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Discovered: Ruins of Munich synagogue destroyed by the Nazis

Among the items found was a stone tablet containing a portion of the Ten Commandments.

Isar River north of Munich, Germany. Credit: Florian Schütz via Wikimedia Commons.
Isar River north of Munich, Germany. Credit: Florian Schütz via Wikimedia Commons.

Construction workers have uncovered stones in the Isar River from a Jewish temple obliterated in Germany just before World War II.

In June of 1938, Munich’s main synagogue was demolished following an order from Adolf Hitler. The rubble was then stored until 1956, when it, along with the remains of other destroyed buildings, was dumped into the river, where it has rested ever since.

Bernhard Purin, head of the Jewish Museum Munich, described seeing the remains of the synagogue as “one of the most moving moments in 30 years of working in Jewish museums.” He noted that the discovery of the Ten Commandments was especially powerful.

“These stones are part of Munich’s Jewish history,” said Charlotte Knobloch, 90, a leader in Munich’s Jewish community who had worshipped in the synagogue in her youth. “I really didn’t expect fragments to survive, let alone that we would see them,” she added.

A Karstadt department store now stands in the synagogue’s original location.

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