I. Buildings Integral to the Former Life and/or Persecution of Jews in Hamburg - Neustadt/St. Pauli.
© Wilhelm Mosel, Deutsch-jüdische Gesellschaft Hamburg.
20. Rear of Nos. 12 and 13 Poolstraße.
The former "second" Temple of the New Israelite Temple Society was built in 1844 by the architect J.H. Klees-Wülbern. It was situated in the courtyard behind Nos. 12 and 13 Poolstraße, with access through a narrow passageway between the two houses.
By the end of the 1820s the Temple in the former Bunnenstraße had become too small to accommodate its members. Around 1840 the Temple Society had around 800 members, representing approximately 10% of Hamburg Jews.
Initially the Hamburg authorities, in accordance with the senior rabbi of the German-Israelite Community Isaac Bernays, opposed the new building, but finally the Hamburg Senat approved its construction.
Prior to the building of this Temple the almemar was situated between the pulpit and the Torah shrine. With this second Temple the pulpit was situated directly in front of the Torah shrine and directly behind the almemar. The positioning in the eastern side of the building remained the same. There was also a common entrance for both men and women.
Despite the mixed architectural style of the building the façade gave an impression
of the Gothic style, a further sign of the community's desire to assimilate to the
Shortly before the opening of the second Temple in 1844 Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)
wrote the following verses:
"Die Juden teilen sich wieder ein
Die Neuen essen Schweinefleisch,
When the new (third) Temple in Oberstraße was opened in 1931 the differences between orthodox and liberal Jews, as expressed by Heine in the above verses, were long since less pronounced.
What follows are short descriptions of two of the Temple Associations preachers/rabbis:
Dr. David Leimdörfer (1851-1922), took up office as preacher in 1883. By this time
the enthusiasm over the reforms made to the service had long dissapated. Temple attendance
had become increasingly restricted to religious holidays, at which times the Temple was
overcrouded. Dr. David Leimdörfer's sermons gave many the impetus to attend the Temple, but
this also fell away over the years.
Dr. Friedrich Rülf, succeeded Sonderlings as rabbi in 1922. He was an advocate for
the younger generation who sought new values, as long as they had not joined the Zionists.
He reassumed the title of rabbi. He immediately sought to hold services in Hebrew. In his
sermons he appealed to the community to return to the traditional values of Judaism. His
departure from Hamburg in 1926 was particularly regretted by the younger generation. He was
a welcome guest at social evenings given by the "Blau-Weiß", the jüdische Jugendbünde
(Jewish Youth Federation) and the "Kameraden", the deutsch-jüdische Wanderbund (German
Jewish Ramblers' Federation) as he never thrust himself into the limelight.
The last rabbi of the Temple in Poolstraße was Dr. Bruno Italiener (1881-1956), who took up office in 1928. He continued office in the new (third) Temple in Oberstraße in 1931. He emigated to London in 1938, where he died in 1956.
Today parts of the Temple remain: the lower part of the façade with its portal arch and
part of the east wall with its apse.
History of the building:
German text: Dipl.-Pol. Wilhelm Mosel, Deutsch-Jüdische Gesellschaft, Hamburg.