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Monday, September 29, 2008

Prague. The Jewish Quarter, Josefov, Dusni Synagogue

Places from the Jewish Quarter, FN 1, in the Diary:

1. Dusni Synagogue (Spanish Synagogue). Petr writes that at Dusni Synagogue, German vans were moving equipment out of the building, and Jews were in working clothes (doing the work?) Page 49.

This is a photo of the Spanish Synagogue on Dusni Street, built in 1868 in Moorish style. www.thetravelzine.com/ejht6.htm. It is an "ornate Sephardi shul." See www.dailyjews.com/articles/237_prague_s_jewish_year.htm. Read about synagogues, as a start, at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synagogue

There has been a synagogue on this site since the 12th Century.  The Spanish Jews who worshipped here early on, moved to Holland and others altered it to meet their needs. In 1836, it became a  Reformed place of worship. See ://www.pragueeventscalendar.cz/en/sights/spanish-synagogue-prague-1229

2. Norimberska Street(?). The legal department of the Jewish community was at Norimberska Street. Page 16. We could not find the street.

3. Josefovka Street. Petr works in a typewriter repair shop at Josefovka Street. Page 17. Josefov is the Jewish Quarter, See www.pragueexperience.com/places.asp?PlaceID=597. Josefovka Street was named after the enlightened Joseph II who gave civil rights to the Jews in the 18th century. He also built the garrison at Terezin - Theresienstadt, that later, ironically, served as their step to the death camps. http://www.scrapbookpages.com/CzechRepublic/Prague/Josefov/JosefovHistory.html.

3. Smichov Synagogue. Petr went with his grandmother to Smichov Synagogue. Page 29. In 1941, it was closed and the Nazis used it to house confiscated Jewish property. In the 1950's, it was a warehouse. It was returned to the Jewish Community after the fall of communism, 199-94. The building has been largely reconstructed now, and will house a study and bookstore, but will not serve as a synagogue. See www.jewishmuseum.cz/en/asmichov.htm.

This was not an upscale neighborhood. Adjectives for it at the time include grimy, sordid, and factories smoke-belching. See www.radio.cz/en/article/39803/limit.

4. Lublanska Street. The Jewish hospital was at Lublanska Street. Page 85. We find no hospital there now. There was an Earth Day celebration on Lublanska Street, /archiv.radio.cz/listings/fest.html, and violin-makers, www.housle-vavra.cz/en/history.php; and hotelsgardensteashops.
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FN 1
The Jewish Quarter has a long history. See www.scrapbookpages.com/CzechRepublic/Prague/Josefov/JosefovHistory.html; and more photos and comments at Czech Republic Road Ways, Jewish Quarter posts. There may be some 5000-6000 in the Jewish Community there now. See www.prague.cz/prague-jewish-town.asp. 

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