Our Holocaust Scroll
Scroll number MST#1169 and the Scroll is from Pardubice in the Czech Republic.
The Scroll is on permanent loan from the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London. Please visit there website at www.memorialscrollstrust.org
Ensure our future by remembering the past.
How the Holocaust Scrolls came to be:
After the start of Jewish deportations in 1942, a group of Jews at the Jewish Museum in Germanoccupied Prague submitted a plan to the Nazis to save the precious objects in the synagogues by bringing them to the museum to be catalogued and preserved. We will never know the real reason the Nazis agreed to this plan, but transport companies were given permission to bring Torah Scrolls, religious treasures in gold, silver and textile, along with historic archives and thousands of books from over 100 synagogues, to Prague. Word went out to synagogues in the Czech countryside in 1942: Bring your Torah scrolls and other religious objects to Prague, where they will be safer at the Central Jewish Museum. More than 100,000 items were eventually received by the newlynamed Central Jewish Museum. They swelled the museum’s collection fourteen-fold, requiring 40 storage buildings, many of which were deserted Prague synagogues. The Nazis had the intention of making the Torahs relics in a proposed museum of the ‘extinct Jewish race.’ The Nazis sent the people who meticulously catalogued those treasures to the death camps. Bohemia and Moravia, regions that today make up most of the Czech Republic, had been under brutal Nazi control for three years. Three more murderous years lay ahead. Jews had lived in the towns and villages of Moravia and Bohemia since the late 10th century, thriving in vibrant communities in spite of various forms of persecution. During the 19th century, they gradually became emancipated and civil equality was granted. Unfortunately, that ended with the Nazi occupation
following the Munich Agreement of 1938. The Jewish population of Bohemia and Moravia was virtually annihilated between 1939 and 1945, over 77,000 or approximately 84.8% of their numbers murdered. According to the Encyclopedia Judaica: “6,392 had died in Theresienstadt, 64,172 had been murdered in the extermination camps, and of the Jews who had not been deported, 5,201 had either been executed, committed suicide, or died a natural death”. On the day of the Prague (the Prague Uprising,) May 5, 1945, there were 2,803 Jews alive in Bohemia and Moravia who had not been deported, most of them partners
of mixed marriages. But 1,564 Torah Scrolls would endure. The Germans were defeated and the Torah scrolls were safe. But unfortunately, in 1948, after less than three years of Czech freedom, the Communists staged a coup and took over the government. The revival of Jewish life was stifled and the Prague Jewish Museum came under government control. Hundreds of rescued Torah scrolls languished as state property. The Communists had dumped many of them in an old synagogue where conditions were poor – no better than a damp warehouse. That didn’t bode well for their survival. But the scrolls were durable, written on animal-skin parchment, some already more than 200 years old. see below for complete brochure –