S: Eastern Europe, A Jewish Heritage Tour October 2012
FC: Eastern Europe - Jewish Heritage October 2012 Photographs by Paul A Gitman
1: The Trip map | Budapest, Buda Palace Complex
2: Hungarian Parliament
3: Hungarian Parliament. Flag commemorating Hungarian uprising outside of Hungarian Parliament. The hole in the flag is a symbol of Hungary's freedom after the collapse of Communism. The communist hammer and sickle were in the past the emblem on the flag. This flag waves next to the grave of the unknown soldier in the garden in front of the Parliament building.
4: The construction of the Great Synagogue was begun in 1854 and the dedication ceremony was held in 1859. This synagogue, the largest in Europe is still active today. The world's largest synagogue is Temple Emanuel in New York City
5: Inside the synagogue
7: Great Synagogue, Tree of Life | Cemetery on grounds of Great Synagogue. In the "Cemetery of Martyrs" rest seven thousand dead from the ghetto of Pest.
8: Kazinczy Street Synagogue. | Rumbach Synagogue
9: The Hungarian Nazis, (Arrow Cross), executed Jews here on a regular basis and pushed them into the river. When they wanted to save bullets they would tie a few people together, shoot one, push the group into the freezing Danube, and watch the dead bodies drag the group down.
10: Heroes' Square and Millennium Memorial
12: Buda Castle | Sunrise, Buda Castle
13: Buda Castle Complex
14: Fisherman's Bastion is a neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style terrace and rampart situated in Buda, on the Castle Hill, by the Matthias Church
15: Matthias Church and Fisherman's Bastion
16: The Chain Bridge After Count István Széchenyi missed his father's funeral when the ferry service across the Danube was halted due to bad weather, he resolved to build a permanent bridge across the Danube.
17: The Chain Bridge (375 meter (1230ft) long ) opened in 1849. At the time the suspension bridge was the longest in Europe and a marvel of engineering with just two towers supporting the spans with giant iron chains. The chains gave the bridge its name,
18: The Chain Bridge
19: The setting moon over Matthias Church and Fisherman's Bastion
20: Parliament Building After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise in 1867, Hungary received more independence and the country wrote its own constitution. It also initiated the construction of a Neo-Gothic parliament building inspired by the Houses of Parliament in London. The Construction started in 1885. When it was completed seventeen years later, in 1902, it was the largest parliamentary building in the world.
21: The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (top) The history of the academy began in 1825 when Count István Széchenyi offered one year's income of his estate for the purposes of a Learned Society. Its task was specified as the development of the Hungarian language and the study and propagation of the sciences and the arts in Hungarian. It received its current name in 1845. Its central building was inaugurated in 1865, in neo-Renaissance style. | Hungarian Parliament
22: Fine Arts Museum | Liberation Monument
23: St. Stephan's Basilica
24: Budapest city scenes
25: Great Market | Selling stomach and other organ meats in the market | Street musician
26: Budapest city sights
27: National Theater Complex | Gellert Monument Dedicated to Bishop Gellert, who was martyred in the 11th century. It sits where legend says he was pushed into the Danube while sealed in a barrel.
28: Budapest at night Leaving Budapest to cruise the Danube
29: One of many locks on the Danube | Fishing hut on the Danube
30: The Jewish City Temple was built in the years 1825-26. Since only Catholic buildings were places of worship permitted to stand adjacent to major streets, the Synagogue was fitted into an apartment complex: This is the reason that it was the only building, of 94 Jewish synagogues and temples, to survive Kristallnacht (November 9-10, 1938) without being completely destroyed. | Vienna
31: Rachel Whiteread's Memorial. The floor tiles around the memorial contain the names of the camps where Austrian Jews were killed during Nazi tyranny. Beneath the square is the ruins of a medieval synagogue. | Judenplatz, Vienna
32: Jewish Museum and the remains of the ancient Synagogue found under Judenplatz.
33: Old Town Hall, Vienna
34: Parliament, Vienna
35: Pestseule Monument (Baroque Plaque Column) on Graben Strasse, Vienna | National Museum | St. Stephen's Cathedral is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna,
36: Opera House | Imperial Court Theater Vienna | Theater
37: Imperial Palace, The St. Michael's Wing | The Hofburg Imperial Palace was the seat of one of the most powerful families in Europe - the Habsburgs. This family ruled much of Europe from the 12th century right up until the first World War. It served as the family's headquarters, and as their winter residence. The Imperial Palace is mammoth in size, consisting of over 2600 rooms.
