tv Doc Film Deutsche Welle November 8, 2019 10:15am-11:00am CET
it's just one more sign of how far they've come. you're watching d.w. news coming up next our documentary filled all the cynical with the golden toast dough we're talking here about berlin's made so that you get all the day's news information on our website of course t w dot com i'm terry martin it's been a pleasure thanks for. coming. in libya ventures a famous naturalist and explorer. interests in the british public's on the front of the world's 250th birthday were embarking on a voyage of discovery. expedition voyage on t.w.a. .
it was once the largest and most magnificent synagogue in germany. a palace of faith a temple of understanding. beneath its gilded dome fragments of the past disaggregated torah scrolls mysterious inscriptions. and charred remnants of darker times. the noirs in a gogo or new synagogue in the heart of berlin fair is testimony to a bygone era. the shimmering dome is visible for miles around the synagogue on iranian birth trust it is a magnet for tourists a landmark and a solemn reminder. built as a house of worship more than 150 years ago it's a jewel of the city. yet it was almost lost on november 1938
kristallnacht the night of broken glass when thousands of synagogues across germany were set ablaze. to mourners on his way home near the station he sees the facade inch across the synagogue and claims. the administrative director of the preacher hospital rushes back to work. his hospital is directly next to the synagogue awesome sure enough you're too modest starting a fire. to call the police and threatens to sue when the flames are comedian. and one precinct police chief. has a tape only for a 2nd and then springs into action. and. he hurried to the synagogue brandishing a gun it said he single handedly pushed a officers and the jury saw it and had the flames extinguished. from precinct
number 16 prevented the synagogue's destruction and unexpectedly became the sole hero of this story but there were others. this is. for precinct 16 did indeed launch the emergency operation into fun and it was a unique precinct in that most of its officers had been transferred there as a punitive measure the for 933 they'd been affiliated with the social democratic party these were officers who were opposed to the nazis and could serve as was their boss but he couldn't have done it without his men. the city guard survived the pogrom night with burn marks but still standing. in the rotunda of the now restored entrance we meet conservationist robert gray fought and the founding director of the new synagogue foundation.
the exact sequence of events that night is still unknown what is clear is that as a troops ran riot in the synagogue pushing over prayer benches urinating on torah rolls smashing windows of windows infant over there the pains have all been reinstalled with legs and what's left of them and here it's glued into place. fragments of the past with tales to tell. for decades the image of the iranian synagogue in flames was emblematic of the november programme. is in fact that's not quite true many synagogues were set on fire this one here on a run in to these especially this photo here which became symbolic for the burning synagogues in november 1038 is fake it was retouched in the early post-war years
after. the search for authentic relics of the past leads to the cellar and the store rooms that house forgotten treasures. such as unmarked film. along with other things they also tell of the life of jewish people in central berlin not far from iranian british process this was the so-called shine in futile a barn district home to eastern european jews who fled here in the late 1900 century. near alexanderplatz. they were marginalized community. with moments of distinct pride. and small prayer rooms tucked away behind in conspicuous stores.
these kind of lovers and porcelain figures belonged to the iranian burger stross a synagogue. in november 943 bombs dropped in a british air raid cause severe damage not just to the dome what had been germany's largest synagogue was critically hit. 15 years later authorities of communist east germany had the main synagogue and central prayer room the very heart of the structure demolished. to this day only an outline in the void recalls the beauty last. the summer of 857 acclaimed architect ed ward can open is that his wits and for
years he's been discussing plans for the new synagogue the jewish community the old one is too small but how do they expect him to align the prayer halls toward jerusalem on this crooked plot of land and why not design it in the fashionable morrish style. germany's jewish community wants a magnificent building but it's also wary of provoking resentment. how can you square the circle. that time berlin was booming and the jewish community too was flourishing. in the mid 1900 century 28000 lived in the pression capital alone where they felt welcomed by king for additional home the 4th. and so construction for a splendid new synagogue was soon underway. the new synagogue was built at a time when jewish people were becoming german citizens. i'm game industry.
they took part in the city's economic growth and started questioning their identity as they felt powerless to themselves ted into hock. as it happens a palace of liberality passed out. behind the tent. the new synagogue was consecrated on september 5th $866.00 to widespread acclaim among those impressed was also fun bismarck the pression prime minister and leader 1st chancellor of the german empire. but the polish will building divided the community orthodox jews were appalled calling it a theater not a house for quite worship. many liberal minded jews on the other hand believed german jews should design buildings in the german fashion. either way the construction that was both adored and accord was forever lost now it's once again made visible in this virtual reconstruction.
