The Great Choral Synagogue in Riga, colloquially known as the Gogol-Schule due to its location, was designed by Paul von Hardenack and erected in the years 1868–1871. It was a Neo-Renaissance building incorporating elements of other architectural styles. It was considered the largest and most beautiful synagogue in Riga and was famous for its distinguished cantors and choir, attracting listeners of other faiths. The building was burnt down by the Germans on 4 July 1941. It is believed that the fire killed ca. 20 women and children, Jewish refugees from Lithuania who were locked in the basement of the synagogue. The burning building was filmed for the Wehrmacht film chronicle, with responsibility for arson attributed to the Soviets (“GPU commissars”).

After 1945, the remains of the synagogue were completely demolished. A place of remembrance was set up at its site in the 1990s.

 

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