We wish her every success in her new position and wish leo a long and happy retirement. Leo wrote to us:
thank you for your words, I do really appreciate them. It has been an honour and a pleasure for me to work with everyone who contributes to preserving the memory of the history of Jews in the Czech lands. Your leadership of "Ostravaks" belongs to such people. Thank you again for your work and I wish you good health and much joy. Leo
Follow up from Newsletter #75
We are pleased to confirm that the 22 Stolpersteine have been delivered to Ostrava. The Ostrava City Engineers department have started to lay them. We will now have 84 Steine in place in Ostrava.
Lydia wrote to correct the newspaper report we quoted:
I have to correct a glaring error which appeared in the Times article about me. It sends me to Auschwitz at the age of 10. I was 10 when the war broke out and almost 16 when I got to Auschwitz. Had I been sent there at the age of ten I would not be here to tell the tale as I would have gone straight into the gas chambers. Best wishes, Lydia
We send all our readers best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year
Please keep your family stories and photographs coming in!
Jewish Museum in Prague
Follow up from Newsletter #75
News of Ostravaks
Lori Rudolph and Celia Harper
Asher Heinrich, Hugo Tramer
MEHRIN – Museum of S Moravian History
The Story of the Czech Scrolls and the Scrolls Trust
Lori wrote to us about her planned trip to Czechia:
It seems I am finally headed to Czechia! This trip is a long-time coming and I have the opportunity to spend one week with my husband and twin sons (19 years old) in Praha and Ostrava.
Would you possibly have the addresses for the Stolpersteine for Hana and Moric Friedenberg, as well as any which have been laid for Korner/Kohn family members? In your newsletter #42, there is a picture of one for my great-uncle, as well as a letter from Celia Harper. Would you share her email address with me? I am her cousin and met her briefly many years ago at a dinner at her grandmother's house in Sydney (that trip pre-dates email).
Again, your assistance is greatly appreciated. I will be glad to share any new information I discover while on my trip.
Lori Friedenberg Rudolph
Temple Isaiah, Fulton, Maryland.
We were able to reunite Lori and Celia, at least by email – It is heartwarming to be able to put long lost family members back in touch. Celia wrote:
Hi Lori & David
Thanks for your emails. This is my new email address above. I have been travelling so trying to catch up since we are back. I’ll respond directly to Lori but here I am back on deck. Cheers
Celia Harper (nee Korner)
.And Temple Isaiah also has an Ostrava sefer, again demonstrating the power of the Czech Scrolls network!
Lori wrote again explaining some of her family background
Thank you so much for your reply and for the address for the Stolpersteine for my Friedenberg Great-Grandparents.
Please share my email with Celia Harper if you can. Another cousin does not have her email either and would like to get in contact with her, Anne Spencer, her cousin from Toronto. We are all Kohn/Korner descendants.
The Kohn/Korner relatives are the descendants of Theresa and Johann Kohn (the distiller), whom you wrote about in your book. There were 10 children, one died before the war, Julius Korner and Edmond Korner died during the war. I am not sure of the fate of Grete or Frida Korner. The remaining siblings survived. In your Newsletter #42 you have an Emil Korner and Erna Korner, but I am not sure if they are related. Any information would be greatly appreciated and the location of that Stolpersteine as well.
Kindest regards, Lori
Naturally, Libuše produced background information on Theresa and Johann Kohn/Körner, which is attached as Appendix I. If you have any further information about the family, please contact Monica, David or Donal
Asher Heinrich – Hugo Tramer
Asher wrote to the JMP asking about his uncle, Hugo Tramer:
I am looking for information about my uncle Hugo Tramer born 1900. His father's name was Adolf. I think that he lived in Ostrava and was married with a child. His wife and son was murdered during the holocaust.
Can you assist me.
The JMP passed on the enquiry to me. Does anyone have any information about Hugo or Adolph? Please contact Donal, David or Monica if you have.
On 2nd August David gave a short talk at the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies’ conference, to a small group, about the research work behind the writing of the book “Ostrava and its Jews”. Suzanne Scarberry was among the select group. Her father was very active in the steel industry in Vitkovíce and Vienna. She promised to let me have more information about him which will, I hope, appear in the next Newsletter.
Gerald Stern was also part of the audience. He is very involved in the Newcastle Reform Synagogue who have a Czech scroll which has just been fully restored. The community held a siyyum and Jeffrey Ohrenstein (Chairman of the Czech Scrolls Trust) was there. They made a short film of the occasion.
From time to time, a reader will ask about acquiring Czech citizenship. Recently, there has been some activity about this, which might be of interest. An article about Kindertransport children being denied the possibility of Czech citizenship is attached in Appendix II.
