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.