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Forced to Permit Jewish Burial of Cremated Body, Kehillah Board Resigns

June 3, 1929
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The Board of the Prague Kehillah, in charge of Jewish communal and welfare work in the Czechoslovakian capital, resigned yesterday as the result of a controversy with the authorities which aroused wide attention.

The cause for the resignation was a stand taken by the authorities compelling the Kehillah Board to permit burial in the Jewish cemetery of Prague of the ashes of a cremated body. The will of Oscar Egerer, a Jewish actor, provided for the cremation of his body, and the burial of the ashes in the family vault in the Jewish cemetery. The cemetery department of the Kehillah declined permission for interment, holding cremation to be contrary to Jewish tradition. The family insisted on the burial in consecrated ground, and invoked the law against the Kehillah. The matter was brought to the attention of various governmental agencies, including the city government and the Ministry of Religious, which held that the Kehillah has no right, according to law, to refuse decent burial in its cemetery to a member of its faith.

Yesterday the ashes of Oskar Egerer were interred in the family vault, without religious ceremonies, however. The Kehillah Board resigned.

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