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History

The synagogue was erected in 1752.


The majority of its prayer room was used by males while the females followed the procedure behind a permeable wall in the rear left of the room.

A separate gallery for women was installed as a result of the prospering religious community in the 19th century: it included the construction of a separate entrance and parts of the ceiling were removed in order to provide women and smaller children an adequate opportunity to follow the prayer.

In 1938 during the Kristallnacht the interior of the synagogue was completely devastated while the building remained scarcely damaged, probably due to the fact that by a burning synagogue “non jewish property” would also be destroyed.

During the Second World War and the following years the decaying building was used as storage.

In 1985 historian Bernhard Kukatzki discovered rare mural art paintings in the context of an inspection of the interior. Following an initiative of the protestant church community citizens of Odenbach and the vicinity founded a non-profit - association to save the synagogue and to restore the beautiful paintings. Finally, the “Förderverein ehemalige Synagoge Odenbach e.V.” was introduced.

The building was purchased by the association shortly after. In the meantime the former synagogue had been declared as a site of historical interest.

By a great amount of public allowance the building was restored and the rare mural art paintings were able to be conserved.Therefore the former synagogue is not only an art-historical highlight, but also a rare example of a synagogue in a rural area. 

Original Jewish cult objects of Odenbachs’ former Jewish community are shown in a permanent exhibition.

 

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