Sunday, March 11, 2012

Czech Republic -- Memorial plaque on former Kutna Hora synagogue

Kutna Hora former synagogue. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

A memorial plaque to Holocaust victims has been placed on the former synagogue in Kutna Hora, a charming town an hour's drive east of Prague that is famous for its silver mines and St. Barbara church.

"The plaque was the idea of Mr Marek Lauermann, a young person who is a descendant of a Jewish family that was one of the few from Kutná Hora who partially survived the Holocaust. Marek has long been active in this area, he has released several publications, and he had this memorial plaque designed with our cooperation," Mayor Ivo Šanc said.[...]  The Culture to the Town (Kultura do města) association in Kutná Hora has long been involved in preserving the history of the small Jewish community there, which has almost vanished from the memory of its residents. The association organized events as part of the Year of Jewish Culture and published the book "Jews in the Kutná Hora Area - Forgotten Neighbors" (Židé na Kutnohorsku - Zapomenutí sousedé).
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Kutna Hora former synagogue. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

Jews were barred from living in this mining town from 1568-1848. The surviving synagogue, at ul. Smiskova  619, was built in 1902 in Art Nouveau style. During World War II the Nazis derported the town's Jews to Terezin; few survived. During the war the synagogue was used as a factory making pipe organs. Since 1947 it has been used by the Hussite Church. Most of the decorative elements have been removed.


1 comment:

  1. very interesting information. thank you for posting this.