A brief summary of the synagogue association’s Year One.
A recording of public talk followed by dramatization of Hans Bader’s memoir of the November 1942 Pacov deportation as performed by Pacov high school students is now available on YouTube (in Czech only). Both took place as part of an event commemorating the 75th anniversary of the deportation of Jewish residents from Pacov to Theresienstadt concentration camp which we organized in cooperation with the Černovice Jewish Monument Association on 11 and 12 November 2017 under the title Crossroads and Irreversibilities of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands History. Recorded by Dušan Swalens.
“How long have Jews been living in Pacov?” “When were Jews deported from Pacov and what happened to them?” “Do you know any Pacov Jews?” “Have you ever been to the Jewish cemetery in Pacov?” “Do you know what matzo is and who baked it in Pacov?” Those and similar questions elicited a forest of raised hands from Year 5 pupils of the Pacov primary school during an introduction to the local Jewish heritage which took place in the main hall of Pacov Chateau on 26 March 2018. The schoolchildren were thus given the chance to explore the history and fate of their Jewish neighbours. The deep and spontaneous interest they showed throughout the talk gives us a reason to hope that the history of Pacov Jews will be embraced by the local cultural memory and the new generation rather than forgotten. A small gallery of photos is available at the school’s website www.zspacov.cz (Czech only)
Our efforts to save the synagogue have been covered by an article on page 6 in the last year’s issue #3 of the Czech expats’ association Beseda quarterly (Czech only): www.beseda.be/images/zpravodaj/2017_09_zpravodaj_beseda_web.pdf
You can now watch Pavel Tychtl and Dušan Swalens’s documentary about the Pacov Jewish community before WWII and during the Holocaust Rodáci bez hrobu (Neighbours Without Graves) in Czech with English subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=805FzP3Eaxc
American artist and teacher Karen Koblitz talks about her Czech roots
My name is Karen Koblitz and I am a native of Los Angeles, California. I am an artist that works mainly in ceramics and an Associate Professor of Fine Arts, Head of Ceramics in the Roski School of Art & Design at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. My family heritage is Eastern European; Russian, Bohemian and Austro-Hungarian. I am married, my husband, Alan Friedenberg is a retired Elementary School Principal and we have one daughter, Gina, who is a university student, a senior at the University of Southern California studying Spanish and Psychology.
The Deník Referendum internet daily summarizes the current state of Pacov synagogue in an article published on September 10, 2017. Avaliable here (in Czech only).
The public broadcasting service Český rozhlas has briefly covered pre- and post-war history of Pacov’s Jewish community. Available here (in Czech only).