NEWS | 20. 10. 2017 The beauty, size and tragic fate of the Olomouc Synagogue reminds us of a new exhibition in the Archdiocesan Museum in Olomouc since yesterday.The opening ceremony also launched the tenth year of the festival Days of Jewish Culture.

NEWS | 20. 10. 2017

On the very first day of the occupation, the Olomouc fascists fired a unique synagogue built in Moorish-Byzantine style, which stood behind the Teresa Gate on todays Palach Square. Her beauty, size and tragic warfare of the entire Jewish community will be reminded of a new exhibition in the Archdiocesan Museum called the Olomouc Synagogue (1897 – 1939).

“The exhibition has two parts. The first is the architecture of the synagogue and the work of architect Jakob Gartner, and the religious life of the Jewish community in Olomouc until 1942, which reminds text panels, contemporary photographs or preserved prayer books “, said the curator of the exhibition Gabriela Elbelová.

Visitors will see part of the preserved original equipment of the defunct building. “Between 1942 and 1945, large treasures of valuable synagogue objects took place from the territory of the whole Protectorate to Prague. After the war, in some cases, thanks to the donation inscriptions, it was determined that they came from Olomouc, “explains Gabriela Elbelová.

Original equipment

The gallery will also feature benches and stained glass windows that survived the fire of the synagogue. “In the Olomouc temple, it was originally about a hundred benches, but only ten rows were preserved. Already at the end of 1939, she bought a parish in Olšany near Prostějov, where in the local church of St. John the Baptist served until 2003. Three ranks of benches succeeded in acquiring the Respekt and tolerance civic association for the recently reconstructed synagogue in Loštice. They just lent us one row of benches together with five stained-glass windows, “adds the curator.

 “It is great that there are exhibits that were originally used in the Olomouc Synagogue. There is also a lot of interesting texts and photographs I have not seen yet, “said the chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities and the chairman of the Jewish community Olomouc Petr Papoušek.

Days of Jewish Culture Olomouc

The new exhibition at the Archdiocesan Museum Olomouc is part of the tenth year of the Days of Jewish Culture, which take place from 19th to 29th October and the organizers of which are, in addition to the Museum of Art, the Jewish Community and the Center of Judaic Studies of the Faculty of Arts. The program of the festival is focused on the theme of the synagogue this year. The film section will present four documents looking at the synagogue both as a specific architectural “genre”, but also as a community-building site, preserving tradition and continuity.

The International Conference Transformations of Jewish Life: The Moravian Jews at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries are intended for experts. The theater attraction of the festival is the performance of Anna Franková, directed by Šimon Spišák, for which the Slovak actress Lucia Korená from the Nitra New Theater won the prestigious Plaque (the equivalent of the Czech Centers of Critics Award) as the best female actress of the year. “A city game Over the Golden Cubes on the Road is set for children and adults, which offers an unusual afternoon walk through the city with the knowledge of the fates and stories of a member of the local Jewish community,” said playwright Alexandr Jeništa. The musical top of the festival will be the concert of the Israeli Tatra group. “Jazzs rock cut with classic and electronics features will showcase the trio Tatran, which will stop in Olomouc on a tour between Israeli Haifa and Frankfurt.”

Return of the Olomouc Torahs

The spiritual peaks of the festival will include the return of the rare parchment scroll of the so-called Olomouc Torah, which belonged to the local Jewish community. During the war he became part of the Nazi expeditions of the synagogues, and in the 1960s he sold the socialist regime to England. The Torah restored in the United States as a long-term loan is returned to the Jewish community in Olomouc almost 80 years after it was last read in the Gartner Synagogue in Olomouc.

“The Torah had to be upgraded to read it. He is currently on his way to Olomouc. On Sunday it will be prepared by a specialized scribbler directly in Olomouc accompanied by guests and their letters will be written in letters. Then it will be solemnly brought to the synagogue, “says Petr Papoušek, President of the Jewish Community of Olomouc, special Sunday program.