Every spring, the above-ground bunker on Friedberger Anlage opens its heavy metal doors to interested visitors. You can visit the place on Wednesdays from 5 to 7 pm, Sundays from 11 am to 2 pm and by appointment. In 2023, the bunker is open from April 30.
Synagogue on Friedberger Anlage
In 1907 the synagogue of the Israelitische Religionsgesellschaft (IR, Israelite Religious Society) was inaugurated on this site. The splendid building had 1,000 seats for men and 600 on the balcony for women and was thus Frankfurt’s largest synagogue. On the exterior were decorative elements typical of the Art Nouveau or Jugendstil of the time.
"Der Israelit", August 29, 1907 on occasion of the inauguration
"New motifs, new groupings everywhere, and nowhere is there any overloading, but always a feeling for the necessity and for solemn and ceremonial sublimity."
The architecture of the synagogue of the Israelitische Religionsgesellschaft shows a transition from reform architecture with elements of Romanesque, Orientalism, and Art Nouveau.
The synagogue provided space for up to 1,000 men in the main room and 600 on the balcony for women.
View into the forecourt of the synagogue with its two big portals facing the Friedberger Anlage.
View of the main entrance of the synagogue.
Destruction During the November Pogroms
During the November progrom of 1938, Nazis also set fire to the synagogue on Friedberger Anlage. Shortly afterwards, the city administration had the building demolished. Within the framework of the so-called Führer’s Air Raid Protection Program, the National Socialists then built a bunker above-ground on the foundations of the synagogue.
Hedwig Kracauer to Siegfried Kracauer, November, 10, 1938
"We have just heard that the synagogue on Friedberger Anlage is on fire. This does nothing to improve our mood. Often I allow my imagination to wander aimlessly, but not even a wild imagination could come up with the kind of things that have happened in recent days."
Salomon Korn, chairman of the Jewish community in Frankfurt, once described the bunker as "a mark of violence, suffering and terror." And it does in fact look like a foreign body in the midst of its surroundings. During the last two years of the war, the civilian population sought shelter in that bunker against Allied air attacks. The Jews who still were living in Frankfurt at that point were prohibited from entering the bunker.
A Site of Remembrance and Learning Since 1988
Since 1988, the 9th November Initiative has regarded it as its task to publicize this authentic commemorative site with its multifaceted implications. In 2004, in cooperation with the Jewish Museum, the exhibition "East End. Taking a look into a Jewish Quarter" was installed in the bunker and has been accessible to the public under the auspices of the Initiative ever since. The members of the Initiative have turned this space into a meaningful site of remembrance and learning through additional exhibitions, events, contemporary witness reports, readings, discussions, and its own publications.
Until the National Socialist era, Frankfurt’s East End was a quarter populated by a large number of Jews. Various places and commemoration sites recall that history: the bunker on Friedberger Anlage; the memorial site at the Neue Börneplatz on the border to the eastern inner city; the memorial site opened at the Großmarkthalle in 2015; numerous so-called “stumbling block” artworks commemorating former residents on cobbled sidewalks; plaques outside former Jewish charitable institutions; various street names; and the memorial in front of the above-ground bunker built on the site of the former synagogue of the Israelite Religious Society.
Bunker at Friedberger Anlage
Opened today: 17:00 – 19:00
The High Bunker will be open every Wednesday from 5 p.m. ti 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting April 30, 2023.
Admission is free, donation appreciated
The bunker is not barrier-free.
Bunker at Friedberger Anlage
Friedberger Anlage 5/6
60314 Frankfurt am Main
Tram 14, U6 and U7 (RMV station Zoo)