Letter to the Poolstraße Temple Initiative

Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

We, the members of ÓVÁS! Association in Budapest, Hungary, fully support your initiative to preserve the remains of the Jewish Reform Synagogue in Hamburg and join your international appeal. Since 2004 we have led and are leading a similar fight for preserving the Old Jewish Quarter of Budapest, threatened by careless handling, sell-outs and demolitions. We believe that, as the Holocaust and the Second World War have destroyed the Jewish population of Germany and Hungary, it is the duty of the municipal, the national and the international communities to preserve whatever has remained from the once spectacular Jewish contribution to the landscape of the European metropolises. It is important to preserve not only buildings that are standing and functioning but also places of memory. When these are wiped out, remembrance will also gradually be fading away, which could be considered the completion of the Shoah.

The remnants of the Poolstraße Temple in Hamburg, built by one of the world’s first Reform Jewish congregations, inaugurated on 5 September 1844, almost precisely fifteen years before the great Reform Synagogue of Pest in Dohány utca which was inaugurated on 6 September 1859, definitely form a place of memory of utmost significance.

Thus we wholeheartedly join the call for the City of Hamburg to preserve and make permanently accessible the remains of the New Israelite Temple in Poolstraße as well as the original Temple site.

ÓVÁS! Association 

  • Anna Perczel, President, architect-urbanist
  • Lajos Diósi, physicist
  • Orsolya Egri, historian
  • Orsolya Federits, advocate
  • Martin Fejér, photographer, journalist, translator
  • Katalin Gyárfás, program advisor, Zachor Foundation for Social Remembrance
  • Gabriella Horn, journalist (www.atlatszo.hu)
  • István Jávor, photographer
  • János Ladányi, sociologist, professor emeritus
  • Judit Lakner, historian
  • István Perczel, historian, Professor at Central European University, Budapest-Vienna
  • Catherine Szanto, landscape architect, assistant professor ENSA Paris-La Vilette
  • Dóri Szegő, sociologist, human rights defender
  • Lukács Vértes, web developer

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