the synagogue stoked contempt among anti semites how dare they one of them the historian heinrich from trade complained to his wife. the biggest and most impressive church in the german capital is a synagogue i mean this is not reproach of the jews but of the christians. in $886.00 the synagogue was a clear statement the jewish community was part of germany. above the entrance in
hebrew the biblical quotation. knew the gates of the righteous nation which keep it the truth by going to rain. to preserve jewish identity and foster openness that was the founders vision. isn't simply the sentiment was here in the center of berlin we have an open mind we don't just practice tolerance in the streets in the synagogue we ourselves represent this openness so it was an expression of confidence we're right in the middle of things we're part of you we are berliners he said billy not. today berlin's jewish community would also want the building to appear welcoming it's a major tourist attraction. but security gates and police protection reveal how fragile this openness is. as the siege of the center of judea compound ation it's a place of remembrance a museum and a research institute. and it bears witness to the synagogues beginnings.
by 1900 the synagogue was a lively center of jewish religious life a popular place to celebrate weddings or bar mitzvahs and drawing thousands of worshippers to services on religious holidays. or social came to admire it among them the writers. lewis carroll and mark twain. concerts were always sold out like this one on a rediscovered recording of the synagogue choir from 1932.
the synagogue was a special place to root of englishman she lived on the outskirts of berlin but sometimes her grandfather would take her along to visit the new synagogue. ringback biased the stick was i remember my grandparents had rented 2 seats in the synagogue on a run you bush asa d.z. committed to that that was common practice among the business owners to have reserved seats to see him so i got to go to the synagogue with my grandparents on certain holidays but it was it and it was always a special occasion when our grandparents took one of the grandchildren along but don't suppose and my grandfather would say i'm only taking root with me because such as he was out and he would you wouldn't it.
was bad. after the nazis seized power the synagogue increasingly became a place for berlin's jewish population to withdraw and find refuge on an island of normalcy. here it was as if things had stayed the same. the seeding order during services was still strictly regulated. 'd the synagogue was a spiritual religious and cultural anchor with well attended concerts and memorial services for jewish soldiers who had fallen in the 1st world war. in 1933 berlin was home to more than 160000 jews across germany they numbered over
half a 1000000. most hoped the worst would soon pass that the nazis were only acting out in their 1st flush of victory. people sat in cafes enjoying the sun and the economic upswing. but this situation deteriorated rapidly. in 1935 as the discriminatory nuremberg laws were passed. jewish citizens and those who stood by them now faced systematic exclusion even in berlin. there had been several attempts to instigate a parliament berlin they were all plotted by the rabbit anti-semite berlin's regional leader or. dose of gervase gifty who was also the propaganda minister he
was of such attack on a minister falling apart they were borne by the fact that gurgles was bothered by the fact that the number of jewish businesses in berlin hadn't dropped significantly in the movie needs looking in smaller communities many jewish businesses have been forced to shut down in 10333435 i think you know i see from my answer when they were able to survive a lot longer there was even an influx of new trades people from the smaller communities because the capital was thought to be a safe haven mine not open in. the shops so high sunshine. but it wasn't in the early summer of 1938 goebbels redoubled his efforts. at the ministry of propaganda he held a speech for 300 police officers afterwards he noted in his diary i really he did things up got them to forget all sentimentality the jews must be driven out of berlin. a wave of violence against jews followed. it lasted until
june 24th 1938 then suddenly it stopped on hitler's orders. planning to annex parts of czechoslovakia he needed to deflect international outrage against germany but the goal to drive the jews out of the country remained . in october 19th 38 the nazis arrested and deported 17000 jews with polish troops to the polish border. among them the relatives of her children spawn. on november 7th in paris 17 year old grange gun shot the german legation counselor s. from riot dead at close range the assassination gave goebbels the perfect excuse to orchestrate spontaneous revenge in his diary he wrote rival in all major cities the synagogues are in flames a raging fury this murder will cost the jews dearly and berlin $51015.00 synagogues
have burned down the whole nation is an uproar. finkleman was 10 years old at the time on the morning of november 10th she was making her way from her home in the suburbs to the jewish school for girls in central berlin. didn't but not believe incompetence that you might have tika well and things grew worse the further we made our way into the city. and garden schlosser we saw essay men flanking a small jewish businessman. remarking the star of david on his black coat. of course it was working well but i wasn't afraid i was right by my dad he says and he my party. when they arrived at her school and right next to the synagogue all seemed peaceful. her
