EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



My photo
Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The Old Jewish Cemetery in Josefov, the Jewish Quarter or "Jewish Ghetto" in Prague, was created in the 15th century. During that time the Jews were forbidden to bury their dead outside of their own district. Since the area was very limited and space was minimal in the Old Jewish Cemetery, the bodies had to be buried one on top of the other. It is said that the graves are layered about 12' deep and consist of at least seven layers. This explains the totally haphazard and unruly collection of tombstones. There are over 12,000 tombstones dating back from the earliest one of poet and scholar, Avigdor Kara, in 1439 to the most recent, 1787, that are visible. Historians say that there may be as many as 100,000 burials in all.

Photo of the mishmash of tombstones in a small section of the Old Jewish Cemetery that are visible.

The tombstone of Judah Lowe with small pebbles and written notes left behind to commemorate his death.

Austrian Writer Franz KafkaImage via Wikipedia

Franz Kafka, the writer from Prague, used to go to the Old Jewish Cemetery to reflect. He is not buried there, but in the New Jewish Cemetery across town. The New Jewish Cemetery is half empty. That is because the generation that was to be buried there was transported to the Nazi death camps.

Before you enter the cemetery you are privileged to view some of the children's drawings they drew while they were imprisoned the concentration camp, Terezin, during WWII. While many of the drawings reflect the horrors of war, some project the childlike musings of everyday children worldwide. It is then that you realize the scope of the utter madness that obliterated the many lives of the Bohemian and Moravian Jews in Prague during the genocide of the Czech Jews.

Steve at a solemn moment paying respect to the thousands upon thousands of grave sites in the Old Jewish Cemetery.

Terezin as a ghetto and a concentration camp started with one thousand persons. Whole families from Prague and Brno began to arrive. By the end of the first year, there were 7,350 prisoners in Terezin. During the first half of 1942 there were another 25,862 persons deported from Czech and Moravian towns to Terezin and in the second half of the year an additional 28,366. Actually, by the end of 1942 three quarters of all the Jewish population was living in the ghetto. To fully understand what happened to these people you may want to visit the following link:

On the walls of the memorial building, before entering the cemetery, are the names of each of the individual deceased. Literally, a whole generation of Jews in Czech decimated.

The most prominent person buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery is the religious scholar and teacher, Judah Loew ben Bezaiel, also known as Rabbi Loew (d. 1

statue of clay golem depicting Prague Golem. (...Image via Wikipedia

609), who is associated with the legend of the Golem

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments: