The Synagogue of Laa (translation: clipping from a standard reference)


The following clipping is from the book “Synagogen in Oesterreich” (= “Synagogues in Austria”) of the Austrian synagogue expert Dr. Pierre Genee (published by Loecker, 1992). It takes me back to the very beginnings of my research, since Mr. Genee was one of the first people I contacted. The book was published many years before the renovation of the synagogue – when I was still in high school.

Text: “The Jewish Religious Community of Mistelbach also maintained Laa an der Thaya, where at least twenty-four Jewish families lived before 1938. At about the turn of the century there was a prayer room in the first floor of the building at the corner of Burgplatz – Kirchenplatz 16. Rabbis from other communities came occasionally to Laa for the services – one known by name was Dr. Gelbhaus from Vienna for the years 1908 and 1909.
The house at Burgplatz still exists today, but it is uninhabited and very rundown. Recently, Magdalena Müllner could inspect it. The exterior façade is typical Art Nouveau. The ornaments beyond the windowsills on the first floor are striking. They symbolize a seven-petaled plant and might hint at the original use of the house. The only remaining object is a collection box with the Hebrew writing “Mattan Beseter” (= a secret gift).

Laa an der Thaya, prayer room in the 1
st floor of the house Burgplatz/Kirchenplatz; picture taken before 1918
The house Kirchenplatz, at the present vacant, picture 1991