White Stork Synagogue
The White Stork Synagogue designed by the German architect Carl Ferdinand Langhans was built in 1829 from the initiative of liberal Jews. It soon became the main synagogue of Wroclaw, and in 1872 it was given over to the orthodox fraction. During the Kristallnacht on the 9-10 November 1938, the interior was mutilated by the Nazi militia. The temple was not burnt down, however, and during the war the building functioned as an automotive repair workshop and warehouse for the Jewish property stolen by the Third Reich. After the war the Jews who had settled in Wroclaw still used the synagogue for prayer. The discriminating politics of the communist regime in Poland, the subsequent emigration waves and acts of vandalism, all contributed to a gradual decline of the building. In 1974 it was taken over by the Polish State and soon went to rack and ruin. In 1996 it was given over to the reborn Jewish Community, which managed to carry out preliminary renovation. In 2005, from the initiative of Bente Kahan, a Norwegian artists of Jewish origin, the Center for Jewish Culture and Education in the White Stork Synagogue was founded. The Bente Kahan Foundation, established a year after, obtained funds for the renovation of the synagogue.
Since 2010 the synagogue is an active site of prayer. Apart from the Jewish celebrations, it hosts concerts, performances, film screenings, and conferences, as well as temporary and permanent exhibitions. The main room is equipped with an auditorium for 400 spectators.