Last week Linda Rakoff and I headed north >from Bratislava to Prague (about
400ks) to continue our research. The trip took about 5hrs. (included a 45
minute lunch stop in Moravia.). The bus dropped us off at Florenc
bus/subway station where they thankfully have a baggage storage room, and
you can also purchase public transit passes for 1,3,7, or 14 days. My one
week pass cost 280kc (about $14CDN). This pass has to be validated the
first time you enter the transit system, and then you carry it with you as a
proof of payment just in case the controllers check you. The penalties are
stiff you you get caught without paying, but I am not sure of the exact
amounts. >from Florenc station you can take buses all over Europe. An
express bus to Wien (air-conditioned, WC, free coffee etc) costs 550kc.
They have two stops-one to Wien downtown, and the other at the airport.
We visited the Czech National Library which is fantastically beautiful, and
the people are so helpful. It is right near the Staromestske Namesti subway
stop. A one month library card costs 20kc (about $1CDN). We used passports
for ID, and the whole registration process took only a few minutes. Books
can be looked up in their electronic catalogue. You have to fill in request
slips and deposit them into a bin. It takes about two hours for the books to
be brought down to the studovna (reading room). This wait is no great
suffering, as right in the library complex, there is an internet cafe and
several student restaurants where the food is inexpensive (unlike the rest
of Stare Mesto) and the coffee is delicious. The scenery is wonderful with
many interesting art installations throughout the courtyards. There is also
a bag check room (no charge) where you leave your backpacks, and belongings.
We found many city directories >from the 1920's and 30's. These can be
tricky to search, as not all of them have alphabetical listings by surname.
For some towns you have to know the name of the industry in Czech/Slovak, or
the person's profession, or their street address. Some books have all
kinds of cross-indices making the research much less tedious. Some of the
directories are more like yellow pages with photos, and advertising.
Here are a few examples >from the 1937 Nakupny Poradca (Shopping Advisor). I
have selected some surnames which appear on this SIG:
1)VLADAR, Albert, Zilina, Srobarov sad 13, Pansky Krajcir (tailor)
2)JAKUBOVITS, Herman, Stefanikova 11, Tel: 48, velkoobchodnik pivom a vinom
3) GLASEL, Arpad, Dr. (pravotar) lawyer, Zilina, Jana Milca 5, Tel: 182
4) HONIGWACHS and Co (Honey?)-velkoobchod. kratkym a pletenym tov. ,
Legionarska u. 25,tel: 2974 Grosse Auswahl in Socken, strumpfen, Westen,..
5) VENETIANER, Ferdinand (predtym I Kramer, Presov), Kosicka c 39-41,
Obchod. drevom, stavebnym a stolarskym materialom (Wood and building
Here are some of the other books found in the CNK (library) catalogues which
we could not find to purchase anywhere, but at least they have exemplars to
study in the reading room, or at the archives:
1) Zydowskie zabytki Cieszyna i Czeskiego Czieszyna, publ, 1999, contains
2) Zidowske Matriky HBM 1784-1949 (Lenka Matusikova, editor), publ. 1999
3) Zidovske obce na Kladensku a Slansku (Blanka Rozkosna), publ 2000
4) Zidovske Pamatky Tachovska (Jiri Fidler), publ 1998
5) Zidovsky Hrbitov v Boskovicich (Jaroslav Achab Haidler), publ 2002
6) Dotyky: Zide v Dejinach Jihlavska, publ 1998-contains deportation lists
7) Lide ghetta: postavy a postavicky zidovske Kromerize (Max Grunfeld), publ
8) Sbornik z historie zidu na Kolinsku (Zuzana Miskovska), publ 1992
In addition we found some of Linda's ASCHNER relatives (Viennese branch),
who were deported to Terezin, listed in a new Czech publication (2005)which
lists business which were aryanized. This book fortunately contains several
name indices as well as a searchable CD database. We were unable to find
anything of this scope for Slovakia, but I was told that something like this
is being published there also.
Title: Arizace a arizatori
Authors: Jancik, Drahomir and Kubu, Eduard
The Czech National Archive which published the 1973 [MODERATOR NOTE: I
believe this is a typo - should be 1793] jewish census is near
the Hradcanska metro stop. You cross the road, and walk about 200 up the
hill, and the building is right on the main street (133 Milady Horakove).
The Prague (1793 ) segment has been delayed, but it will hopefully be
released by December 2005. They have also published earlier censuses (sp?)
which list residents by religion. Most regions have now been sold out, but
they still have copies of "Soupis poddanych podle viry z roku 1651" for
Plzensko-Klatovsko. This is actually a two volume set.
More to follow,
Richmond Hill, Ontario