Synagogue Memorial in Tübingen

Pictures and text by Mark R. Hatlie

This memorial is on the former site of Tuebingen's synagogue in Gartenstrasse. The location is now named "Synagogenplatz" in memory of it. The memorial now commemorates not only the building itself and its destruction, but also all the Jews of Tuebingen who were murdered in the Holocaust.

The synagogue was burned down during the Reichskristallnacht of November 9, 1938. Tuebingen Nazis threw the Torah rolls into the Neckar, arrested five Jews and sent them to Dachau, and set the synagogue ablaze. After the war, Tuebingen courts sentenced three of those involved to prison terms of 20 to 32 months.

From 1933 to 1940, over 80 Tuebingen Jews fled abroad. From 1941 to 1942, 23 Tuebingen Jews (men, women and children) were killed in the concentration and death camps at Riga, Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. Only two of those deported survived. They did not return to Tuebingen.

This information is derived from the information plaques on the back of the monument. They also show photos of the synagogue and give brief information on Jewish life in Tuebingen before the Nazis.

A "Project Group Memorial" initiated an artistic competition in 1998 for the creation of a memorial at the location of the former synagogue [...]. The memorial proposed by the architect group Nürtingen and the sculptor Gert Riel was unveiled with city support in November, 2000. The steel cube surrounding the spring with 101 openings symbolizes the destroyed synagogue and the exiled and murdered Tübingen Jews..."

Sources: The information quoted on this memorial is available in German at the site itself and at this page on the Geschichtswerkstatt e.V.. There are also links to photos of the synagogue before the arson attack.

There is another memorial to the Tuebingen Jews who died in the Shoah in the cemetery in Wankheim. The lists of names on the two memorials do not entirely match.

This metallic column is what is seen from Gartenstrasse. It stands almost on the sidewalk. The new name of the location, "Synagogenplatz", is cut into the metal, so it is only readable if there is backlighting.
The information plaques on the back.
From the large, metal box to the metal column on the street there is a narrow channel for water to flow. It flows under metal plates bearing the names of the victims and down this simple waterfall in the foreground.
This large metal box is the source of the water. There is no explanation for the number of square holes or anything else about it.
The plates over the littel stream bear the names of the victims and the places they died.
The top reads, "By the national socialists and their helpers discriminated, humiliated, deprived of their rights, robbed, driven away, murdered". Then follow the names of those who fled from 1931 to 1935.
This is followed by the the names of those who fled from 1936 to 1940.
...and then the names of those who were deported and murdered, 1941-1942,...
...and more names of the murdered. At the bottom, the names of the two survivors who were liberated at the Theresienstadt camp in May of 1945.

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Contact / Impressum:
Mark R. Hatlie (ViSdM)
Im Feuerhägle 1
D-72072 Tübingen

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