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Leipzig and its empty chairs that remind us of what should have never happened..

Leipzig is a German city, the largest in the state of Saxony, located southeast of Berlin. Its name comes from the word 'Lipsk' (Sorbian language, Slavic language), which means 'settlement where linden trees grow.'

I was able to visit Leipzig, walk its streets, and enjoy its colorful flowers on every café corner. However, the dark past of its more recent history related to the Holocaust dims its beauty. There is much to tell about its history and the Jewish presence, with the first records dating back to the late 12th century.

Before World War II, Leipzig was home to around 14,000 Jews and constituted one of the centers with the largest Jewish population in Germany. Deportations from Leipzig began in January 1942 and continued until February 1945 when the last deportation of 220 Jews to the Theresienstadt 'campo-ghetto' took place.

Monument commemorating the 14,000 Jewish victims killed by fascist terror.
Monument commemorating the 14,000 Jewish victims killed by fascist terror.

On the 'Night of Broken Glass' (Kristallnacht) on November 9, 1938, more than 500 men from the Jewish community were arrested, Jewish institutions and centers were destroyed, and the Leipzig Synagogue of Moorish Revival style from 1855 was set on fire.

Leipzig Synagogue
Leipzig Synagogue

Of that synagogue, nothing remains. Today, in this place, there stands a monument that remembers it.

Empty bronze chairs monument at leipzig
Empty bronze chairs - Monument

There are 140 empty bronze chairs, arranged in an installation on the same site where the synagogue once stood. Located at Synagogendenkmal, Zentralstrasse 4, surrounded by buildings and cafes, they are there to remember what should have never happened.

An innocent and vibrant bird perches on the cold stage fence while the city flows with the indelible marks of horror.

Emty bronze chairs - Monument
Emty bronze chairs - Monument

"The Buffum Report -

Report from the United States Consul, David Buffum, in Leipzig on the violence against Jews during the 'Night of Broken Glass' on November 9, 1938.

Publication Date: November 21, 1938 Photocopy of the original document Source: Internet Archive"

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