Germany 2017: Gailingen Synagogue
This is one of the somber memories of the trip. In the little town of Gailingen, Germany, where Luca lives, is the former site of the Gailingen Synagogue which was destroyed on Pogrom night. (See History). There is a museum near the site (visit Museum Website), which unfortunately was closed at the time we were in the area. I took some pictures at the location and took some time to reflect on the sad event. While standing on the site I looked across the river into Switzerland – the Jews that were departed from this town to concentration camps were literally just a couple hundred yards from a country where they could have escaped.
I decided that this spread should be somber – so I picked a black background and a simple layout so that the pictures would tell the story themselves. I used my Cricut machine to cut the Jewish Star. The left picture is of the empty site and a memorial stone. If you look at the stone you will see that there is a round hole in it. If you look through the hole you look through a transparent picture to see what the interior looked like – this is the picture on the top right. The bottom right is the memorial plaque that is on the site.
One of the things that impressed me while in Germany is that they actively address their difficult history so that they will not forget and repeat it. I also visited the site of a former Jewish hospital where there was a marker indicating what had happened, as well as at the local Jewish cemetery. In addition, in front of every home that used to belong to Jews there was a bronze plaque in the sidewalk that share their story. I think that we in the United States could learn from this as we engage our difficult history instead of trying to hide it.