Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Prague IV (The Josefov)


Take a day, at least, to enjoy properly Prague's Jewish Quarter, or should I say, the Josefov. Along your journey through the six Synagogues, you'll learn the Jews History in the Czech Lands and experience some unforgettable moments.


Helaas, it is not allowed to photograph inside the Synagogues. I only managed  - and I needed to be very quick- to take one photo of the Spanish Synagogue. This Synagogue (1868)  took its name from its Moorish decorative elements.

From Prague Buildings

A visit to the Old Jewish cemetery was also included in the itinerary. Considered the most visited monument in Prague, it's the largest and best preserved Jew's cemetery in whole Europe.

From Prague 2012

We went there after visiting Pinkas Synagogue where we experienced the most touching moments of this journey.

Pinkas is dedicated to the Jewish Holocaust victims from Bohemia and Moravia.
In the main nave, we find their names together with their dates of birth and death. This was like a punch in the stomach and I couldn't avoid some tears.
A lady was praying there and, looking at her, I felt ashamed fot what happened in the Holocaust. I thought about the families and all that they had been through....

Another impressive moment would follow, while seeing the children's drawings of Theresienstadt concentration camp. Each drawing is presented with the name (and sometimes the photo) of the child who made it. Each and every child become suddenly very real to us. Looking at their photos - those happy smile photos- taken months or years before their arrival to Theresienstadt, it's difficult to imagine them imprisoned in the concentration camp.

In the room, everybody walked in a very silent way. After a while, I needed to leave the room to get some breath. I stood nearby the window in the corridor and from there, the view of the Old Jew cemetery gave me some sense of peace. A couple of minutes later I was able to return to the room again.

From Prague 2012

Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (a former pupil of Paul Klee and a Bahaus graduate) was the artist and Art teacher who created the drawing classes for the children in Theresienstadt concentration camp. In September 1944, her husband was transported to Auschwitz and she volunteered for the next transport to join him. But before she was taken away, she gave to the chief tutor of the Girls' Home L 410, two suitcases with 4,500 drawings. F. Dicker-Brandeis died in Birkenau on 9 October 1944. After the war, the children's drawings were recovered and handed over to the Jewish Museum in Prague.

Theresienstadt is located nearby the Czech capital. You can schedule a visit to the camp, if you wish to. In the Synagogue's reception, they will give you all the information you need for.
...
Already outside, I could relax a bit more, after such an impressive visit. I let myself to be enchanted and overwhelmed by the outstanding Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Baroque and Art Nouveau building façades of the Jewish quarter. In a certain way, I felt I was in Paris. Our visit to the Marais crossed my mind for a couple of seconds. I shared it here with you, remember? :-)


From Prague Buildings

From Prague Buildings

I ended my day looking at the clear bue sky and at the Sun effects in those beautiful buildings in the Josefov.

The word "HOPE" crossed my mind for a while, as well as the words of Pablo Neruda:

"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming."



(to be continued)

2 comments:

Aledys Ver said...

This part of your visit to Prague was most touching, Sandrinha, especially looking at all those pictures made by the kids that then later were taken to the concentration camp. Really sad!!

ana said...

Sandra,
Sublinho o comentário de Aledys.
É tocante toda esta reportagem fotográfica. Recordei Budapeste e a viagem pela sinagoga, cemitério e locais de residência judaica.
Tudo muito bonito.
Deve ter sido uma viagem belíssima!:)
Beijinho. :)