Today we were lucky enough to visit the Prague Old Town Jewish Quarter. Although it is no longer home to the Jewish population of the Czech Republic, the quarter's synagogues still holds a great amount of history through their museums.
Today we were lucky enough to visit the Prague Old Town Jewish Quarter. Although it is no longer home to the Jewish population of the Czech Republic, the quarter's synagogues still holds a great amount of history through their museums. The first one we visited was the Maisel Synagogue. This museum (pictured below) told the story of how the Jewish population was treated at the beginning of the Nazi era. There were many interactive exhibits that showed how prominent the Jewish population was during this time, and how they were isolated from the outside world.
The next museum we visited was the Pinkas Synagogue. This synagogue has the names of 80,000 innocent men, women, and children who were victims of the Nazi genocide between 1939 and 1945 inscribed on the walls. These Czech and Moravian Jews do not have graves, and would otherwise be forgotten without this exhibit. Written in red is the family name, followed by the name of each individual and the date of their birth and death written in black (pictured below). Upstairs in the synagogue were pictures drawn by children held in the concentration camps. The pictures portrayed different aspects of their lives' including their longing to leave the quarter and rejoin society.
After exiting the Pinkas Synagogue, we walked around the Jewish Cemetery. The ground of the cemetery was uneven and sloped as around 178,000 graves were piled on top of each other (pictured below).
Next, we visited the Old New Synagogue. This is the oldest synagogue in central Europe and is also a valuable European and Jewish monument. Dated back to the end of the 13th century, the Old New Synagogue is still used by the Jewish population of Czech Republic.
Lastly, we visited the Spanish Synagogue. This was built in 1868, making it the newest in the Prague Jewish Town. It is famous for its intricate Moorish interior design.
Seeing the old Jewish Quarter first hand was a very eye-opening experience. It is one thing to learn about Nazi Germany in class, but it is completely heartbreaking to read the names and see the pictures in person.