Yakub Glanzer Shul Synagogue, which survived in the Holocaust, is being restored in Lviv

11.04.2021, 11:16
Yakub Glanzer Shul Synagogue, which survived in the Holocaust, is being restored in Lviv - фото 1
Before the Second World War, there were 40 large and 160 small synagogues in Lviv. Today, the Tsori Gilod synagogue operates from them, and several more houses of worship have been preserved.

Volunteers are also independently restoring a synagogue of the XIX century on Ugolna Street, which before the Holocaust was part and decoration of the Jewish Quarter. They plan to create a cultural and educational center here, Radio Svoboda reports.

The rescue of the Yakub Glanzer Shul Synagogue in Lviv has been going on for the past few years. Everything is done on a volunteer basis. This building with an interesting and, at the same time, tragic history has united many people from Ukraine and the world who come to Lviv to help in its restoration. The main task is to preserve what is left as much as possible, says Oleksandr Nazar, head of the Hesed Arye Foundation's volunteer center.

"We have restored the women's entrance, metal doors, architectural fragments. We try to save everything we have. Technically, the building is in good condition. In Soviet times, women's galleries were dismantled in the synagogue, and we want to restore them. They began to remove and restore the windows in the Great Hall. And the facade should also be repaired. It is, fortunately, well preserved, intact. We are helped by volunteers from France who live in Lviv, a German came to the pandemic," says Oleksandr Nazar.

The neo-baroque synagogue "Jakub Glanzer Schul" belonged to the Jewish Quarter, which before the Second World War was humorously called in Hebrew "Krakidali" or "Paris", located in the Krakow suburb. The Jewish site occupied the territory from the current Dobrobut Market to St. Theodore Square, where a synagogue was built from 1842 to 1844 with the assistance of the patron, Lviv merchant Yakub Glanzer. Actually, it was named after him. And around the synagogue since the end of the XIX century there were workshops, shops. There was a special atmosphere here, trade, noise, Yiddish, Polish and Ukrainian languages were intertwined in the shopping areas of the "Krakidals".

In 1941, the German occupation authorities came to Galicia. At that time, 170 thousand Poles, 120 thousand Jews, about 50 thousand soldiers of the German garrison and military zapilya, and 40 thousand Ukrainians lived in Lviv, as historian Yevhen Nakonechny writes in the book "Shoah in Lviv". In the spring of 1942, many Lviv Jews realized that death could catch them at the firing pit.

The Nazis closed synagogues. The one on Ugolna street survived, unlike others, because it was used as a warehouse. In the post-war period, under Soviet rule, Jews who survived the Holocaust used the synagogue, and a lot of people gathered here every week. In 1962, the Soviet government liquidated the Jewish community, finding dozens of reasons, closed the synagogue, and the things that were stored in it were replenished with the funds of Lviv museums. The religious building houses the Sports Hall of the polygraphic Institute.

"This synagogue was lucky because earlier resellers from the Krakow Bazaar hid food in it. We managed to save it. The rest of the synagogues were blown up by the Germans, and what remained was used by the Soviet authorities as building materials. The "Golden Rose" could have been restored after the war, it was without a roof, but there were walls. It was completely dismantled, and the brick was used," says Oleksandr Nazar.

According to the plan of the volunteers, the synagogue should be open to the public and work as a cultural center. In the Great Hall, they plan to create a permanent exhibition "synagogue Hall", presenting models of destroyed synagogues of the Krakow suburb, photos, and information about the life of the "Krakidals" in the pre-war period.

We would like to make the site an attractive space for residents and tourists interested in the history of the Holocaust.