Symbolic Cornerstone Ceremony

In the 1980s, the East Berlin Jewish community increasingly brought forward the idea of establishing a Jewish museum on the site of the New Synagogue. In the run-up to the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the November pogroms, foreign policy considerations in particular led to the establishment of the New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum Foundation in July 1988 by the Council of Ministers of the GDR. Dr. Hermann Simon was appointed director. On November 10, 1988, the foundation stone was symbolically laid for the reconstruction of the heavily damaged front parts of the New Synagogue. This reconstruction, formulated as one of the foundation’s tasks, was now to be completed during the period of reunification from 1989 onwards. The reconstruction only covered the front of the New Synagogue. On the site of the former main hall of the synagogue, the ruinous remains of which were demolished in 1958, an open space shows the emptiness that had been created. The traces of the destruction were to be visible, and the house was to remain a document of its history. Original parts were preserved as far as possible and replacement elements were marked as new. This principle was only deviated from for the domes, which had to be completely rebuilt. 

Timeline Berlin

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