The Great, The Absent

Written by: Jewish Historical Institute

This Thursday, 16th May, is the 70th anniversary of the blowing-up of the Great Synagogue in Tłomackie. Today, we would like to invite you to the ceremonial events commemorating the building, the destruction of which was a symbolic act of the end of the existence of the Jewish Quarter of Warsaw. We are meeting on 16th May at 6pm in front of the JHI’s headquarters building. With the accompaniment of songs composed by cantors from Tłomackie, and sung by the choir of Wroclaw’s White Stork Synagogue we will walk to the architectural reconstruction of this part of Warsaw, where the Great Synagogue used to reign. Immediately after the ceremony we will announce the results and award the winners of the competition for the commemoration of the Great Synagogue. Then, we will present the post-contest exhibition. The spatial installation will be on display for the next three months.


“The synagogue itself is being made of plywood, whereas the wall of the square will be made of panels covered with photographic reproductions of the original photos from the times when the square existed. Here, the facades of the houses are flat, but the temple will be an abstract, three-dimensional model. On the floor we are going to place black signs and the description of tram routes as well as the names of the streets according to the pre-war city map,” about the artistic installation talks Jan Strumiłło.

The installation is an opportunity to see a fragment of the old city and 1:10 scale will allow us to assess the proportions and appearance of the former Tłomackie square.The abstract way of the construction of the model is not supposed to imitate the original — it shall only show the scale. It is impossible to recreate the beauty of the former Synagogue, but the beauty of the wooden model is real and available now.

Join us!

Jewish Historical Institute