Czech Republic / Landmark
The Great Synagogue of Pilsen is the third largest in Europe and fifth largest worldwide. During World War II, it was seized by the Nazi state and the towers were used for anti-aircraft observation.
At the beginning of the occupation of Pilsen, the synagogue was used as a storehouse for confiscated Jewish property. Later it was used as a factory to produce uniforms for German soldiers.
After World War II, it was returned to the Jewish community of Pilsen and used as a place of worship until 1973. In 1973 it was classified as a historic monument and was partially reconstructed. During the restoration, a bullet was discovered lodged into one of the tablets of the Ten Commandments next to “Thou shalt not kill” – a remnant of the battle to liberate the city in 1945.
Behind the synagogue in the park named after Pilsen-born actor Miroslav Horníček, a mini-memorial can be found made from the parts of the original pylons of the “Thank you, America!” memorial in central Pilsen.