father was relieved. they think by an individual and didn't try and i went inside but we were immediately met by our principal so 9 he told us not to go to our classrooms but straight to the auditorium for the a shy and suddenly we heard shouting and a terrible uproar then an essay and s.s. barricaded the entrances to the school and. we were trapped inside the. vehicle and our principal said now we're going to do something new that i had never prayed in my school it's just not something we have or did but on that day we all sat together when we do great harm that says i'm consistent i meet the then the children were sent up to the attic. it was connected by a passageway to the neighboring building. they escaped with outside they witnessed
devastation and chaos on the streets across the country the program resulted in 7 and a half 1000 jewish owned businesses ransacked 30000 jews arrested 1300 murdered or dead by their own hand. in april 939 the synagogue and iranian burger stross are reopened for passover. traces of the fire were still visible when rabbi moxness walked in. my heart was racing i wasn't just entering a desecrated house of god in the middle of a european capital i was stepping into the history of 2000 years of paul graham's and arson attacks. i was almost overcome with emotions. from total despair to raging defiance. but above the shrine we spotted a miracle. the new tommy the flame of the eternal light was still burning. as it
shone through november 9th and 10th and all the months after it was an unforgettable sight a symbol and a message and 1. 5 months later world war 2 erupted. in september. on jewish new year and september 939 the order came to paint over all of the domes while services were still being held inside and i feel like my father i believe was here and told me all about it later to bomb an evil be. the synagogues killed domes were painted over there was no glimmer in the darkness . the night turned black. the.
the and inside the rezone did for the last time in the final service on march 30th 1940. then the synagogue was shut down. the german army moved in using the main hall as a warehouse to store their mocked uniforms. religious services were still held in secret next door. the last one took place even as outside the nazis were accelerating the deportation of jews. may 1st 1903 a special day for. 13 years old and is celebrating his bar mitzvah the jewish coming of age ritual for boys. his mother and the rabbi have gathered in the cellar
of all the number 31 the ceremony must be brief and secret vianna and his mother have been living underground for months. 'd 'd 'd 'd the prayer book the sea do or the van or monks received for his bar mitzvah survived. it still bears the rabbi's dedication. for decades there was no knowledge of what went on next door to the synagogue then during renovation construction workers found inscriptions underneath the wallpaper in a storage room. in the autumn of 1943 the gestapo had created prison cells for $200.00 inmates in these rooms. the inscriptions had been scratched into the wall by prisoners fearfully awaiting their interrogation.
the 17 year old jewish girl was among those interned here. a serb forced labor she was arrested in berlin in september of 1904 charges she was thrown into a small cell with $23.00 inmates decades later she described the conditions with. the cruelest of all where the s.s. women when we were brought to an interrogation we had to pass through a doorway blocked by a heavy bar madam sergeant favorite thing to do is to lift the bar and then let it crash down over us as we passed while we were nearly passing out in pain she would just sit there and laugh. if the prisoners screamed no one could hear them here in the former storage rooms of the jewish museum. up until november 1938 the jewish museum next to the synagogue had exhibited hundreds of paintings drawings and sculptures and
thousands of photographs rare manuscripts and ritual objects. but on november 10th the museum was sealed off a guard was placed outside the valuable collection disappeared for years. it included the works by monks lieberman after the war an operation was launched to locate the works some have still not been found. you're. here in the oranienburg of the synagogue there was nothing left in the cellar as far as we know . at least as far as the paintings are concerned. later a bust of moses mendelssohn resurfaced. but the holdings of the berlin jewish museum were gone. they had been seized in 1900 zent.
part of the collection reappeared in 1946 in the cellar of the former culture chamber in berlin. 300 paintings and drawings were found here left to the elements under an open window. among them moxley vermont's final self-portrait. the artist had gifted it to the jewish museum when it opened in january 1933 just a few days before the nazis seized power. all of the large paintings remain lost all but one the prophet by young steinhart is said to have hung in google's villa outside berlin. the works of lesser henri also vanished all that remains in the store rooms of the centrum today it is this small oil painting glued to
a cigar box. the exhibit also shows this portrait intitled a german woman. the back reveals it was painted presumably by a german very much soldier on parchment from a handwritten torah scroll. long forgotten personal histories can be explored down in the archives of the center of judaism family story is legendary. he was a close friend of mark's lieberman's widow it was to him that marta lieberman wrote her last letter before taking her life at the age of 85 to escape deportation. hundreds of family heirlooms can be found in the largest archive of jewish life in germany thousands of tragic fates.
