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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Warsaw. Projection of the Great Synagogue on Plac Bankowy

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On Wednesday evening, an image of the Great Synagogue appeared on the wall of the blue skyscraper at Plac Bankowy. This virtual monument reminds of the pre-war Jewish community and the non-existent part of the city.

The “Great Restores Memory” project consisted in the symbolic reconstruction of the Great Synagogue demolished by the Germans after the fall of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Its place (formerly at Tłomackie 7) is now occupied by the base of a glazed office building (today Plac Bankowy 2). On the wall of the blue skyscraper facing Plac Bankowy, an image of the demolished Great Synagogue was projected – animated so that the viewer had the impression that the building is rising from the ruins. It was accompanied by a sound collage. On the archival recording, you could hear the singing of the cantor of this synagogue, Gerszon Sirota, who died in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Blowing up the synagogue was to mean the end of the Jewish quarter

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The Great Synagogue ceased to exist on May 16, 1943. The blowing up of the 65-year-old synagogue in Warsaw at the end of the pacification of the ghetto uprising was an eruption of hatred, it was supposed to mean “the end of the Jewish district in Warsaw”. The symbolic return of the Great Synagogue to Tłomackie, on which a large inscription ליבע (love) appears during the projection, denies the “triumph of the Nazis”. In the intention of the artist, love symbolically overcomes hatred, restoring the memory of the murdered Jewish community of the city.

– Memory and love have the power to overcome destruction. The memory of the past is important, it allows you to build the future wisely. Through the “virtual monument”, we deal with the issue of the memory of the now non-existent city and its Jewish inhabitants, as well as the problem of oblivion included in the urban layer, today’s tissue of the capital city of Warsaw – said Gabi von Seltmann, quoted in the announcement announcing the event.

Main photo source: Artur Węgrzynowicz / tvnwarszawa.pl

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