This is the Place of the Old Synagogue where a synagogue was built in 1869/70. It was destroyed by the Freiburg SS during the night of the 9th – 10th of November 1938, the so called “Reichspogromnacht”. It was an act of sheer, purist barbarism, but even worse acts were to follow. Most of the Jewish population – fellow citizens of our town – were deported to the concentration camp of Gurs in Southern France, were most of them died. In 1942 the remaining survivors were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The place was completely redesigned in 2016 and 2017. A major feature of the place is a water basin. The reflecting water surface shows the form of the floorplan of the destroyed synagogue.
The area around the basin is framed by a metal band in the ground. The inscription of that band reads in many different languages: “Remember – Recuerda - Erinnere Dich – Ricorda – Помни – Souviens-Toi - ...”
In summer, the place is getting extremely hot. During these phases of blazingly hot weather, little children used to play in the water of the basin. This led to a major controversy, since such a behaviour was considered inadequate for such a place of remembrance. The solution was rather “Freiburg”-style: A second fountain was built on the other side of the place. Water is coming from holes in the ground. And this fountain is much more attractive for children.
Prominent other buildings around the place are, from left to right:
- Just behind the model: The Audimax – the largest lecture theatre of the University
- The somewhat futuristic-looking main library of the University
- Freiburg’s town theatre