Posen New Synagogue


In 1906, the Jewish community in Posen began building a new synagogue to replace the old synagogues in Posen. It was completed in 1907 and quickly became a religious and cultural focal point for the Jewish population of Posen. This changed rapidly when the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939. Already on September 9th, the Germans closed the synagogue and in 1940 the star of David, which adorned its front, was taken down. The synagogue was looted and began to decay, among other things, the dome and other embellishments were removed and it was only a matter of time before it would be demolished. But in 1941, the Nazi governor Arthur Greiser decided to build a swimming pool inside the synagogue, which was probably saved from being destroyed. The swimming pool was completed in 1942 and was primarily for German soldiers and members of the Hitler Youth.

Current status: Preserved (2021).

Location: 52°24' 39.50" N 16°56' 05.97" E

Get there: Walk from central Poznan.

My comment:

After the war, the communists let the swimming pool as it was and instead of German soldiers, it was now ordinary citizens who came to use it. The Jewish population of Poznan was greatly reduced and its influence was weak and from the new communist rule there was no interest in restoring it. The swimming pool was in use until the mid-2000s when the synagogue was returned to Poznan’s Jewish community. In 2021 it was closed to the public and exactly what plans there were with the synagogue then seemed unclear.

Follow up in books: Epstein, Catherine: Model Nazi: Arthur Greiser and the occupation of western Poland (2010).