Pinkas Synagogue: Prague, Czechoslovakia. Built in 1535. Survived the holocaust intact, unlike nearly every other synagogue in occupied Europe, because Hitler planned to use the building to house a “Museum to an Extinct Race” complete with actors costumed as caricatures of Hassidic Jews, celebrating his extermination of the Jewish people.
More than a quarter of a million Czechoslovakian Jews were murdered in the Shoah. The Nazis, however, under the direct orders of Adolf Hitler, intentionally preserved 5 synagogue buildings in Prague with the specific purpose of making them into a museum complex to “an extinct race.”
Today the Pinkas Synagogue has become a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, with 77,297 handwritten names of Bohemian-Moravian Jews who perished in the Shoah covering nearly every inch of its interior walls, and 400 drawings, made by Jewish children interred in Terezin, housed for display there. (Note: Terezin was a transit camp in Bohemia. Of 15,000 children who passed through Terezin , only 132 survived.)The memorial was originally opened in 1960, but it was closed in 1968, after the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, not to reopen until after the fall of communist regime in 1989.
(11 inches high x 15 inches wide x 3 deep)