Surviving members of Prague’s Jewish community and the city’s government have agreed that fragments of Jewish gravestones uncovered during future excavation work will be turned over to the city’s Old Jewish in Prague’s Žižkov district.
The stones were removed from the cemetery in 1987, when the country’s Jewish population had dropped to just 8,000 people, and cut into cobbles for the construction of pedestrian walkways in areas including Wenceslas Square, Na Prikope and 28 rijna.
Jewish community of Prague chairman Frantisek Banyai said that “the community welcomed the city’s decision and hopes such cooperation will continue.”
The community has been pointing out that parts of the pavement were made from gravestones for many years. Lately, Prague 1 leadership considered placing an information plaque on the specified location to draw attention to the fact.
A recently founded project, the Search for the Lost Face of Jewish Cemeteries, wants to help in finding and identifying the gravestone fragments.
The project was inspired by a campaign focused on the search for lost gravestones from a cemetery in Prostejov, central Moravia, that took place in 2015-2016.
During the Nazi and Communist regimes in former Czechoslovakia, tens of Jewish cemeteries were completely destroyed.