Halberstadt

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Liebfrauenkirche_Halberstadt.jpg
Liebfrauenkirche

Halberstadt is a city in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. It was made an episcopal see in 814 and was a popular trade point in the 13th century to 14th century. It was annexed by Brandenberg in 1648. The city was severely damaged in World War 2. Notable places in Halberstadt include the St. Stephen Cathedral and Liebfrauenkirche, churches built in the 13th century and 12th century, respectively.

In the 17th century, Halberstadt had one of the largest Jewish communities in central Europe. At the time, nearly one in twelve of the town's inhabitants, almost 700 people, were Jewish. One of the town's brightest stars was Berend Lehmann, who brought new life to the community.

One example of Lehmann's work was the impressive synagogue he financed in Bakenstrasse, which was completed in 1712. In 1938 after Kristallnacht most of the building was taken down as the attack on it was said to have left it in danger of falling down.

A short distance from the synagogue, in the Rosenwinkel alley, Lehmann also had a house built for students of Judaism, with a collection of theological writings. This building, known as the "Klaus", was where many important students of the Talmud and rabbis were taught. The "Klaus" gave Halberstadt the reputation of being an important centre for the study of the Torah. Today the Moses Mendelssohn Academy is based there; this organises exhibitions, congresses and presentations and provides a wide range of information about the Jewish culture and way of life.


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