L Dear friends. I am writing to tell you the story of the Bad Sobernheim Synagogue.
Bad Sobernheim has had Jewish citizens living in it from 1301 until 1942.
R In 1816 a small one-room synagogue existed in the House of Werner on Marumstrasse 20.
In 1839 the construction police threaten to close down the 25m2 big room of the House of Werner because it is too small for the growing Jewish community.
(photo of the school – old Synagogue)
L In 1858 this synagogue is built on the area of a former barn.
(L-photo of door, R- old photo of Synagogue)
L In 1895 the Jewish community grows to its largest proportions with 135 people and in 1904 the Synagogue is enlarged to the west due to the growing community.
R In 1931 Herta Marum and Dr. Julius Stern are the last couple to be married in the Synagogue.
(photo of the couple)
L In 1933 the Anti-Semitic Nazi regime comes into power in Germany.
(L-cover of book), (R- Video or photo of Nazi political rally)
L This picnic at the Marum sock factory was held in 1934. The Marums were the wealthiest Jewish family whose factory employed 800 gentiles.
(L-video of picnic, logo of Socks, photo of factory)
L On November 10, 1938 the infamous Crystal Nacht happened in Germany.
In Sobernheim Nazi storm troopers went through town with hammers and axes to destroy Jewish
homes. They beat Jewish citizens and dragged them from their homes.
(try to get video footage or photo)
R The synagogue was desecrated. Fire was lit and many prayer books were destroyed.
(photo of synagogue with fire)
L The torah rolls were rescued and buried in a garden by Christian friends of the Jews.
(photo of torah rolls)
R The curtain was saved by the Christian householder of Heinrich Marum.
(photo of curtain)
L After these events many Jews fearing the Nazi government emigrate from Germany to US, England or Israel. Among them was the Marum family of Sobernheim who made this film on their way to US.
(video of immigration)
R World War two begins in September 1939. The same year the Jewish community is forced to sell the synagogue to the city, which wants to use it as a community room for the gymnasium. A request letter to sell the Synagogue is signed under threat by the Jewish community leader Jonas Haas. During WWII it is used as a warehouse for German soldiers.
(letter from Jonas Haas)
L In 1942 the 12 remaining Jews of Sobernheim were deported to concentration camps. The youngest deported was 14 and the oldest was 94.
(12 deportation photos)
L World War II ends in 1945.
(photo or video of war end)
R Hans Marum shows German Citizens the atrocities of the Nazi final solution.
(Hans Marum video)
L After WWII the synagogue was restituted to the new Jewish community of Bad Krausnach and Birkenfield. The Jewish community views the Synagogue as real estate and looks to sell it.
In 1953 the Synagogue is sold to Oskar Schmidt who builds two extra floors plus a garage between the synagogue and the house of BREGENZER. The Synagogue is used as a furniture warehouse for the Kaufhaus Schmidt department store.
(photo of interior of synagogue)
R In 1971 the plan for redevelopment of inner city is produced which recommends a pedestrian area and Grosstrasse to go through the area on which the synagogue stands and recommends the demolition of the synagogue.
(plan with Eberhardt making red mark)
L In 1981 Art Historians filled out an application for the protection of the synagogue as a historic site.
The regional office for preservation of historic buildings accepts the application and places the synagogue under protection. The city and owner of the synagogue try to prevent the historic site designation without success.
R In 1989 the Forderverein Synagogue Sobernheim support club is founded. Contact was made with families who left or were deported.
(photos of families)
L In 1994 Hans Marum paints the painting of the interior of the Synagogue as it looked when it was in service.
R In 2001 the City of Bad Sobernheim becomes the new owner of the Synagogue by exchanging it for parking places.
(city coat of arms)
L In 2002 the Synagogue was partially restored and the Jewish Star was raised onto the top of the synagogue. It was a Gift of the grandchildren of Alfred Marum.
(photo of star)
R In 2003 the first Jewish religious ceremony took place in the Synagogue in 65 years.
L In 2004 the first Concert was performed in the Synagogue.
R In 2007 City Council unanimously decided to renovate the Synagogue.
L Since 1957 Jewish students spend time at the Max-Willner-Heim here in Bad Sobernheim.
(L-video of kids singing, R-video of kids dancing)
L We have renovated the synagogue and created a library and a place for lectures and concerts. This historic building can once again be used for worship, concerts and the study of our history.
(L-photo during renovation, R-photo when finished)