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
A design sketch thought to be by Mr Zelenka.
Source: Memorial Scrolls Trust
Frantisek Zelenka (1904-1944)

An architect and noted theatrical designer. He was recruited to help implement the plan once the stream of artefacts began to arrive. He was responsible for the artistic design of the war-time exhibitions although they were not intended to be seen by the general public.
Frantisek Zelenka. Photo: Archive of the Jewish Museum in Prague

Hana Volavkova (1904-1985)

The only curator at the Central Jewish Museum who survived the war. She saved the Museum in the after-war chaos, becoming its Director under the Communist regime in 1950. Being an art historian, she assisted Josef Polák in preparing an exhibition in 1943 on the history of the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia and completed an exhibition about Prague Jews in 1944 after Polák had been arrested and Jakobovits and most of the staff deported. After 1945, she fought to keep the collections intact, but the Communist regime allowed the sale of some items, leading to Westminster Synagogue’s acquisition of the Scrolls.
Hana Volavkova. Photo: Archive of the Jewish Museum in Prague

Frantisek Weidmann (1910-1944)

Chairman of the Prague Jewish Community, he represented it on behalf of the Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung and led the negotiations regarding the establishment of the Central Jewish Museum. He hired Josef Polák to become the museum specialist of the CJM.
Frantisek Weidmann. Photo: Archive of the Jewish Museum in Prague


Dr. Josef Polak (1886-1945)

Professional museologist and former Director of the State Museum in Kosice who returned to Prague in 1938. He was appointed to take charge of the cataloguing operation for the incoming mass of artefacts. He set up the card index system and established the meticulous rules and procedures that ensured consistent methodology even as members of museum staff were being deported and replaced. He curated most of the war-time museum exhibitions. “Protected” by a mixed marriage, he was arrested for his activities in the resistance movement and in January 1945 he disappeared in Auschwitz.
Dr Josef Polak. Photo: Archive of the Jewish Museum in Prague