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This Torah scroll was hand-written in 1830 in Kostelec nad Orlicí (Adlerkosteletz in German), a town east of Prague. Following the Nazi invasion in 1939, the Nazis permitted members of the Prague Jewish community to salvage religious texts and objects from the deserted synagogues and bring them to the Central Jewish Museum in Prague. Beginning in June 1942, scrolls and other Judaica from 136 Jewish communities in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia arrived in Prague where they were painstakingly catalogued by the museum staff. Among the more than 212,000 artifacts collected were 1800 Torah scrolls. This Torah was one of those surviving scrolls.
As the Jewish community of Kostelec nad Orlicí was virtually destroyed during the Holocaust, this scroll, and others like it, represent those lost: the people who celebrated and the generations who lived, worshipped, and perished. It stands as a testament to those who are no longer with us and as an example of Jewish traditions that continue despite the Holocaust.
The Torah is on loan to Holocaust Museum LA by the Memorial Scrolls Trust located in London and is one of the 1564 rescued scrolls preserved by the Jewish Central Museum, in Prague.
To learn more about the collection of scrolls visit /