Frankfurt: Westend Synagogue

Westend Synagogue

Frankfurt is home to one of today’s largest Jewish communities in Germany – and to one of the most formidable synagogues that survived the November Pogrom and WW II.

Built in 1908 to 1910, the Westend Synagogue is an impressive piece of architecture inspired by Egyptian and Assyrian constructions. The architect of the Westend Synagogue, Franz Roeckle, is an ambiguous figure. On the one hand, his work on the Westend Synagogue is widely praised, and he was in charge for the construction of several other Jewish buildings such as a synagogue in Offenbach and the Israelite Hospital in Frankfurt. On the other, he would later join the Nazi Party NSDAP and contribute to the kidnapping of a Jewish couple in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, where he was originally from.

The main sanctuary of the Westend Synagogue, predominantly blue and gold with an especially ornate Eastern nave, accommodates about 1000 people. It is used by an orthodox community, but there is another sanctuary for a liberal congregation as well as a prayer room used for classes of Chabad Talmud students.