38: Imperial Palace, Neue Burg Wing
40: In 1695, Emperor Leopold I commissioned court architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach with the construction of a palace that was to outshine Versailles. Due to costly wars, Fisher von Erlach's proposed complex of multiple wings and terraces set on a hill was too expensive and the emperor had to settle for a more modest design. Construction started in 1696 but it was only partially completed when Leopold died in 1705
42: City Hall | Entertainment on the ship
43: Sunrise Durnstein
44: Durnstein, Austria Durnstein gained its name from the medieval castle which overlooked it. The castle was called "Dürrstein", from the German meaning "dry" and Stein, "stone". The castle was dry because it was situated on a rocky hill, high above the damp conditions of the Danube. | From December 1192 to March 1193 the English King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned at Dürnstein. In 1356 The Habsburgs acquired Dürnstein as sovereigns (Duke Albrecht III. of Austria)
45: Sunrise Durnstein
46: Dürnstein Abbey Established in 1410 and rebuilt in a Baroque style in 1710
47: Dürnstein Abbey
50: Durnstein cemetery
51: Typical decorations around doors and windows.
52: Cruising the Danube
53: Weissenkirchen, the fortified parish church of the Assumption. The Gothic building, which was built in 1190, is surrounded by a defensive wall and towers, and looms over the picturesque village with its historic houses and vineyards.
54: Wehrkirche St. Michael (defense church of Saint Michael). The original church dating back to the 10th century was fortified in the 15th century by adding a defense tower and battlements making this the oldest parish church of the whole Danube valley. However, the really curious thing about this church is the seven rabbits sitting on the nave's roof.
55: Weitenegg. Castle ruin that dates back to 1108. It once had two Romanesque castle keeps and three courtyards. | The Schonbuhel Castle is over 1000 years old and was the property of the Bishops of Passau. The castle is known as the "Watchman of the Wachau".
56: Cruising the Danube
57: Melk Abbey is an Austrian Benedictine abbey, and one of the world's most famous monastic sites. The abbey was built between 1702 and 1736 | Melk
58: Melk Abbey, inner courtyard
59: Melk Abbey Museum Reusable coffin was an idea by Joseph II for a reusable coffin | Melk Abbey
60: Melk Abbey
61: Sunset from the Melk Abey | Melk Abbey, church
62: Melk Abbey
63: Sunset, Melk
65: Sunrise arriving in Linz. Linz is the third-largest city of Austria and capital of the state of Upper Austria.
66: Stop on the drive to Salzburg
67: Documents from the 12th century report the presence of a Jewish quarter and a street called "Judengasse" ("Jews alley"). There is record of a synagogue in the 13th century. By 1492, Jews of Salzburg were publicly burned and Jewish settlers expelled from the city. This ban prevented the development of a Jewish community until well into the 19th century, by then Salzburg had become part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Many central figures of Salzburg's intellectual and cultural life from the late 19th century until Austria's annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 were Jewish or of Jewish origin, such as Theodor Herzl. The current Jewish population consists of only about 100 people. The synagogue is in active use. About 70,000 Jewish Austrians were murdered in concentration camps. Mr Feinstein president of the community survived 4 concentration camps. He is 100. | Synagogue in Salzburg.
68: Memorial of Remembrance,
69: 129 "stumbling stone" plaques have been laid in the streets of Salzburg (and throughout many European cities to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust | Still antisemitism | Hotel was Nazi Headquarters
70: Salzburg, Building that used to house a Synagogue dating back to 1377 | Following the annexation of Austria, Salzburg's only synagogue was burned by The Nazis, a massive book burning took place in one of the city's main plazas (see plaque above)and Jewish citizens were placed under the Nuremberg laws in which they were stripped of their rights. Many even lost their homes and businesses, and Salzburg's Jews were subjected to random acts of violence and humiliation by Nazis.
71: Salzburg | Town Hall
72: House in which Mozart lived
75: The Mirabell Palace and Gardens. In the heart of the garden, there is a large fountain, with four statue groups around it
76: Mirabell Gardens and Fountain with a Pegasus statue filmed in The Sound of Music
77: Scenery leaving Salzburg | Kelheim. Liberation Hall King Ludwig I of Bavaria ordered the Liberation Hall to be built to commemorate the victories against Napoleon during the Wars of Liberation that lasted from 1813 to 1815. The construction was started in 1842 completed in 1863.
78: Danube Gorge
79: Weltenburg Abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded by Irish or Scottish monks in about 620, is considered to be the oldest monastery in Bavaria.
