Kobersdorf: Synagogue & Memorial

by Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue August. 13, 2018 4020 views

We are stuck – again – in the middle of nowhere. At least we have some spare time to drive around and do some sightseeing. Of course we visited Kobersdorf.

Since 1526/27 Jews lived in Kobersdorf. The village belonged to the Siebengemeinden (Seven Communities, Sheva Kehillot, שֶבַע קְהִלּוֹת), so it was one of the seven most important Jewish communities. These communities were established under the reign of Prince Paul I Esterhazy. He accepted the Jews from Vienna after they have been expelled by Emperor Leopold I.

The Synagogue was built in 1860 in a mixture of elements from previous historical styles, which was common for this period of time and for such religious buildings. Although the Synagogue wasn’t destroyed by fire during the November pogrom in 1938 - it was feared, that the wooden roof of the nearby situated castle could catch fire -, it was nevertheless robbed down to its architectural bones. After WWII the almost destroyed building run down even more. In the last couple of decades at least some restorations must have to be done to prevent the worst. It’s one of the few Synagogues in Austria, which survived National Socialism. 1995 it was sold, to be restored and used as a center for cultural activities. Actually I’m shocked about the still half destroyed looking Synagogue. Maybe there is inside some restoration going on, but it’s not visible on the outside.

Kobersdorf and all the other communities fell victim to the persecution of the Jews under the government of the National Socialists. The flourishing Jewish population had to face doom. I actually don’t know, if there have been people capable to make a successful get away or if there have been survivors of concentration camps at all.

In 2017 an impressive memorial (designed by Ernst Fuchs) for the victims was erected.

The Synagogue is closed for the interested single visitor. The provided touristic information is rudimentary. I spare you my professional (!) opinion of the information about the memorial.

The fence - I think, it carries more symbolism than many people may recognize ...

The fence - I think, it carries more symbolism than many people may recognize ...

Roland caught me in the act ....

Roland caught me in the act ....

Memorial and in the background Schloss Kobersdorf

Memorial and in the background Schloss Kobersdorf

I don't understand, why the memorial isn't facing the Synagogue.

I don't understand, why the memorial isn't facing the Synagogue.

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There are 13 comments , add yours!
Scribe 2 years, 5 months ago

One day, we'll all embrace
our painful past for the lessons
they've given us.

Then, we'll soar above
all that destroys us,
and allow the free-flow
of all that serves us blue heart

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Heike 2 years, 5 months ago

Hm, habe mal wiki bemüht, offensichtlich können sich da ja wohl der Verein, das Land und der IKG Wien nicht über die Kostenübernahme der Renovierungsarbeiten einigen. Also macht man : Gar nichts....
Traurig, aber nicht wirklich überraschend. Wäre hier in Deutschland auch nicht anders, Sigrid. Wenn's ums Geld geht, geht jeder Idealismus vor die Hunde.

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Heike 2 years, 5 months ago

Ja, ich habe gelesen, dass es einen Prozess gegeben hat, weil der Verein die Vertragsbedingungen nicht erfüllt hat.
Wenn man bedenkt, dass das Gebäude zerstört/enteignet wurde, als Ruine (wer weiß wann) zurückgegeben wurde, sollte das Thema "Kostenübernahme" überhaupt keine Rolle spielen. Österreich ist extrem seltsam hinsichtlich "Verantwortung übernehmen".

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 2 years, 5 months ago

Another interesting post with cool photos. Have you ever considered becoming a tour guide? :)

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Camellia Staab 2 years, 5 months ago

Thanks!!! blush *giggle*
I did teach Viennese tour guides for a while, but I'm not allowed to be a tour guide myself, because I didn't do the exam as a pupil but as a teacher ... Austria is a strange place. Nobody will ask "are you a specialist", but everybody will ask "do you have a license?"
I wrote some books for schools, teacher and pupils, guides and texts for museums and developed cultural projects for tourists. In some way I'm a tour guide without opening my mouth. wink

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Joe Zink 2 years, 5 months ago

A powerful place, Sigrid.
Of course you are correct about the fence...

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Joe Zink 2 years, 5 months ago

Thanks! I think it's also a sad place ...

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Abigail Gossage 2 years, 5 months ago

I think you are right about the fence symbolism

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Abigail Gossage 2 years, 5 months ago

Sad, isn't it?

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Pete Fitzgetald 2 years, 5 months ago

I enjoyed your photos and your adventure

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Pete Fitzgetald 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm glad, that you enjoyed it!

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 2 years, 5 months ago

I agree with you on the fence symbolism Sigrid

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Antonio Gil 2 years, 5 months ago

It reminded me of Auschwitz. Sad, but true.

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
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