Preserve, Restore Jewish Monuments in Europe, Academician Urges

A noted academician called for increased efforts to preserve and restore Jewish monuments in Europe so that future generations will more fully under stand the development and destruction of European Jewry. In an address here before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the American Jewish Committee’s New York chapter, Prof. Werner Cahnman, chairman of the Rashi Association for the Preservation of Cultural Monuments in Europe, noted that communities across Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Poland still serve as warehouses of Jewish cultural and religious monuments.

“We cannot afford to lose, through neglect those sites which the Nazis did not destroy. Much of the visible testimony of Jewish life, the places where Jews lived and prayed and buried their dead, remain standing and must be salvaged for the future,” Cahnman said. He highlighted recent preservation efforts underway, in conjunction with local European communities:

In the German city of Worms, the Rashi Synagogue originally built in 1234 has been rebuilt. Former buildings of the Jewish quarter and the Jewish cemetery, the oldest in Europe, remain, but are in need of repair. Other projects in Germany include the preservation of a Jewish settlement in Speyet, a mikvah from the early Middle Ages in Cologne, wooden synagogues in Braunschweig, a Bavarian synagogue in Floss; and the Jewish ghetto of Venice, Italy where many of the buildings are crumbling and the remains of five baroque synagogues still exist, though in a state of disrepair.

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