Synagogue in Prague Housing Holocaust Memorial Tablets Will Remain Closed for Another Year

Holocaust survivors wishing to inspect memorial tablets to 77,000 Nazi victims from Bohemia and Moravia at the ancient Pinkas Synagogue of Prague will have to wait at least another year before repairs permit it to be reopened, says the newsletter of the International Council of Jews from Czechoslovakia.

The synagogue, which dates back to 1352, has been closed for repairs since 1971 and the authorities have not yet repaired the damage said to be caused by dampness from the nearby Vltava River.

The Council says visitors “are left with the impression that the prolonged closure of the synagogue is motivated by the policy of a government wishing to eradicate the Holocaust from public consciousness … and to pretend that the principal victims of Nazi persecution were members of the Communist Party.”

The Council also reports the death of a “notorious Jew-baiter,” Jiri Bohatka, also known as Jiri Ales, a member of the Czech secret police specializing in keeping alive the anti-Zionist campaign in leading Czech and Slovak newspapers.

Bohatka-Ales was for more than a decade a regular contributor to Tribuna, ideological organ of the Czech Communist Party. According to the Council, he encouraged allegations that Zionists in the Terezin concentration camp had been close collaborators with the Nazis to the detriment of Czech-Jewish nationals and had actively helped the latters’ deportation.

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