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  • 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…

  • German compensation omits survivors in Czech Republic

    PRAGUE, March 16 (JTA) — The Czech Jewish community’s enthusiasm about Germany’s recent decision to give direct compensation to the victims of Nazism in Central and Eastern Europe has turned to bitter disappointment. Compensation from the approximately $47 million German fund will be given to survivors only in countries that do not have bilateral agreements…

  • Czech Jewish day school begins to enroll first pupils

    PRAGUE, Jan. 27 (JTA) — When registration began earlier this month, nine students enrolled at the first Jewish day school to open in Prague since World War II. The opening of the Ronald Lauder Basic School is indicative of the revival of Jewish life in Prague, a city whose vibrant Jewish community was all but…

  • 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…

  • Czechs set up Holocaust commission

    PRAGUE, May 13 (JTA) — The Czech Republic’s Presidential Office established last week a commission to study the country’s Holocaust era. The seven-person commission includes academics, members of the local Jewish community and representatives of other Czech groups persecuted during the war. “Many organizations have been examining issues related to the Holocaust,” said Jan Munk,…

  • Cemetery in Slovakia desecrated

    PRAGUE, April 9 (JTA) — Vandals destroyed 70 headstones this week at a cemetery in Kosice, in eastern Slovakia. A memorial to the victims of the Holocaust was also damaged Monday, as were the graves of former rabbis. The head of the city’s Jewish community, Ivan Kolin, said the incident was a clear case of…

  • Prague’s Jewish community celebrates opening of first primary school in 50 years

    PRAGUE, June 2 (JTA) — The opening of the first Jewish elementary school to be established in Prague since World War II reflects the ongoing revival of a once-vibrant Jewish community that was all but annihilated during the war. Philanthropist Ronald Lauder was on hand late last month for the opening of the school —…

  • Drawings by Terezin children exhibited at Prague synagogue

    PRAGUE, May 21 (JTA) — A permanent exhibit on Jewish children in Czechoslovakia during the Nazi occupation has opened at the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague’s Jewish Quarter. The exhibit, “Children’s Drawings of Terezin,” includes 200 drawings along with photographs, diaries and toys from the years 1939 to 1944. “This is a story that needs to…

  • 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 Republic to compensate Slovak Jews for their looted gold

    PRAGUE, May 27 (JTA) — The Czech government has agreed to compensate Slovak Jews for gold that was taken from them during World War II. Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus’ announcement last week overrides the Czech National Bank’s earlier decision to not offer any compensation. The Czech Finance Ministry must now determine the amount to be…