Židovské muzeum v Praze

  • Jewish Museum in Prague


Present at the establishment of the Jewish Museum in Prague in 1906 were the historian Dr. Hugo Lieben and Dr. Augustin Stein, the representative of the Czech Jewish movement and later head of the Prague Jewish Community. The original aim was to preserve valuable artefacts from the Prague synagogues that had been demolished during the reconstruction of the Jewish Town at the beginning of the 20th century. The Museum was closed to the public after the Nazi occupation of Bohemia and Moravia on 15 March 1939. In 1942 the Nazis established the Central Jewish Museum, to which were shipped artefacts from all the liquidated Jewish communities and synagogues of Bohemia and Moravia. Its founding was proposed by Dr. Stein who, in co-operation with other specialist members of staff, sought to save the Jewish objects that were being conficated by the Nazis. Following long negotiations, the Nazis approved the project to set up a central museum, albeit guided by different motives than the Museum´s founders. After World War II, the Jewish Museum came under the administration of the Council of Jewish Communities in Czechoslovakia. In 1950, ownership was transferred to the State, which, as of 1948, was in the hands of the communists. As a result, the Museum was markedly restricted in its preservation, exhibition and educational activities.The collapse of the communist regime in 1989 created the necessary conditions that led to a change in the Museum´s status. On October 1, 1994, the Museum buildings and collections were returned to the Jewish Community of Prague and the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic respectively. At the same time, the Jewish Museum took on new life as a non-state organization.

Archival and Other Holdings

The Shoah History Archive deals with the history of the Holocaust of Bohemian and Moravian Jews, gathering, documenting and classify (among other things) archive documents, photographs and the personal narratives of Holocaust survivors. This section is responsible for the administration of the Terezín Archive Collection, which contains official documents associated with the activities of the Jewish Council of Elders and their offices in the Terezín ghetto, the estates of Terezín prisoners (literary works, music scores, theatre plays, diaries, albums, magazines) and personal narratives of Holocaust survivors. The second archive collection - Persecution Documents - contains various archive documents and estates from the Holocaust period, which did not originate in the Terezín ghetto, and personal narratives concerning the period of Nazi persecution. The work of this department also involves the administration of a photography collection from the Holocaust period and of a series of tape-recorded narratives of Holocaust survivors; the latter is an ongoing project that was launched in 1990. This section has at its disposal records - in the form of card indexes, registers and a special computer programme - of Holocaust victims from the territory of the former Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and of Jewish victims from Germany, Austria, Holland and Slovakia who passed through the Terezín ghetto. Staff provide information, research services, photographic records from the Pinkas Synagogue and, where required, searches for data relating to Holocaust victims (both individuals and groups).

Opening Times

Winter time 1 January–29 March 9 am–4.30 pm Summer time 31 March–25 October 9 am–6 pm Winter time 27 October–31 December 9 am–4.30 pm The museum is open every day except Saturdays and Jewish holidays.Shoah History Archive: consultations on Tuesday and Thursday 9am-12pm; 2pm-3.30pm


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