Prague Museum Head Tells Why Millennium Celebrations Have Been Cancelled 3 Times

The director of the Jewish State Museum in Prague has attempted to explain why celebration of the 1000th anniversary of Jewish settlement in the lands of the Bohemian Crown, originally scheduled to take place in 1966, has been postponed three times in the past three years. Writing in the first 1969 issue of “Judaica Bohemiae,” the museum’s bi-annual publication, Dr. Wilem Benda said the celebration in 1966 was postponed because of “domestic policies.”

In 1967, he said, “events in the Middle East and the rupture of diplomatic relations with Israel” led to another cancellation. In 1968, Czechoslovakia found herself in an “exposed position” which called for yet another change of schedule, he wrote. Dr. Benda said it was hoped that “it would be possible to mark the event in 1969″ but “from the international viewpoint, that year proved not too propitious for the realization of large scale projects” and it was considered that “unpretentious domestic events would be more suitable.” Dr. Benda observed that four years are not decisive in the celebration of a millennium. But he gave no indication that the anniversary would be observed on an international scale in the future.

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