The Idea

"Can the Holocaust create values? In my opinion, the process in which the Holocaust was first repressed and then documented, which has been going on for decades, has just arrived at this question, is struggling now with this question ... Those who are unable to face their past are condemned to eternally repeat it - we know this saying of Santayana ... The Holocaust is a value because it has lead to immeasurable knowledge through immeasurable suffering, thus creating an immeasurable moral ressource."
(Imre Kertesz 1997)

The Formation of the Sponsors' Association
Objectives

Only mutual understanding and respect enables us to live together in peace. This is what the terrible past that ended with the Holocaust for many Breisach citizens teaches us. However, knowledge and personal encounters are prerequisite to understanding. Promoting both is the goal we would like to achieve with the former Jewish community center.

The Formation of the Sponsors' Association

On November 10th, 1998, the newly designed Synagogenplatz with its memorial was inaugurated. In this context, the so-called "Klösterle" was renamed to its original name of "Synagogenplatz" and "ehem. Judengasse" (formerly Jews' Lane) was officially added to the name of the "Rheintorstraße". This occasion also saw the first invitation of the City to the survivors. At the memorial function, Fred Kort and Ralph Eisemann spoke on behalf of the guests who had followed the invitation.

In the meantime, this first encounter sponsored by the City of Breisach has been fruitful in many ways: From the circle of invited survivors and citizens of Breisach, friendly relationships developed with the aim of mutually researching and documenting the destinies of persecuted Breisach Jews.

On November 10th, 1999, a memorial function was held to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the destruction of the synagogue. On the Synagogenplatz, the names of all members of the Breisach Jewish community in 1933 were read in public. Afterwards, the action group presented its work and concepts at the Museum für Stadtgeschichte and founded the sponsors' association. Among the first to sign the association's charter were Mayor Alfred Vonarb on behalf of the City and his predecessor Fritz Schanno.

Objectives

Acquisition, maintenance, and use of the former Jewish community center according to its historical relevance

Sponsorship for encounters with survivors of the Jewish community and their descendants

Establishment of a regional museum for the history of the Jews of Breisach and its environs

A vivid place of encounter and documentation center for promoting understanding and tolerance between different cultures and against any kind of antisemitism and xenophobia

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