September 6, 2011
Ukraine razes the ruins of 16th century shul to build a hotel
The Ukraine government has begun the allegedly illegal demolition of a 16th century synagogue to build a hotel.
The ruins of the elaborate “Golden Rose synagogue, ” a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998, in the city of Lviv are being torn down to construct a hotel for the European soccer championships.
The synagogue was partially burnt down by the Nazis in 1941 with Jewish residents trapped inside. The Nazis destroyed 42 other synagogues in Lviv, which had a majority Jewish population in 1940.
Tom Gross wrote in the National Post that the demolition is illegal under Ukranian and international law. Gross witnessed the demolition.
According to Gross, Ukrainian law protects historic sites like the synagogue.
“It is not only morally wrong for bulldozers to drill through the last traces of this vibrant past without first giving the handful of remaining Jews here a chance to restore this site, or turn it into a place of memorial, It is legally wrong, too,” he wrote. “Ukraine’s own laws are designed to preserve such historic sites.”