A Much Disputed City Development

A planned major development proposal in the centre of Bamberg would require the demolition of much property in the area between the Promenade and the Langestraße. As this would involve the destruction of several Landmark-protected buildings in the Heller Straße, a former Jewish quarter, as well as other important if neglected buildings, the proposal has raised fierce opposition.

A long reader's letter by one Andreas Reuß

in the Fränkischer Tag of 21 July 2001 contained, among other points, the following (in my translation):-


"the quarter represents a unique document of the history of settlement of the Jewish component of the population within a central European town. Exceptionally, the structures of the forms of housing from the middle ages into the 20th century are preserved here.

The Jews first settled in the area of the Judenstraße foot of the Kaulberg, later in the Heller-Straße and the buildings of the rear, and finally in the area of Generalsgasse/Zinkenwörth and Hainstraße. If the buildings in and around the Heller Straße are really going to be demolished, it would be necessary to engage in a careful, that is a prolonged archaeological examination beforehand, and to search for remains of the second synagogue, among other buildings.


Mr. Reuß's plea is gratifying, particularly his principal suggestion. Above ground, nothing is left of the second synagogue. Scholars are not even sure whether it was located behind Nr. 11/13 or 13/15 Heller Straße. We can only hope that the authorities take Mr. Reuß's suggestion seriously.


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© by Thomas Starz