The first wave of refugees from the former Czechoslovakia is connected to the rise of nazism in Germany and the persecution of Jews first in Germany and later in other countries including Czechoslovakia. It is hard to imagine now that before the Second World War, almost all Czechs had neighbours or even friends of Jewish background, who suddenly disappeared. Forever. Until now, many Czechs live in their houses, sometimes still use their belongings, find the famous golden plasters at streets remembering the whereabouts of their fellow citizens. The disappearance of our Jewish neighbours, the role we played in the past in the persecution of Jews, the post war enviroment, which the handful of Jews encountered upon return after the WW2 back to Czechoslovakia – this all needs to be much deeper investigated and commemorated.
A friend of mine and OPU decided to dedicate his effort to commemorating the Jewish past in the small city of Pacov in South Bohemia and to restore the destroyed synagogue there. Here is the testimony of Pacov inhabitants and description of this unique rememberance in the Czech context.