The Heteronomy of Urban Design
Special thanks to Prof. Alfred Jacoby
The Neue Synagoge in Darmstadt (designed by Alfred Jacoby, 1988) encapsulates the story of the German Jewish community of the postwar era. It exhibits a strong ethnic identity in a place where ethnic minorities were persecuted only half a century before, and acts as the beating heart of the reconstructed community - which was deprived of its own place of worship for decades.
This short graphic novel attempts to unfold the narrative as portrayed by the building’s design. It moves between memory and reality, traumatic history and faith in life, ongoing fear and persistent hope.
The story is based on a conversation that took place in March 2021 between Alfred Jacoby and myself. This work is dedicated with great respect to him, and to the members of the Jewish community in Darmstadt.