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Jüdische Weisheit

Prague Jewish Historical Sites and Monuments Have Been Devastated



Spanische Synagoge

Pinkas Synagoge

Pinkas Synagoge

Rabbiner Karel Sidon (Mitte) im Kreise engagierter Helfer, vor der Altnaj-Synagoge

Bank Account: 179139212/0300
Name of the Account: Prague Jewish Community (Zidovska obec v Praze)
Name of the Bank: CSOB, Prague 7

PRESS RELEASE - 08/15/2002 - Prague experienced devastating floods yesterday. The Jewish Town was, as expected, one of the areas affected by the Vltava River. All buildings had to be evacuated in the morning and the whole area was sealed by police patrols.

The highest wave, much higher than the historical flood record of 1890, came at around 5pm. Rescue work started early in the morning today as the level of Vltava River appeared to decline. The whole Jewish Town was affected by the underground water, which probably came through the sewage system.

All synagogues and other Jewish facilities are flooded to the street level. The two most famous Prague synagogues are filled with water - the Old New Synagogue built in 13th century and the Pinkas Synagogue, a unique memorial to the Shoa victims with interior walls covered with names of Jews from Bohemia and Moravia deported by the Nazis to death camps. Some street surfaces have been washed away by the flooding leaving large holes across a swathe of the Jewish Town, and there is a danger that some precious places such as Old Jewish Cemetery could be damaged by fallen trees or erosion.

The Jewish Museum administration building was also badly hit by underground flooding. Museum officials succeeded in moving precious Jewish artifacts such as Torah shields, pointers, manuscripts and rare books in advance of the floods, but the administration building is likely to be without electricity for several weeks. The museum's air-conditioning system has also been put out of action, threatening damage to rare manuscripts and books.

Preliminary estimates of damage caused by the flooding stand at about $4 million.

The Prague Jewish Community and Jewish Museum are appealing to Jews around the world and all people who appreciate the importance of Jewish Prague to support our effort to save Prague's Jewish treasures. The Prague Jewish Community has established a US dollar Bank Account where contributions can be sent. The use of funds will be publicly reported and audited.


The Prague Jewish Community has set up a temporary office in Charles Jordan Senior House, Milady Horakove 129/300, 160 00 Prague 6, Czech Republic; e-mail:

Tomas Jelinek, chairman of the Prague Jewish Community
Rabbi Efraim Sidon
Leo Pavlat, director the Jewish Museum in Prague

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