Head of Department Magdalena Sedlická
Characteristics of the collections
The Shoah History Department oversees several collections:
This collection contains official documents associated with the activities of the Jewish Council of Elders and their offices in the Terezín ghetto, the estates of Terezín prisoners, literary works, music scores, theatre plays, diaries, albums, magazines and post-war testimonies.
This collection contains various archival documents, such as decrees and regulations concerning anti-Jewish measures, Treuhandstelle documents, correspondence from concentration camps, estates from the Holocaust period that did not originate in the Terezín ghetto, and personal accounts of the period of Nazi persecution.
Particular attention is merited by a number of personal papers, including those of the prominent Jewish composer Gideon Klein and the violin virtuoso Egon Ledeč, among others.
The Shoah History Department provides information about Shoah victims and survivors. It has an alphabetical digital database
and a family card index of Jews deported from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The staff are also responsible for
overseeing the systematic care of the Pinkas Synagogue Memorial to the victims of the Shoah from Bohemia and Moravia. Ongoing
amendments and additions are made to the information about victims after making thorough checks. Photographs of victim's names
can be provided when requested.
Please send any queries to email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Study and consultation: Mondays and Tuesdays: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
In August the archive of the Shoah History Department will be closed for public.
Archival documents are made available for study under the terms set out in the Rules for Researchers
History of the collections
The Shoah History Department began its work in the former State Jewish Museum in Prague on 1 October 1969 when it was called the Documentation Centre. At that time it was staffed by the historians Anita Franková and Anna Hyndráková, who had both gone through the Terezín ghetto and the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp as children. Their organization, arrangement and inventorying of the collection of documents, photographs and books provided the basis for future work/research. At the time, the Documentation Centre also oversaw the museum's unique collection of children's drawings.
The archival collections are supplemented on an ongoing basis. The department also seeks to obtain personal papers and family archives that contain official and personal documents, photographs and witness accounts from both before and after 1945. In addition, intensive work is being done on the digitization and editing of archival materials, access to which is being provided gradually in the online collections catalogue
Ruth Brösslerová in 1938
Thirteen-year-old Ruth Brösslerová came to the ghetto with her parents and younger brother on 28 January 1942, arriving on Transport U from Brno. In her diary she not only provides careful and remarkably observant chronological accounts of events associated with the life of the girls in the L410 barrack but also reflects on the reality of the surrounding adult world and ghetto life, and contemplates the future. Both of her diaries contain a number of drawings and documents that have been pasted in (e.g. her family's transport numbers, tuition confirmation), as well as notes by other people. Ruth Brösslerová's diary was provided on loan by her daughter's family, and a copy was made for the Terezín Archive Collection.
Klepy (“Gossip”) was a secret magazine created during the Nazi occupation in 1940-19 by a group of Jewish children from České Budějovice who used to meet up at the local 'Jewish Pool' – one of the few places that Jews were allowed to go. The magazine featured humorous texts with drawings and photographs, which in the course of time devoted increasing attention to such issues as persecution, youth work, emigration, Zionism and so forth. The magazine editor was Rudolf Stadler, the uncle of the people who donated this valuable document to the Jewish Museum. Most of the youngsters from the 'Jewish Pool' in České Budějovice, including the magazine editor Rudolf Stadler, perished during the war. A member of this group of youngsters was Viktor Kende, the father of Hana Kende (England), and Jiří Kende (Germany) who kindly donated complete and original set of mostly bound copies of the magazine to the Jewish Museum in 2001. This material is now kept in the Persecution Documents collection.
Postcard from the Terezín ghetto
Postal contact between the inmates of the Terezín ghetto and the outside world was strictly regulated and, where permitted, was subject to rigorous censorship. As a result, written communications often contained allegory, for example with regard to requests for food to be sent. In a card written in block letters to his brother, Otto Taussig informed his brother that he was weak from pneumonia and that “Uncle Lard has died.” Together with his wife Jana, son Karel and daughter Maire Helga, Otto Taussig was put on Transport Ds, which was dispatched from the Terezín ghetto to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp on 18 December. None of the family survived. This postcard is part of the Terezín Archive Collection.