Berlin Synagogue Reopens

Country’s largest synagogue survived century of strife
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2007 10:10 AM CDT
Berlin Synagogue Reopens
Rabbis stand in the biggest German synagogue in Rykestrasse street in Berlin on Friday, Aug. 31, 2007. After two years of renovation work to the synagogue built in 1904 it reopened on Friday, Aug. 31, 2007. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)   (Associated Press)

Germany’s largest synagogue has re-opened its doors after a major restoration, welcoming political leaders and Holocaust survivors to its unveiling. Built over 100 years ago, the Berlin temple was burned on Kristallnacht but the structure survived Nazism, Communism and decades of neglect. Architects re-created the original appearance with the use of just three historical photographs, the BBC reports.

A 94-year-old rabbi who preached in the synagogue in the 1930s was in attendance, calling the restoration a “miracle.” Germany has seen an influx of Russian Jews and a re-birth of Jewish culture; the former world capital of anti-Semitism now hosts one of the world's fastest-growing Jewish populations. (Read more Germany stories.)

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