80: Jewish History in Regensburg The Jewish quarter comprised about 39 houses and several public buildings, including a synagogue. The community had its own administration, seal and judge. In 1196 Rabbi Jehuda ben Samuel the-Chasid came to Regensburg and founded a famous Talmud school which became the center of Middle European Jewish life for years. By the end of the 15th century tension between Jews and Christians was beginning to increase. A few weeks after the death of Emperor Maximilian I, under whose rule Jews had enjoyed protection, the town council decided to expel all Jews from Regensburg. Therefore, in 1519, the Jewish quarter was razed to the ground. Over the following centuries the community slowly grew again, and in 1912 more than 500 Jews of Regensburg were able to open their most impressive Synagogue, a building badly damaged by the Nazis 26 years later during Kristallnacht. Excavations within the Regensburg city centre (Neupfarrplatz) were carried out on this approximately 3000 m site. In the course of these excavations the remains of cellars belonging to houses and buildings of the Jewish quarter were exposed. The most sensational find was the Gothic synagogue and the remains of the previous Romanesque synagogue. In several places the Roman layer could be investigated. The most spectacular find made during the 1995-98 excavations dates from the end of the 14th century, when the medieval Jewish community was at its peak: A treasure trove of 624 gold coins.
81: Regensburg, Neupfarrplatz. Excavation below the square revealed part of the Jewish Quarter | Cellar in house of Jewish quarter
82: Photographs of the Synagogue in Regensburg before it was burned in 1938 and after the burning. New Synagogue is the small building to the right
83: Old and new places of worship
84: Regensburg church with antisemitic stone carving. Jews suckling from pig. | City Hall
85: Regensburg | House where Schindler lived after WWII
86: The Stone Bridge was built in only eleven years, probably in 1135-46. Louis VII of France and his army used it to cross the Danube on their way to the Second Crusade. It remained the only bridge across the Danube at Regensburg for about 800 years. It served as a model for the London Bridge across the Thames, | Entertainment on the ship. Best beard
87: One of the large locks on th Danube
88: Cruising the Danube on the way to Nuremberg
89: Small room above was the famous Courtroom 600 where the Nuremberg trials took place. | Prison where those on trial in Nuremberg were kept.
90: Nuremberg. Avia service station is the site of an ancient Synagogue. The owner refused to have an historic sign put up on the property. | Nuremberg. Way of Human Rights. A monumental outdoor sculpture, opened on October 24, 1993.
91: Typical of the half-timbered burghers' houses of the 15th century.
92: Stone Tower
93: Nuremberg The Kettensteg (Chain Bridge (built in 1824) is the oldest surviving iron suspension bridge in continental Europe. It can be seen just in front of the large stone bridge.
94: Market Square. Monument with King David and Moses (with horns).
95: Terezin Concentration Camp. The railroad tracks ended at the city line
96: Terezin Concentration Camp. The "camp-ghetto" existed for three and a half years, between November 24, 1941 and May 9, 1945. Of the vast majority of Czech Jews who were taken to Terezin , 97,297 died among whom were 15,000 children. Only 132 of those children were known to have survived.
97: Ghetto Museum
98: Art from the Camp | Recreation of dorms in which those in the ghetto lived.
101: Gestapo Prison (small fortress)
102: Gestapo Prison
103: Terezin Cemetery
104: As we left Terezin, the sun broke through the clouds.
106: History of the Jews in Prague Documentary evidence reveals that Jews have lived in Prague since 970 C.E. By the end of the 11th century, a Jewish community had been fully established. In the late 11th century and early 12th century, the Jews of Prague suffered from persecution: first, in 1096, at the hands of the Crusaders, and second, during the siege of the Prague Castle in 1142. During the siege, the oldest synagogue in Prague and sections of the Jewish quarter were burned down.The situation did not improve in the early 13th century. In 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council mandated that Jews must wear distinctive clothes, were prohibited from holding public office and were limited in the amount they could charge for interest on loans. During Easter 1389, members of the Prague clergy announced that Jews had desecrated the host (Eucharistic wafer) and the clergy encouraged mobs to pillage, ransack and burn the Jewish quarter. Nearly the entire Jewish population of Prague (3,000 people) perished. Many of the remaining women and children were baptized. One of the few survivors, Rabbi Avigdor Kara (who lived until 1439 and whose tomb is preserved in the Old Jewish Cemetery), wrote a moving elegy describing the attack; this elegy is still read every year in Prague on Yom Kippur. The 16th century began the Jewish Renaissance in Prague. Prague nobility in 1501 allowed for an open atmosphere of economic activity. Yet during the Habsburg reign, the Jewish people were expelled twice in 1542 and 1561. Each time they returned to prosper even more. From 1564-1612, the reigns of Maximilian and Rudolf II were “golden ages” for the Jews in Prague. In the early 18th century, the Jews accounted for about one fourth of Prague’s population. More Jewish people lived in Prague than anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, the golden age ended with the ascension of Empress Maria Theresa who expelled the Jews from Prague from 1745 to 1748.
