On 16th May, 2013 it will be 70 years since the demolition of the Great Synagogue in Tłomackie. The destruction of the building under the command of Jurgen Stroop was a symbolic act marking the end of the existence of the Jewish district in Warsaw. The Great Contest is an occasion to bring memory of this event. If you are interested in entering the contest, you need to create a conceptual design of, for example, a scenario of an event commemorating the opening day of the synagogue or the day of its destruction. It is also possible to create architectural design.
The building of the Judaist Library was built next to the synagogue. It survived the war and is now the seat of the Jewish Historical Institute. Today, the area surrounding the Tłomackie Street is one of the most well-known places on Warsaw’s city map. Bank Square, the monument of Juliusz Słowacki, the headquarters of the President of Warsaw, the underground station and the Blue Tower (Błękitny Wieżowiec) have all drastically changed the surrounding of the pre-war Tłomackie Street as well as formerly neighbouring Nalewki Street, which was immortalized by literature and painting.
After the war, the synagogue was expected to be rebuilt. However, in the 1950s a new plan of Bank Square was designed and the idea was given up. The Blue Tower was built in the place of the synagogue. Nowadays, there is no trail of the former presence of the synagogue in the urban space. Only old photographs can bring it back.
That is the reason why we announce a contest for a conceptual design, which aims to mark and commemorate the presence (or rather the absence) of the Great Synagogue in the urban space. We also wish to commemorate the residents of Warsaw, the supporters of Reform Judaism who were often distinguished citizens of the city. This way, we wish to honour Jewish Warsaw, not buried with the symbolic act of blowing-up the synagogue.
What kind of conceptual designs can be submitted for the contest?
It is possible to submit all kinds of ideas, conceptual designs from a scenario of an event commemorating the opening day of the synagogue or the day of its destruction, as well as architectural designs, which will permanently mark the absence of the Great Synagogue in the urban space. We invite all those creative and interested in the history we all share!
Competition rules and the application form available on website.