The Baroque Synagogue Of Halberstadt
In 1712 the beautiful Halberstadt Baroque Synagogue built by the Court Jew Berend Lehmann (1661-1730) opened its doors. Hidden from view by the houses on Bakenstrasse and the Judenstrasse the dome of the synagogue rose far above the surrounding buildings to praise God.
The synagogue, purposefully designed according to architectural principles, was the first of its kind. Until its construction prayers were conducted in private homes. Distinctive to the Halberstadt synagogue is the integration of the women's gallery into the main chamber of the synagogue.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the Hirsch family, Halberstadt entrepreneurs, had the synagogue modernized and had a lobby built which significantly enlarged it. An impressive copper basin used for ritual hand-washing was placed in the new lobby as part of the renovation.
On November 9, the Night of Broken Glass –Pogrom Night—the Synagogue was ransacked and the Torah scrolls were burned in the street. On November 18, 1938, the local Building Department ordered the demolition of the Synagogue which began the following day. The Jewish community of Halberstadt had to pay for the work. The walls still standing in the spring of 1939 were the exterior walls of the lobby. All that remained of the Baroque synagogue were the foundations and parts of the pattern floor.