Local Nazis caused severe damages in the synagogue in November 1938. When seven years later the Nazis surrendered there were no more Jews in Hainsfarth and until today nothing has changed. The building was used as gymnasium of the local sports club or as storage room and there also was a plan to convert it into a church. However in early 1980s until 1996 the building was restored, paintings and also the inscriptions were recreated – certainly with good intent. Maybe this also applies to the architectural design of the former aron kodesh, which wasn’t restored “in order to leave a wound”, as Mr. Gerhard Wittig a member of the “Freundeskreis” who lives next to building explained us emphatically. The idea was not to make out that “nothing has happened”.
Since there are no Jews in Hainsfarth as well as there are no intentions to invite some of the many new Russian Jewish immigrants to live in Hainsfarth, that is not objectionable. If there are no Jews you also need no synagogue and hence no restored Torah ark, of course. On the other hand the same intention appears to be the last resort, the copestone of the past. So finally where once the Torah scrolls leaned against the wall, there now is a memorial plate in order to commemorate 20 Jewish “Mitbuerger” of Hainsfarth who between 1942 and 1945 in Theresienstadt (Terezín) “fell victim” to the “annihilation mania” (Vernichtungswahn) of the National socialists.
?.. האם זה חילול השם
Well, of course it is at least appropriate to remember the murdered residents of Hainsfarth, who obviously were offspring of Jews who lived in the village and region for generations and centuries. But what is the message of setting such a memorial plate at the very spot where the Torah scrolls had been before?
Wasn’t there any other place inside or outside that building? Well, of course is no synagogue anymore, but … it still sailes exactly under that flag, since otherwise maybe there was no chance to get stately subsidies for a “cultural center” in a rural village?
Is it the brand logo of “new religion” which replaces the Torah by Holocaust?
Admittedly it has been a most dreadful sight, which all things considered is a mockery of Judaism in the name of the murdered Jews of Hainsfarth and the initial idea of “leaving a wound” … well, obviously works, at least if employed on observant Jews.
However, Mr. Wittig on the other hand on several queries told that the idea had been that of two former Jews from Hainsfarth, Solomon and Meir Steinharter, who about the same time dedicated another plate to thank Mr. Max Engelhardt the venerable mayor of Hainsfarth for his “tireless efforts” … Mr. Solomon Steinharter, as Mr. Wittig told, took the (only?) Torah scroll of Hainsfarth which “survived” the Nazi rule to his home in Israel. That of course is quite reasonable at a practical level, if there is one … or was one: The two brothers were born in 1907 and 1911, so there is no immidiatley obvious way to confirm the information. The two tables do not mention any of it.