Home :: What Was Lost :: What was Saved :: Who Saved Them :: Where They Came From :: The Early Months :: Arrival of the Scrolls
Museum Virtual Tour :: The Tora :: About Scribes :: Creating a Scroll :: The Wandering Scribe :: Age of the Scrolls :: About Binders
The Art of the Binder :: The Binder Collection :: The Work Continues :: Where are the Scrolls now? :: Contacts :: The Scrolls World
Photo: Memorial Scrolls Trust. Peter Day
Picture of scrolls on shelves
Sorting of the ritual objects on their arrival in Prague
Photo: Archive of the Jewish Museum in Prague

Who Saved Them

The legend that there was a Nazi plan to create a ‘museum to an extinct race’ in Prague has never been proved. The saving of the Jewish treasures of Bohemia and Moravia should be credited instead to a devoted group of Jews from Prague’s Jewish Community and to what had become the Central Jewish Museum in Prague. Working in desperate conditions, they nevertheless proposed to bring to the Museum the possessions of provincial Jewry, which lay at the mercy of vandals and plunderers. Without this Jewish initiative the plan would never have come into being.

See: “ The Jewish Museum in Prague During the Second World War” by Leo Pavlat – European Judaism Vol. 41, No. 1 Spring 2008 pp 124 – 130. Publ. Berghahn Journals. www.berghahnbooks.com or http://journals.berghahnbooks.com/ej/

The Jews working in the community hoped that these treasures would be protected and might one day be returned to their original homes. All the Museum’s curators were eventually transported to Terezin and Auschwitz, with only two survivors. Their legacy and their gift to the Jewish world was the vast catalogued collection in what later again became the Jewish Museum in Prague.

The 1,564 Czech Memorial Scrolls which were purchased from the Czechoslovak Communist state and taken back into Jewish hands in 1964 by Westminster Synagogue, symbolise the dedication, vision and courage of the initiators' plan and the teams of specialist curators who were recruited to implement it.