During Kristallnacht, between November 9th and 10th, 1938, the Nazis tried to set the building on fire. One policemen standing in the neighborhood managed to prevent the fire, claiming that the building was for preservation. However, the fate of the building haunted him. In 1943, the synagogue was destroyed by Allied bombings. Its reconstruction began only a few decades later, in 1988.
Today the synagogue is not active, but you can find the Centrum Judaicum, which is a Jewish Cultural Center. The museum also has a permanent exhibition that presents the life of the Jews in the city, changing exhibitions that teach about Jewish history and contemporary art, as well as a historical archives. In the main hall there are 3,200 seats for worshipers who used to come here in the past.
The design of the synagogue is a tribute to the architecture of the Iberian Peninsula. On the façade of the building you will see colored stones and terra cotta, and the caption: "Open the gates and bring the righteous, the guard of the faithful" (Yeshayahu 26:2) The width of the front is 29 meters and the length of the synagogue is 97 meters. This building is one of the first built in Berlin in the modern era using modern construction methods.
The Orthodox Rabbis did not allow any kind of organ use in the synagogue, neither on the Sabbath nor on weekdays.
Reformist Rabbi Abraham Geiger, on the other hand, ridiculed the situation. In 1862 it was determined that playing an organ on the Sabbath by a gentile does not violate or contradict the Halakhah.