Prague, June 26 (CTK) – A Czech project called ‘Seeking the lost face of Jewish cemeteries’ wants to map out the destiny of the tombstones that vanished from them and to obtain the cemeteries’ 20th-century photographs with the aid of the public, the project’s initiators have said.
The public can help elucidate one of the so far not too well described and explored chapters of the history of the Jewish community in the Czech Republic.
During the Nazi occupation and during the Communist regime, several dozens of Jewish cemeteries were completely destroyed.
“Even though the past 28 years have been much more positive for the Jewish cemeteries as many were successfully repaired and even restored, it is an undisputable fact that there has been no attention paid so far to the across-the-board collection of documentation on these monuments from the broad public,” Jakub Ded, from the Omnium association organising the information campaign, has said.
The project took inspiration from a campaign within which lost tombstones were sought from the Jewish cemetery in Prostejov, central Moravia, in 2015-2016.
More information on the current project can be found on www.bejtolam.cz. The information gathered will be used for professional care for the Jewish heritage, its description and education of the public.
The Federation of Jewish Communities (FJC) in the Czech Republic together with the Matana company are the campaign’s partners. It has been dedicated to the restoration and maintenance of Jewish cemeteries in the long-term. Lately, it has been obtaining the documentation on the tombstones in place.
The project was financially supported by the Culture Ministry and Czech-German Fund for the Future.
According to the Omnium, there are about 365 Jewish cemeteries in the Czech Republic. In three quarters of them, more than 10 percent of the tombstones were missing in the early 1990s. They were used as stonemason’s or construction material, for example in river beds, pavements, garden fences and cellars.