience in the sector of the new media and computer reconstruction of historical buildings.

The Synagogue Memorial ( in Jerusalem, an archive under the direction of Professor Dr. Meier Schwarz, who specializes in the history of German synagogues, has begun to enter his extensive visual material in the Synagogue Internet Archive. Numerous books have been published by Synagogue Memorial, including "Feuer an den Heiligtum gelegt "about the synagogues in North Rhine Westphalia.

Marc Grellert will be available in the chatroom of the Synagogue Internet Archive for questions and suggestions on November 9, 2003 between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Text in Deutsch 07-11-2003

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