About Nozyk Synagogue
The Nożyk Synagogue is the only pre-war synagogue in Warsaw to have survived the Nazi occupation of the city. Located in what would have been the central point of the Jewish quarter, the synagogue is a defiant symbol of what was lost as a result of the Holocaust’s devastation, and a central place for worship for the city’s Jewish community.
History of Nozyk Synagogue
When Hitler’s invading troops entered Warsaw (September 29, 1939), the city’s Jewish population numbered about 370,000 (about one third of the total), making it the world’s largest Jewish centre after New York.
Hundreds of synagogues and prayer houses were then in existence, including the monumental Great Synagogue on Tlomackie Street which the Nazis blew up in mid-May 1943 to mark their victory over the Warsaw Ghetto fighters.
Only one Jewish place of worship survived the devastation of World War II – the Nożyk Synagogue located at 6 Twarda Street. The Germans had converted the building for use as a stables and storage house and it was therefore saved from the general destruction.
Built in a neo-Romanesque style, on the initiative of Zalman and Rywka Nożyk, it was consecrated in 1902. Though damaged during the German withdrawal, the site was once again used as a synagogue after the war, and after a period of reconstruction between 1977 and 1983, was again reopened in 1983.
Nozyk Synagogue Today
Fully restored between 1977 and 1983, the Nozyk Synagogue is now open for worship as well as organising joint celebrations of the Sabbath and other Jewish holidays and providing lectures. It remains at the very centre of the Jewish community in the city.
Getting to Nozyk Synagogue
From the centre of Warsaw, the Nozyk Synagogue is a 12 minute drive vi al. Jerozolimskie/DW631 and al. Jana Pawła II. There are also a number of public transport options – alight at the Emilii Plater stop, and walk about 10 minutes to reach the site. From the centre of Warsaw, the site is a scenic 25 minute walk via Marszałkowska.
Contributed by Dr. G A Sivan, Jerusalem