Overall, Jewish life in Germany has been able to take root again: synagogues have been rebuilt or restored in many towns, sometimes on the sites of synagogues destroyed in 1938. If the properties were overbuilt, synagogues were built elsewhere and memorial plaques were erected in their former places.
To document Jewish life as an important part of European cultural and intellectual history, for example, Jewish museums and documentation sites were built in Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Cologne, Berlin and elsewhere. In the past 70 years, institutes for the study of Judaism and Jewish life have been established in Frankfurt am Main, Potsdam, Berlin and elsewhere. In Heidelberg, the Central Council of Jews in Germany founded the private University of Jewish Studies with state recognition in 1979. In addition, Prof. Manfred Koob of Darmstadt Technical University, a native of Heppenheim, has used modern CAD simulation to create visual representations of synagogues destroyed in 1938. In the meantime, in addition to religious and cultural institutions, Jewish restaurants or stores with kosher offerings can be found in cities and communities – again, Jewish holidays are celebrated and there are Jewish sports clubs.
It seems almost natural, but it is only almost: because recently men were attacked on the open street just because they wear a kippa on their head; a right-wing extremist party representative calls the Holocaust memorial in Berlin a “stigma of German history” and new anti-Semitism has led to the 2019 attack on the synagogue in Halle.
Fig. 4: Logo of the University of Jewish Studies with state recognition in Heidelberg.
(Source: Heidelberg University of Jewish Studies)
Fig. 5: 3-D reconstruction of the main synagogue in Mannheim, built in 1885 and destroyed in 1938,
entrance facade (source: Architectura Virtualis GmbH, cooperation of the Technical
University of Darmstadt, Dr.-Ing. Marc Grellert)
Fig. 6: 3-D reconstruction of the main synagogue in Mannheim, built in 1885 and destroyed in 1938,
View from the entrance into the men’s room (Source: Architectura Virtualis GmbH, Cooperation of the Technical University of Darmstadt, Dr.-Ing. Marc Grellert)