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Published: June 14th 2017
Well today we all felt a bit more rested and ready to face the day. The weather has been beautiful and promises to continue to be all week. This morning we headed out to begin our day on a walk through the old Jewish Quarter. Dad was once again the ultimate tour guide, as we made our way through the Old Town Square he talked to Anthony about living there and explained the massive statue even "googling" to make sure he had the dates right! We managed to take our own tour of the old synagogues and learned about their histories. We started in old church just of the square where my father and aunt were baptized in 1937 as my grandfather grew concerned about what he was seeing coming out of Germany. My grandparents made the decision to do what they could to protect their children and having them baptized was a last ditch effort to hide in plain site. It is a beautiful place where an old minister a long time ago, did what he could to save as many Jews as he could by giving them the shield of Christianity.
From there we moved on to the
Old-New Synagogue, marveling that it had stood for some 700 years through wars and religious strife, oppression and of course the occupation of the Nazis. Anthony particularly seemed to warm up to the idea that women had to stay behind the walls and could only listen through the slits in the wall, pretty sure he was just trying to get my goat, but one never knows with him! From there we went on to the Pinkas Synagogue, where again I was overwhelmed with emotion as I walked in to look directly at the names on the walls, it's just so intense, and to find my great-grandparents, my great-aunts and of course my dad's cousin Harry. So incredible that so much hate and destruction could exist in the world to simply destroy ordinary people for no reason other than their religion, and yet it still happens today. I think every one should walk through this place and see the thousands of names fro this small country alone, painstakingly hand painted in small letters on the walls of this sacred place. And the children's drawings, it just doesn't get any more personal than that, and I couldn't help but think of those
children in Syria who are seeing similar things, death, destruction, shame that we haven't really learned from the past.
After touring some more of the quarter we stopped for lunch at one of dad's favourites, Lippert's. Anthony and I ordered salads, we needed some roughage, and to our surprise the old man ordered more Svetchkova again! This one came with whipped cream, and of course, more wine. We went on from there to St Cyril's church and the War Museum honouring the sacrifice of the Czech Soldiers who took on the Anthropoid mission to assassinate Hydrik. All in all a very intense day.
After an afternoon rest period we went out walking again and decided we didn't really want to eat, just something light! So dad ordered palychinki, otherwise known as crepes! when I pointed out that just because they didn't weigh much, didn't really make them light, his answer was that they felt light therefore they were light! Who can argue? We explored Wenceslas Square and of course the Lucerne Theater where my father, at 14 was watching a western when the communists marched in and took over. After saying good night to dad, we took a
rest and then headed out for a late dinner, it was a beautiful evening and we had a great time sitting in the square, eating pizza and sipping wine and beer.
On to Terrazine today, will be another emotional day for sure, but we want and need to experience this...
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