Excerpt from the "GEPPO - DER STADTBOTE" – Edition 07, Volume 51 – Wednesday, February 16, 2000

Treasures of the Göppingen Museums

"An ornament for our otherwise so modest little church" – The chandelier in the Jewish Museum

When the Jewish Museum was forming in the old church of Jebenhausen, there were already elements in the retired church that were witnesses to the history of Jewish life in the village— namely the church benches and the ceiling lights. These pieces of furniture were in use by the Christians until the closing of the protestant church in the year 1966. Centuries before these pieces belonged to the Jebenhausen Synagogue.

The Jewish Synagogue, built on the Boller Straße in 1804, was entirely renovated both inside and out in 1862. The furnishings of the synagogue were also updated— from the benches on to the eternal flame, Torah ornaments, as well as new ceiling lights. The latter consisted of five bronze candlesticks whose light illuminated the synagogue. The maker of the chandelier, Daniel Rosenthal, a pioneer of the corset industry in Germany, donated his work to the congegration.

When the Jebenhausen Jewish congregation dissolved due to the migration of many members at the end of the 19th century, the synagogue was sold for demolition. Valuable furnishings were partly relocated to the Göppingen Synagogue and partly given to a befriended Jewish congregation in Sonheim by Heilbronn. The protestant congregation of Jebenhausen had their eyes on the church pews and the chandelier. What the Christians wanted, they received as as a gift by the Jewish congregation. On Christmas 1905 the chandeliers shone from under the ceilings of the protestant church as "an ornament for our otherwise so modest little church," expressed the minister Spindler in a letter of thanks to the Jewish community.

Still today the chandeliers are in their chosen places of 1905 and form a strong connection between the old church building and the new museum function of the building. They are symbol for the livelihood of Jews and Christians in Jebenhausen. Directly over the middle of the chamber hangs the grandest chandelier, which marks the center— alone from the size. The extension arms are organized into two circular rows, which hold altogether 30 candles. The four other smaller chandelierts circle the center and hold between 16 and 8 candles each. Every chandelier is cast from bronze, gilded and shaped into flower or plant shapes. The branch-formed extension arms frame the smaller winding of ivy branches. This construction connects with a wreath of aneome blooms, which then hold the canles and give rise to the flame.

Archiv und Museen: Dr. Karl-Heinz Rueß

© Archiv und Museen der Stadt Göppingen