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  • Czech synagogue renewal key part of communal revival

    PRAGUE, Feb. 22 (JTA) — It is a tale of two synagogues. One is being restored to its former glory; the other is being rebuilt on the ashes of one of Central Europe’s largest synagogues. Closed for decades since World War II, the Great Synagogue of Pilsen was rededicated earlier this month after undergoing some…

  • Czech Holocaust survivors doubt Germany will offer compensation

    PRAGUE, Aug. 26 (JTA) — For Vera Schimmerlingova, the possibility that Germany may finally pay individual compensation to Holocaust survivors in the former Soviet bloc is too little, too late. “I am sick and tired” of discussions about compensation, said Schimmerlingova, a 72-year-old Czech Jew who survived the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Theresienstadt. “We…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Albright: Names of grandparents `forever seared into my heart’

    PRAGUE, July 14 (JTA) — For U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, all doubt has disappeared. Like the names of her grandparents who perished in the Holocaust, her Jewish roots are carved in stone. And at least for the Czech Jews who accompanied her on her historic visit here this week, any doubts that she…

  • Mysterious papers bolster Czech search for Jewish assets

    PRAGUE, April 2 (JTA) — Czech Jewish leaders have said the discovery of documents has bolstered the community’s search for assets stolen by the Nazis during World War II. But the Czech Interior Ministry, where Jewish leaders say the papers were found, said no such document exists. Late last month, an employee at the Institute…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Foreign visitors overwhelm Albright family’s hometown

    LETOHRAD, Czech Republic, Feb. 11 (JTA) — Until last week, Magdalena Navratilova spent her time organizing cultural events in this small Bohemian town where she works as an administrator. But since the Washington Post reported earlier this month that U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had Jewish ancestors here, Navratilova has spent her days showing…

  • Czech Jewish groups get role in evolving ties with Germany

    PRAGUE, Jan. 23 (JTA) — The Czech-German reconciliation pact that was signed this week has been denounced by several organizations on the grounds that it all but pardons crimes committed by Nazi Germany on Czech soil. But Jewish opposition to the declaration subsided last Friday, when Czech Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec granted Czech Jewish groups…

  • European funded schoolbook distorts lives of Slovak Jews

    PRAGUE, June 4 (JTA) — A controversy has erupted over the distribution in Slovak elementary schools of a teacher’s manual that romanticizes the lot of the country’s Jews during World War II. The Slovak Education Ministry, which published and distributed 90,000 copies of the manual earlier this year, and the European Union, which financed the…

  • Czech Jews applaud German plan to compensate survivors

    PRAGUE, March 5 (JTA) — The Czech Jewish community has applauded the German government’s recent decision to give direct compensation to the victims of Nazism in Central and Eastern Europe. About 9,000 Czech citizens, including 2,000 Jews, could receive money from the approximately $47 million fund now being prepared by the German government. “Survivors have…