Holocaust Memorial Synagogue (Neue Synagoge)

Wilhelm-Glässing-Straße, Darmstadt, Germany

The Neue Synagoge is the synagogue, community centre and museum of the Jewish community in Darmstadt, Germany. Inaugurated in 1988, the synagogue was built as part of a citizens’ initiative to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the November pogroms, the 1938 riot carried out against the local Jewish population by the Nazi party.

Known also as the ‘Holocaust Memorial Synagogue’, the architectural complex was designed to fulfil the needs of the city's Jewish population, who had been without a place of worship since 1938, when Darmstadt's three synagogues were destroyed. The Neue Synagoge was designed by architect Alfred Jacoby and enriched with a significant programme of stained glass windows designed by Brian Clarke.

The windows were a gift from the wider community of Darmstadt to the Jewish community, with the money for their design and fabrication raised through a citizens' initiative, Synagoge '88. The designs for stained glass, together with Jacoby's designs for the building, were exhibited in Die Architektur der Synagoge at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt, in 1988 (Kenneth Powell, ‘Architectural Artist' from Brian Clarke: Architectural Artist, 1994).

Upon inauguration, the citizens of Darmstadt declared:

'Since the windows of the synagogues were the first to be broken on the night of the 9th to the 10th of November [1938], we, the non-Jewish citizens of Darmstadt, wanted to make a very intentional and deliberate gift of windows, which we hope will survive the next centuries unscathed.'