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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Place. Plzen - Pilzen - Pilsen: The English bombs; role in Anthropoid

Petr says of Plzen (spelled Pilsen there) that the English dropped some bombs there. Page 102.
The bombs did not hit the Great Synagogue, the third largest Jewish house of prayer in the world.

Plzen was home to a thriving Jewish Community then. See a video of the interior of this Synagogue at /info.plzen-city.cz/virtualniprohlidky/czech/java/e1366.html;. There is further information at www.sacred-destinations.com/czech-republic/plzen-great-synagogue.htm.

The only larger Jewish sacred buildings are the Jerusalem and Budapest synagogues. See the Budapest synagogue when I get the Budapest blog going. It will be at a seed blog pending more on Hungary: Hungary (Budapest) Road Ways, Budapest post.

Plzen's 1892 synagogue here can seat 3000, but the size of the Jewish community is about 100. The effects of WWII remain devastating. See www.isjm.org/jhr/nos3-4/pilsen.htm.


Visitors are given little paper yarmulkes at the entrance, where you leave your contribution. Read about yarmulkes at /www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Kippah.html. Make your own from this one, just make it bigger. It is snipped opened here, to fit it flat. Fold it over and staple. If your heritage is different, say Christian, then hang the paper yarmulke next to your holiday stockings or on the tree in remembrance.

Plzen is south-west of Prague, and is also known for the brew we call "Pilsner." Try Pilsner Urquell in particular. www.realbeer.com/nmvbp/urquell.htm. We did not take the brewery tour, because time was short, and we did not want to require a nap after samples before heading into Prague.

In the square is a fine Marian column, or plague column as they are known - those 1715-1750 or so petitions in stone to deliver us from the pestilence, or in thanks for such deliverance. See info.plzen-city.cz/article.asp?sec=132.
And, next to town hall, is Cisarsky dum, a Renaissance building with a fine fellow from 1606. Emperor Rudolph II was here.

Rudolph II.

Rudolph II apparently is the "Iron Man" of the statue in Prague, who does not seem at all bothered by "sin" in trysting with a Jewish woman, but she is devastated (dead??),so the story goes, lying draped at his feet. See www.remunda.com/travel/review/prague_monuments.html; and post at Czech Republic Road Ways.

Pilzen was the only place we saw with a monument to America's WWII liberations, saying on the monument "Thank you, America." Patton was in charge, see www.radio.cz/en/article/65642; see Patton's grave at Luxembourg Road Ways, Hamm Military Cemetery post and other Patton posts.


Wreath report. Very few. And this just a day or so after the anniversary celebrating Patton's tanks. No anti-American graffiti or demonstrations, but we are off the respect pedestals of the mind. No automatic renewals.

Plzen also played a role in Operation Anthropoid, in which Reinhard Heydrich, a high-ranking Nazi official, was assassinated by Czech partisans in Prague. See historical overview - huge detail - at http://www.army.cz/images/id_7001_8000/7419/assassination-en.pdf. A State Secret Police inspector, Vaclav Kral, gave the password "Adina greets Pilsen. March 8 is good." Scroll down this long site for it, or do a find for Vaclav Kral

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