Established in 1906, the Jewish Museum in Prague is one of the oldest Jewish museums in Europe.
True to the premise of Galerie, the Museum was indeed taken over by Adolf Eichmann’s “Central Office for Jewish Emigration” in 1941. The office in Prague was headed by Hans Guenther with the assistance of his deputy Josef Weiszl and others. Among Guenther’s responsibilities were the Museum, which he ran with a large Jewish staff managed by Josef Polak and Tobias Jakobovitz. The entire staff, with the exception of Hana Volavkova (see below) was murdered in Auschwitz in late 1944.
Holocaust researchers – including those at the Museum itself – still debate whether the Museum was ever overtly dubbed or even privately considered to as the “Museum of an Extinct Race.” But it is my unscholarly belief, based in large part on Hana Volavkova’s definitive work “A Story of the Jewish Museum in Prague,” that there could be no other explanation. Volavkova, the sole survivor of the wartime Museum staff (see the list below), presents her evidence from a museological point of view, arguing that the aim of the collections created during the Nazi years could be none other than to systematically present Jewish life, ex post facto.
Staff of the Jewish Museum of Prague, 1941-1944
Galerie is dedicated to the brave men and women who staffed the Jewish Museum of Prague during the Nazi occupation, and who were sent to their deaths as thanks for their conscientious and thorough work preserving the legacy of Bohemian and Moravian Jewry. יהי זכרם ברוך — may their memory be blessed.
Jakobovits Tobias, Polak Josef, Engel Alfred, Fischhof Franz, Flesch Josef, Formankova Etja, Konirsch Berthold, Lieben Salomon Hugo, Popper Bedrich (Friedrich), Reiner Karel, Richter Hugo, Woskin-Nahartabi Mosesx, Lausmann Grete, Lederer Bedrich (Fritz), Lendecke Marketa
Crkovska Bedriska, Demelova Alice, Eisler Johann, Fischhof Edith, Friedlander Ruzena (Rosa), Gobiet Edith, Gottlieb Lev, Heydukova-Slaninova Ruzena (Rosa), Hraska Marta, Jakobovits Berta, Kampert Gertrude, Kantor Marketa, Kohn Marta, Kolisch Bohumir (Gottfried), Lieben Sophie, Masin Marie, Neumann Bohumil (Gottlieb), Novak Marta, Pospisil Zdenka, Schramm Vilma, Smutna Ema (Emmy), Sojka Walter, Tauchmann Hana, Teichmann Blanka, Voticka Zdenka, Woskin Tamara, Zizius Lily