107: During the 19th century, Jews gradually became emancipated. Temporary civil equality was granted to Jews under the law in 1849. The ghetto was abolished in 1852 and became a district of Prague. During the first decades of the 20th Century, German-speaking Jews in Prague produced a large body of internationally acclaimed literature. The most famous of these writers were Franz Kafka, Max Brod and Franz Werfel. This is the last generation of writers and intellectuals in Prague before the outbreak of World War II. At the outbreak of World War II, over 92,000 Jews lived in Prague, almost 20 percent of the city’s population. Prague was one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe. At least two-thirds of the Jewish population of Prague perished in the Holocaust. Of the vast majority of Czech Jews who were imprisoned in Terezin, 80 percent of those were deported to Auschwitz, Maidanek, Treblinka and Sobibor. Other Czech Jews were sent directly to death camps. Over 97,000 perished, of which were 15,000 Czech Jewish children. Only 132 of those children were known to have survived. More than a quarter of a million Czechoslovak Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and more than 60 synagogues in the Czech lands were destroyed. Charles IV gave the Jews of Prague the honor of a flag in 1357. The red flag includes a yellow Magen David (Star of David), often considered to be the first use of a Magen David to represent a Jewish community.
108: Old Town Hall of Jewish Quarter
109: Old New Synagogue. The Old “ New Synagogue" is situated in Josefov, the former Prague Jewish Town, which was demolished in the 19 th century and only several historical buildings were kept. The synagogue was built in the second half of the 13 th century and it became the center of the Jewish community in Prague. Services have been held there continually since it was built, with an exception of the years of Nazi occupation in 1942 -1945. | Moses
110: The Maisel Synagogue was built in 1590 - 1592 by the Mayor of the Jewish Town, Mordechai Maisel, who funded the extensive Renaissance reconstruction of the ghetto.
111: The Pinkas Synagogue was built in 1535. After the Second World War, the synagogue was turned into a Memorial to the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia murdered by the Nazis. On its walls are inscribed the names of the Jewish victims, their personal data, and the names of the communities to which they belonged.
112: This is one of Europe's oldest Jewish burial grounds, dating from the mid-15th century. Because the local government of the time didn't allow Jews to bury their dead elsewhere, graves were dug deep enough to hold 12 bodies vertically, with each tombstone placed in front of the last. The result is one of the world's most crowded cemeteries: a 1-block area filled with tens of thousands of graves.
114: Ceremonial building were the bodies were prepared for burial.On the left is the side of the Klausen Synagogue.
115: The Spanish Synagogue was built in 1868 on the site of the oldest Prague Jewish house of prayer. It was built in the Moorish Style.
116: Clock tower and Astronomical clock.
118: Astronomical clock
119: Buildings on the Town square
120: Town Square
121: The Lennon Wall represented not only a memorial to John Lennon and his ideas for peace, but also a monument to free speech and the non-violent rebellion of Czech youth against the regime.
123: Palace Golden Gate
124: Saint Vitus' Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral and the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. Example of Gothic architecture and is the biggest and most important church in the country.
127: Rain drains From the church in shapes of animals.
128: Palace Changing of the guards
129: Interesting Architecture
131: Street Singers
133: Monument of Prague writer Franz Kafka near the Spanish Synagogue. The statue of the writer sits on the shoulders of a headless person statue and shows him which way to go. The monument was made by Jaroslav Rona in 2003.
134: Charles Bridge Started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century.
135: Powder Tower | Old Town Bridge Tower side facing the bridge | Old Town Bridge Tower side facing town
136: The tower at the western end of the Charles Bridge comprises two towers of different appearance, origin and size. The smaller of the towers was erected in the Romanesque style. It was part of the Judith Bridge (which was Prague's first stone bridge built in the first half of the 12th century) but it is actually older. The first references to the tower date back to 1249. The second, taller tower began to be erected with the construction of Charles Bridge in 1357.
137: Statues on the Charles Bridge
138: Charles Bridge (black and white)
139: In 1696, apparently to punish a Jewish leader for an alleged blasphemous act he was ordered to raise the funds for purchasing of gold-plated Hebrew letters, placed around the head of the statue, spelling out "Holy, Holy, Holy, the Lord of Hosts," the Kedusha from the Hebrew prayer. The inscription was a symbolic humiliation of Prague Jews, forcing them to pay for a set of golden letters referring to God and and hung around the neck of the statue of Christ.
140: Prague, Lesser Town
141: Art Nouveau building on the Palace Square | Building on the Palace Square
142: Children on an outing | National Theater | Opera
143: Lesser Town from the Charles Bridge
144: Statue alongside of Charles Bridge | Palace
145: Prague at sunset
146: Exhibition in old town | David Cerny an internationally famous Czech sculptor.
147: City scenes
148: Prague by night
149: Its all over. On to the next trip