many files date from the pre-war general archive of the german jews which compiled material from jewish communities and institutions across the country for the nazis it was a treasure. in 1939 they minded to establish the central office for jewish registers of births deaths and marriages. the administration of the jewish community in berlin was forced to use these registers to assemble deportation lists until they themselves were targeted. we have a file in the archive of the centrum today i think it's called the dismantling operation of october 20th 1942. it's a good example for the entire tragedy of the situation. i'm still greatly moved by
the fact that we are right now in the very room in which all this happened. thank you. oct 19th 1902 markets henschel chairman of the jewish community was summoned by the secret state police. as so often whenever he is ordered to the offices of the gestapo he leaves behind his watch and wedding ring a silent code that signals danger to his colleagues but he returns with very precise instructions. the next morning on command of the gestapo more intentional orders more than a 1000 jewish community employees to the corridors and the large hall of the synagogue. the departmental directors are told to select $500.00 employees for deportation.
silence. minutes pass and not a single name is uttered. frustrated officers put together their own lists. and they issue a threat for every individual who doesn't show up 2 days later at the collection center a leading member of the jewish community will be shot. 20 failed to show 20 others are executed. and the vote this way. and. it's a really dreadful story. and i often think not only of the victims and their families be the but also of those who are responsible for this outcome. in hindsight we can always say why didn't they do this or that one had to say we
have all kinds of clever ideas. de hauteville those who bore the responsibility simply couldn't live up to it these are fun photo and he. 2 2 would have income on her sister and their father were also in danger of being deported. nazi race laws classify the girls as 1st degree mixed race their father was jewish their mother protestant and therefore arion. in march 143 the 2 girls received a summons from the gestapo. they were ordered to the collection center at gross and . just 500 metres from the synagogue. their mother was told to wait outside but she refused to leave her girls and appeared with them in front of a stop officer. that's after so with you but since you did and he asked my mother
what is your blood doll and she says i'm an area of and your children my children are 1st degree mixed race so he told us to wait is the involvement in the human moment a woman kelemen with her 3 children a boy and a hitler youth uniform people i meet a girl with a star of david on her coat and baby off an arm and a baby in diapers that couldn't be identified. and doesn't after he says what's going on here what is this and she answered the eldest is from my 1st marriage was the 2nd is from my 2nd marriage and the little one it's too late and he said what a mess that's this get this riffraff out of my sight always smitty me is oxy here. the officer threw out the refresh. that saved their lives for the time being. father was deported. she received 3 letters from him and one final postcard.
leaving me to school would be good as always my dears i am well how are you your parcel with bread and cake and tobacco has iran have to thank you so much that was very nice otherwise there is nothing new best wishes to your mom love and kisses from your dad it. includes so. it's only that than those were the last words i ever heard or to read from my dad. her father was murdered in auschwitz in january 1944. her little sister and their mother went into hiding in a shed on an allotment garden in southern berlin of their once a large family only 5 survived the holocaust 5 out of $25.00.
