Kluckygasse 11 - 20th District Brigittenau

Synagogue built in: 1900
Earliest record of community: 1873
Last rabbi: Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein
Pogrom Night: Destroyed; later used as a storage room
Today: Apartment Block
Summary: In 1873 several Jewish families lived in Brigittenau, which at that time was part of Leopoldstadt. They formed into the Brigittenauer Tempelverein and rented a flat in 20 Webergasse, where they gathered for prayer. This soon became too small so they rented the neighboring flat so as to enlarge the premises but already at this time decided to build their own synagogue in emulation of other communities in adjacent districts. The purchase of the site at 11 Kluckygasse and the erection of the building were financed by the members. Further costs were undertaken by the Vienna Kultusgemeinde , under whose administration the synagogue stood from 1890.

Enclosed on three sides by neighboring buildings, the synagogue was designed by architect Jakob Gartner in a typical combination of Romanesque windows and onion-shaped towers, giving the impression of a sacred building while avoiding a church-like effect.

Until 1912 no rabbi was engaged; those from neighboring districts helped out when needed. In 1926 Armin Abeles was engaged as rabbi of the 20th district, a position he held till his death in 1930. His successor in 1931 was Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein, who was regarded as one of the most outstanding graduates of the Viennese Rabbinical Seminary. The community laid great stress on the continued progress of their religion classes.

From 7 am on November 10,,1938 the building was broken into and the interior wrecked. The official report of S.S. Hauptsturmfuehrer Kowarik makes it painfully clear how much was stolen and how much simply destroyed. He writes “the temple must have belonged to a wealthy community as it exceeded all the others in ostentation”. We know in fact that the local community was by no means wealthy as it consisted for the most part in the post-WWI period of poor Galician immigrants. He was evidently comparing the interior with others that he had seen which had been previously plundered, his acquisitive instinct aroused by the sight of the silver appurtenances which they purloined. The beautiful curtains and other furnishings were destroyed when the Aron Hakodesh was burned, as recorded, at 11:24 am.

On June 12, 1988 a memorial tablet was erected.
Sources: - Genée, Pierre, Wiener Synagogen 1825-1938, Wien, 1987, S. 83
- Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes (Hg.), Gedenken und Mahnen in Wien 1934-1945. Gedenkstätten zu Widerstand und Verfolgung, Exil, Befreiung, Wien 1998, S.409
- Gedenktafeln erinnern an zerstörte Synagogen. Zur Erinnerung an die „Reichskristallnacht, in: Rathauskorrespondenz der Stadt Wien, 8.6.1988, 13. 6. 1988
- Die Gemeinde, Offizielles Organ der Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde Wien, 8.7.1988
- Geschichte des Brigittenauer Isr. Tempelvereines (1873 – 1933), Wien 1933, Eigenverlag
Located in: Vienna