I believe that to write about a place, one must experience it. To this end, with my 11-year old son in tow, I spent a chilly week in Prague in December of 2012 researching for the writing of Galerie.
What I discovered, especially in the time I spent at the Jewish Museum was, in the words of my character Vanesa Neuman, “...Prague’s beauty, Prague’s mystique, Prague’s rich history, Prague’s breathtaking architecture, Prague’s insidious betrayal, and Prague’s slow downward spiral from discrimination, through persecution, into inhuman realms of misery, pain, and death.”
As a history buff and self-proclaimed Holocaust researcher, any European capital I ever visit will carry the stain of what I learned in Prague. This does not change the city’s rich history, nor diminish its aesthetic pleasure. However, as readers will discover in Galerie, the darker side of Prague always remains hidden just below the surface.
I owe a special part of my Prague experience to Magda Veselska of the Jewish Museum of Prague, who answered my pesky questions prior to traveling via email, and Marek Taborsky, whose outstanding WWII Tour of Prague and follow-up answers added so much to my research.