The holdings of the Jewish Museum in Prague #austria-czech

Florence & Henry Wellisch <kelwel@...>

The State Jewish Museum in Prague published in its magazine Judaica
Bohemiae, Vol. VII, No. 1, 1971, a list of its holdings of the archives of the
Jewish communities of Bohemia and Moravia. [These holdings do not include
the records of the Jewish community of the city of Prague]. These archives
were the exclusive property of those communities and were transferred to the
museum in three stages. Before the Nazi persecution some of the material was
concentrated in the Jewish museums of Prague, Nikolsburg (Mikulov) and
Presov. During the occupation the Nazis collected further material which was
deposited in the Jewish museum in Prague. The Jewish communities tried to
hide what they could and some was put in charge of private individuals, many
of whom took it abroad.

Near the end of the war the Nazis ordered most of the original Jewish
registers destroyed, so that for the most part what survived are the copies
held by the Czech Ministry of Internal Affairs. After the liberation all the
Jewish registers were collected in one place, the offices of the National
Committee of Prague 1, where they still are. [I understand that the Jewish
birth, marriage and death registers are currently held at the Czech Central
Archives in Prague]

The above mentioned material as listed in Judaica Bohemiae is divided into
three parts. The first and most important part, entitled Analytical Table 1
is divided into 42 categories and is organized by locality. It is quite
certain that many of these 42 categories are of general interests,
but here are some categories of special interest to genealogists.

2. The area of the community, including the names of incorporated
localities, the amalgamation of several communities into one, or the
division of large communities into several small ones.

4. Chronicles and Pinkas books, for the most part old volumes, or books from
smaller communities where the whole business of the community was recorded.

5. Statistics: lists of members of the community, employees of the
community, names of Jews >from elsewhere, lists of Jewish names.

6. Community chronicles and historical references to local Jews.

28. Entrance to and withdrawal >from the religious community. The acceptance
and expulsion of members.

29. Circumcision books.

30. Books, listing and plans of seating in the synagogue.

36. The burial society: Lists of the deceased and of graves, plans of graves
and copies of epitaphs.

In each case name of the community is listed as it was in existence in 1938,
the period covered by the material and the number of fascicles or volumes in
the archives.

The purpose of Analytical Table 2 is to facilitate the study of material
concerning Jewish societies and organizations of wider than local
significance. Here are a few typical examples:

Palaestinaamt Praha; Vlasim, 1921-1926
Maehrisch-Schlesischer Rabbinerverband; Bzenez, 1920-1935
WIZO. Olomouc; 1931-1940
Zidovska nabozenska obec, Praha: Ceske Budejovice 19th & 20th century.

Analytical table 3 deals with the material concerning individuals and
families and is organized by name and the location of the person or family.
There are hundreds of names and localities listed. Here are a couple of

Grunberg family, Mlada Boleslav, 1897-1930
Kafka family, Pisek, 1753-1860
Rachmut family, Susice, 1904-1926

I hope to make arrangements for the publication on the Austria-Czech website
of the full details of all 42 categories of Analytical Table 1.

Henry Wellisch

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