We generally like to post beautiful and interesting images. This post is different.
While in Prague this April, we toured several of the synagogues near our AirBnB. One was the Pinkas Synagogue which includes an exhibit of art made by Jewish children who were incarcerated in the Terezín ghetto during the Second World War. The ghetto was used for propaganda to convince international observers, such as the Red Cross, that German treatment of the Jews was humane. The children were props and almost all were murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau after being put on display to show how well they were being treated.
We found the exhibit to be emotionally challenging. Many visitors were in tears. We looked at every piece of work and were heartsick.
This is our entry in Dutch goes the Photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge — Worship.
We recently visited the Jewish Quarter in Prague. One of the (many) stops was the Old-New Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in Central Europe. The building — constructed in 1270 — is in the gothic style and was build by hired Christian workers since Jews were not permitted to participate in the building trades.
The photo below shows a raised platform used for Torah reading during services. The large red banner was given by Charles IV, in honor of the Jewish community’s service.
An interesting aside about this synagogue is that, in around 1600, Rabbi Lowe is said to have created a creature — called the Golem — to protect the ghetto. This creature, the world’s first “robot,” is said to be hidden in the attic of the synagogue.