at the end of the war berlin lay in ruins. nothing was left of the diversity of the former jewish quarter the synagogue so prominent again today was merely a shadow in the post-war years ignored forgotten. the jewish people who had survived the war and managed to stay in hiding in berlin had other worries existential concerns. they flocked to the administrative offices of berlin's jewish community next to the ruins of the synagogue to register as a viewer. when raptor berlin's liberation iranian. very quickly became a contact point for jewish survivors in berlin these people came to register and fill out forms these forms were used to compile the lists with the roman numerals
12 and 3 the lists of those who had survived the list and they have. among the nearly 7000 jews who had managed to stay in berlin was very comes on whose bar mitzvah was the last religious rite celebrated at the synagogue in 1903 he'd gone into hiding now he applied for official recognition as a victim of fascism. located in the soviet sector the synagogue was a crumbling ruin. there was little to recall its glory days when it was a proud expression of germany's jewish population. the. in 1958 east germany's
communist authorities demolished the main hall of the synagogue seen here in the virtual reconstruction. it was a simpler and cheaper solution than preserving the building. but was it also a political decision. and poor d.t. home had they been trying to send a political message they certainly would have demolished the front part which was so to speak jewish they didn't do that demolished the back section home this point . precisely 100 years after the synagogues consecration in september $966.00 a small crowd gathered outside its ruins. jewish community leaders accompanied by a few communist party functionaries unveiled a small commemorative plaque the front of this house of god shall remain a place of remembrance and a warning for all time never forget these and puffing on supreme fixing that plaque was a stroke of genius in my eyes there were fears that the rest of the building would
be demolished the city of my so community leaders moved to avert that by putting up a plaque and it's not so easy to tear down a building once there's a plaque on a mission i have for pious. it was a bold move casting the synagogue as a memorial against fascism. there monday morning and conservationist robert gray fried joined efforts to restore the synagogue in the late 1970 s. for years there was debate over whether it should be rebuilt and if so. great fright couldn't believe some official suggestions. there are people in the park section of the urban planning department designing gardens for this open space . instead of morrish gardens pillars recall the site of the apps where the tour ark once stood and an open void lays
bare the scars of history. reconstruction of the synagogue began in the late 1980 s. under the patronage of east germany's communist leader eric hanukah it was a step with israel and the united states after years of isolation the soviet satellite was demonstrating tolerance toward jews in east germany. hoped it would earn him international praise and an invitation to the white house. jewish community began looking for a rabbi the american jewish community suggested a candidate to. the east german leadership welcomed the proposal. the rabbis arrival in the fall of 1987 was a media spectacle. i don't think no man had expected such a huge reception or was even cut out for it. time.
he was a rabbi in some small american town. and now he was a rabbi in berlin. and on top of that behind the iron curtain it was all a bit much. from illinois to east berlin norman addressed the media in his newly built apartment in east berlin. he looked forward to his life in this very different world. i have everything i need friends and members of the community have made sure that i feel at home here. 'd a survivor of norman was on a mission he wanted to help resurrect jewish life in east germany. his lectures drew large crowds especially young people among them was if a greenstein electorate humboldt university and daughter of
a former deputy interior minister. she met the new rabbi at oranienburg. then tom started as me. and came right over i didn't know anything about real life rabbis i only had this image in my head gleaned from rabbis in the books of bob and it wasn't like them at all the newest in. this is yes he was captivated by the rabbi and his charisma he taught and others like her what it meant to be jewish. and he was political. one day said out loud in one of his sermons that it couldn't be that only people in
the west have been nazis while people in the east knew nothing about anti semitism or nazis suddenly he was in trouble. all support. the east german secret service began watching him they had a suspicion. noirmont is a cia operative would been employed on a us air force base until his appointment as rabbi. with his liberal views the rabbi irritated jewish community leaders their differences were irreconcilable and lead to increasing arguments after just 8 months norman left east germany. if a green shrine wanted to go with him it was a perfect scandal the daughter of a former deputy interior minister turning her back on her communist homeland for months authorities stonewalled her application to leave until she turned to honaker himself. then finally she was allowed to go.
6 months after her departure construction to restore the synagogue began. a symbolic cornerstone ceremony was held on the vendor 109881 year later the berlin wall fell october 990 saw the roofing ceremony of the 50 meter high yield a dome. shining brightly again it broadcast a message to the world jewish life was returning to germany's reunited capital. after 7 years of construction the new synagogue was consecrated as the center of judaism in 1905 hosting exhibitions on the past and present of jewish life in berlin sitcom and i'm you know there's others and her place to for a member and see a memorial a museum just impulses from and some are surprised maybe even disappointed and
they come expecting to find a synagogue in the normal sense of a place of worship and wrestler action. and that isn't here anymore here there. today was its archives and library the centrum judaic i'm is a key research and conference center and it remains a meeting place for the jewish community. every friday religious services are held in a small prayer room for 50 worshippers with a rabbi and cantor who. once again bar mitzvahs are celebrated here as jewish boys become sons of the commencement. more than 150 years ago berlin's jewish community embarked on a new chapter opening the new synagogue as a temple of understanding its rise its fall its rebirth
a lasting tribute to german jewish history. to the point of strong opinions from their positions international perspectives it's 30 years since the fall of the bell in full germany celebrating with a movement against changed with dismay many eastern germany says it's been left behind and feel like 2nd class citizens so what's going wrong find out onto the point short. in 90 minutes on d w. he wanted to smash the berlin wall long before it finally found.