Photographer's Note

The Jewish community in Prague dates back to at least 970 CE. Although it suffered persecution and occasional expulsions, it was one of the most important Jewish sites in eastern Europe, particularly during the XVI and XVII centuries. The Old Jewish Cemetery, pictured here, is said to be the oldest such in Europe. Because space was scarce in the ghetto, bodies were often buried on top of previous tombs, in one section as much as twelve deep. The crowding of the tombstones here reflects that.

At the start of WWII, around 55,000 Jews lived in Prague. Over 2/3 of them died in the Holocaust. Today is Yom Hashoah, the Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust, and I am posting this picture in memory of the Jews of Prague, ז״ל - may their memories be a blessing.

When I visited Prague in 1987, there was at least one (possibly only one) functioning synagogue, the Staranova or Alt-Neue (Old-New) synagogue, but few worshipers, mostly elderly. Since the fall of communism, the community has slowly grown to around 1,700.

Technical: Scanned from slide by ScanCafe. Some Shadow/Highlight adjustments and brushwork to deal with a bit of burnout, followed by B&W conversion with a sepia tone.

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Additional Photos by Daniel Kohanski (Wandering_Dan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 930 W: 150 N: 1023] (3449)
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