Rykestraße Synagogue

District: Pankow
Address before 1945: Rykestraße 53
Address today: Rykestraße 53, 10405 Berlin

Built in 1904, this house of worship, which could hold more than 2,000 people, was in its day one of the largest synagogues in Europe. The decision to build the new construction was prompted by the influx of a large number of Jews from Eastern Europe. In addition to the synagogue, the structure also included Public Elementary School 3 of the Jewish School Association as well as Religious School 6. After 1933, the Jewish School Association also helped prepare those determined to flee for emigration. During the nationwide organized pogroms in November of 1938, the interior of the synagogue was destroyed, although the rest of the building was spared so as to avoid causing damage to the homes of neighboring non-Jews. Until April of 1940, services continued to take place here; thereafter the Wehrmacht used it as a depot. On 29 July 1945, Rabbi Martin Riesenburger performed the first post-Holocaust Jewish marriage ceremony in Germany here. In the postwar era, numerous renovations and alterations to the building took place, most recently in 2007.

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