Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Jewish section

Today I visited the Jewish section of Prague. My experience of the day began with this older lady meticulously and carefully entering the date and price details on the ticket.
It was fortunate that I was not doing the sites in order, so I was ahead of the tour groups and had quiet in places that needed quiet. The first synagogue I entered was covered in the names of all those from Prague and Bohemia who had perished in the death camps. Names were listed by area, then alphabetically by name, with family members grouped together. Each person had their birthdate, and the last known contact date with them listed. The names covered the walls of the synagogue. Yet they represent only a fraction of the Jews exterminated overall.
There was another building that covered in detail all the burial customs the Jews practised, obviously of great cultural significance. None of these could take place for those exterminated.
There were many items of Jewish cultural significance displayed. Items used to reverence the Torah scrolls were prominent.
The Spanish synagogue with its rich decoration reminded me of being in Spain. It had many informative cases. Near the end were ones that dealt with the Holocaust, having actual forms and photos. Photos of people getting ready to be transported away were moving. There was a final case of some children's art that had me in tears. It had photos of the children concerned with their birth dates, and in every case their end was in Auchwitz. The art reminded me very much of the farewell pictures some children from school drew for me, that I have in the front of my trip diary. Our New Zealand children are so very fortunate in so many ways.
I needed some quiet sitting time after this last visit and fortunately there were some seats outside in a square and the sun was actually beginning to shine. (It got a lot warmer and I ended up with my jacket, raincoat, hat and gloves, and jersey in my backpack! - I nearly made a metro trip back to the hostel to get rid of them!)
I walked over a bridge and into Mala Strana. In another little square I found some tiny yellow crocuses bursting forth from the earth under some trees. A first sign of spring!!!
I had lunch at Grill U Seminaristy and had very good service there. Very reasonable prices and friendly waiters. When I walked back via the Charles Bridge the sun was shining strongly and there were some buskers out entertaining the crowd.
Discovered the internet cafe where I am writing this about 5 minutes walk from the hostel. Half the price of in town for an hour. Very friendly guy running it. Might be back in a day or two before I leave Prague!


  1. It always stuns me to remember that the Holocaust occured so recently and that other atrocities continue.

    The world is in need of as many acts of kindness as it can get.

    P. Del Ricci - Dark Glass

    PS - Thank you for your thoughts and kind message.

  2. I only just posted this and then see you have replied. We must be online at the same time in our different continents!