Re: The Cesky Krumlov Synagogue; remembering Viktor KAFKA #austria-czech


Celia Male <celiamale@...>
 

Uri Meretz told us: "A few years ago, my wife and I visited the once
beautiful and now abandoned synagogue, situated in the SE part of the
town. I wonder whether anyone knows anything about the architect KAFKA?".

We have so many threads going at the moment that we must not forget to
answer some outstanding questions!

I have read the German chapter written by Prof Dr L. HIRSCH on Bohmische
Krumau/Cesky Krumlov in Hugo Gold's Compendium - The Jews and Jewish
Communities of Bohemia [Brunn 1934].

The community was relatively new as Jews were not allowed to reside in
the town till the mid-1800s. This is what it says about the synagogue
and the architect: A plot of garden was bought and building proceeded in
1908/1909. The architect was KAFKA >from Prague. The builders were SOSNA
and HAUBER. It was completed with great festivities in 1909. The building
seated 140-180. There was an organ, excellent choirmaster and choir. The
synagogue had a spire which could be seen >from far and wide and was one
of the jewels of the town.

The building committee consisted of: Ludwig, Emanuel and Julius SPIRO;
Drs KOHN, SCHWARTZ & LORIA; Ignaz LEDERER; S KOBIAS and Julius EPSTEIN.
Other worthies were District Doctor URBACH; Michael METZL; Max KNOPFELMACHER
and Jakob BLOCH.

KAFKA was probably so well-known to L. HIRSCH that he needed no introduction.
Tragically, we know nearly all this generation was wiped out and many are
forgotten. This must also be the case for architect KAFKA, for I emailed
the town of Cesky Krumlov and they have not replied but architect Jaroslav
Klenovsky, after great effort, discovered that he was Viktor KAFKA of Prague.
He had designed the Jewish Poor House in Prague as well as a number of
modernist houses and shops. I could find these on the www:

Modernista Konviktska Street:
http://www.modernista.cz/english/about_us.html
Residence Bologna:
http://www.tiptoptravel.cz/hotels.php?lang=eng&curr=eur

So what happened to our modernist architect, Viktor KAFKA? Here are the
tragic details >from Yad vashem, with no testimony:
Terezinska Pametni Kniha/Theresienstaedter Gedenkbuch, Terezinska
Iniciativa, vol. I-II Melantrich, Praha 1995, vol. III
Last Name: KAFKA - First Name: Viktor
Title: Engineer - Date of Birth: 18/03/1880
Key to Transport: Transport Au >from Praha to Terezin on 12/05/1942
Key to 2nd Transport: Transport Ay >from Terezin to Lublin on 17/05/1942
Prisoner Nr. in Transport: 398
Prisoner Nr. 2nd Transport: 463
Victim's Status End WWII: Died

We remember, Viktor KAFKA, a modernist architect here today and celebrate
his contribution to architecture in Prague and Cesky Krumlov, perhaps for
the first time for many years.

My thanks, as always, to all who collaborate in these joint research
projects - in this instance, Dave Bernard [Boston]; Jaroslav Klenovsky [Brno]
and Uri Meretz [Israel].

Celia Male [U.K.]

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