Monday, April 18, 2011

The Prague Astronomical Clock, Jewish Quarter and the Lego Museum

Think they don't go together? We think that no trip to Prague would be complete without seeing them! 

Unfortunately, the astrological clock was out of order when we were here.  The legend has it that the clock maker was blinded by the Prague counselors when he finished the clock so that he could not repeat his masterpiece anywhere else.  

Nate even talked Kent into going back to the Lego Museum for a second round. He has found his calling in life, and can't wait until he's 16 so he can work in the Burlington Mall at the Lego store, spending all his earnings on his employee-discounted merchandise. 

And now, for something completely different. 

This info is directly from Wikipedia; there's a lot of great history on the Prague Ghetto and on the many many injustices visited upon the Jews there, but I only included this about the end of the war and the Soviet occupation.  Before the war, the Jewish population of Prague had been approximately 56,000. 

Finally, on May 9, 1945 (the day after Germany officially capitulated) Soviet tanks reached Prague. It was not until May 12, 1945 that all fighting ceased in the Czech Lands. German occupation caused the death of 270,00

Slowly Jewish life began to return to the city. Chief Rabbi Gustav Sicher, returned from then called Palestine. However, in 1948, the communist takeover put a stop to Jewish practices. By 1950, about half of the Jewish population had gone to Israel or emigrated to other countries. Anti-Semitism was officially encouraged. Most of the Jews of Prague were branded as "class enemies of the working people," and suffered from imprisonment, exile, forced labor and some execution. During the years 1951-1964 there was no possibility of Jewish emigration from the country. Jewish practices were banned.
The two Prague rabbis left the country. With the Soviet invasion in 1968, the Jewish population was further reduced as a wave of emigration began. In Prague the Jewish population was now 2,000. In 1989, with the "Velvet Revolution" and the ouster of the Soviets, Judaism was again being rediscovered. The famous Synagogues were restored to their original beauty, there were kosher restaurants in the Jewish quarter, and streams of tourists poured into the city of Prague, to see the bitter and the sweet. 

No comments: