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    Cantor Arnold Schultz

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  • Czechoslovakian Project
    Background Information

    • Jews have lived in Czechoslovakia since about 1200 C.E. (Common Era)

    • The Jewish community covered towns and cities of all sizes

    • By 1930, many of the younger Jews has left the smaller towns for the more urban lifestyles of Prague.

    • While the invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Nazis did not follow their usual tactics of burn and destroy when it came to the Jews. Torah scrolls, works of synagogue art and ceremonial objects were gathered together in Prague to form a planned museum of the lost race of the Jews. The scolls, 1562 of them, later were released to a memorial trust in London after the war. The ceremonial objects remain in Czechoslovakia; rooms of tapestries, silver and gold ceremonial objects and books too numerous to display. These are really the property of the emptied synagogues, synagogues without congregations.

    • In 1942, all of the Jews in Czechoslovakia were rounded up by the Nazi forces and sent to death camps. In most of the communities, no Jews survived. Today, a very small Jewish community exists in Prague.

    • Many synagogues in Great Britain and the United States which are the caretakers of the scrolls from these towns, have adopted the towns as their own in order to keep alive the memory of these forgotten and martyred congregations.

    • Some of the old synagogues, like the one in Kojetin, were saved by a Protestant church group and have been preserved and reused by the Christian congregations. Many individuals have done selfless acts to maintain the cemetaries and buildings of the Jews who are gone. Some congregations of Gentiles hold yearly memorial services to remember their Jewish neighbors.

    • The synagogues which have chosen to twin themselves with the empty congregations of Czechoslovakia, wish to remember the men, women and children who were so cruelly murdered and those righteous Gentiles who work to preserve their memory.
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