Synagogue opens in German town after 70 yearsMarch 15th, 2010 - 3:19 am ICT by IANS
Herford, March 15 (DPA) A new synagogue was opened Sunday in the north-western German town of Herford, more than 70 years after the old synagogue was destroyed under Nazi rule.
“I wish you and all of us that Jewish life in North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany flourishes,” Juergen Ruettgers, the state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia where Herford is located said at the inauguration.
Charlotte Knobloch, president of Germany’s Central Committee of Jews, recalled the 70-year history of Jewish life in Herford. After the Holocaust, only about two dozen of the once 200 members of the Jewish community returned to the town.
The old synagogue of Herford was destroyed under Nazi rule in the so-called “Kristallnacht” (night of broken glass) pogrom of November 9, 1938, when synagogues and Jewish shops where destroyed all over Germany.
The new synagogue was built for two million euros ($2.7 million) at the original site of its predecessor after the prayer room in a neighbouring building had become too small.
Like many Jewish communities in Germany, the community of Herford has grown significantly due to the influx of Jews from the former Soviet Union since 1990.
About 110,000 Jews currently live in Germany, including some 30,000 in North Rhine-Westphalia state. Since the mid-1990s ten new synagogues have been built in the state.
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