What was Saved

The arrival of religious treasures in Prague

The arrival of religious treasures in Prague

In 1942, a group of members of Prague’s Jewish community devised a way to bring the religious treasures from the deserted communities and destroyed synagogues to the comparative safety of Prague.  The Nazis were persuaded to accept the plan and more than 10,000 artefacts were brought to the Museum.  Among them were about 1,800 Torah scrolls.  Each was meticulously recorded. labelled and entered on a card index by the Museum’s staff with a description of the Scroll and the place it had come from.

After the war, they were transferred to the ruined synagogue at Michle outside Prague where they remained until they came to London.  Some fifty congregations re-established themselves in the Czech Republic and were provided with religious artefacts, not necessarily from their own communities.  When the Communists took over the government of the country in 1948, Jewish communal life was again stifled, and most synagogues were closed. Their possessions went to the newly refounded Jewish Museum of Prague.

The Federation of Czech Communities has since restored some of the synagogues; others have had the help of private initiatives.

Czech Scrolls