Tom is applying for Czech citizenship for himself and his children and is in contact with a Czech lawyer whom Lenka Šindelářová (JMP) introduced to us. Tom has promised to let us have a report of progress from time to time. Watch this space.
Those of you thinking about applying for Czech citizenship, or already in the process of doing so, will be interested in an article that Wieslaw Jurkowski sent:
Ann Altman, our indefatigable correspondent, has sent us information about the new museum in Brno, and a book about it:
One of the founders of MEHRIN, Martin Reiner, has produced a book about the efforts, to date, to establish the new museum in Brno and the book is now available in English translation, on line. Download here
While the initial focus has been on Southern Moravia, it is probable that the project will involve collaboration with and inclusion of the other regions of Moravia.
1564 Scrolls A legacy of Jewish Life in Bohemia and Moravia
Jeffrey Ohrenstein, Chairman of the Trust, has announced the publication of a new and updated history of the Czech Scrolls and the Trust;
Our thanks to MST Archivist Miles Laddie for the many months of work he put into researching and writing the story of the Czech Jewish community, of the Scrolls during the Shoah, and of the scrolls sitting unused in the Michle Synagogue in Prague. On 5th February 1964, the scrolls started arriving at Kent House in London.
A single book is offered at £17.50 plus postage for 150 pages, full colour, hardback. A Pack of 10 books is offer at the discounted price of £100 plus shipping in the hope that MST Czech Memorial Scroll Holder synagogues will use these as B'nei Mitzvah gifts.
Kol hakoved to Miles, and to Donal who edited and laid out the text.
In summer 1965, at a cross community service at Westminster Synagogue, Chief Rabbi Dr Israel Brodie led the saying of kaddish for those who had died in the Shoah. This Jewish service can take many forms, and is expected to be cross community, bringing multiple Scroll Holder Communities together across a region.
There are special scroll gatherings being organised to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Memorial Scrolls arriving in London. Westminster Synagogue is hosting the major celebration on 4th February 2024. Your invitation to join and to bring your Community's Czech Memorial Scroll is here.
MST welcomes every scroll holder community to host a Czech Memorial Scroll Gathering in their region, for the 60th anniversary year and for every year onwards.
The MST Newsletters
Please subscribe to MST's general Newsletter here.
The link to subscribe to this Ostrava newsletter is here.
Körner Johan (originaly Kohn) and Terezie neé Singer
All children are registered in the Jewish register of births Uherský Brod sig. HBMA 2245 and 2246, which is digitally accessible on the Internet
with surname Kohn with a note that based on regional governorship´s decision No. 2605 from 17.1.1908 family name was changed to Körner.
Notes to individual children:
Julius dr. *29.3.1879 Uher. Brod +21.10.1941 ghetto Litzmannstadt. Wife Augusta *?, +?.
He was a notary, declared dead by the Bruntál District Court file M 4/46 on the suggestion of his brother Robert. Residence and family affiliation Bruntál, wife Brno. Deported from Prague by transport B to the Litzmannstadt ghetto, where he died.
Robert dr. *7.9.1880 Uher. Brod, wife Jeny neé. Singer *7.2.1880 Vienna.
daughter Ella married Reiner(ová) *5.10.1911 Mor. Ostrava.
He was a lawyer in Ostrava from 1906, at the beginning of the war he emigrated to Switzerland, then to USA. In Ostrava, the last residence was Miličova 12.
Edmund dr. *22.1.1882 Uher. Brod +21.10.1941 ghetto Litzmannstadt, wife?, daughter Marianna *4.4.1921 +21.10.1941 Litzmannstadt. Deported from Prague to Litzmannstadt by transport B.
Ruth *2.2.1911 Olomouc married Kauders, Gerhard *8.9.1917 Olomouc, Edita *28.9.1919 Mor. Ostrava.
The family lived in Mor. Ostrava since 1913, the last residence in M.O. was Krausova 3. He was a civil engineer, builder and surveyor. From 10.4.1947 he was released from the state union, he received Australian citizenship by naturalization. Among the archives are requests for wartime property reparations.
Emil *13.11.1884 Uher. Brod, wife Elsa neé. Eisler(ová) *12.6.1892 in Vlachovice, children:
Eva *14.1.1914 Vienna, Renate *29.12.1921 Vítkovice, Hanuš *30.8.1924 Vítkovice.
Head of the central accounting office of the Vítkovice metallurgical and mining company, last apartment Vítkovice, Verdunská 36. Emigrated with the whole family to Switzerland, then London. Correspondence about war reparations.
Margareta *19.2.1886 Uher. Brod – her fate is unknown.
Jindřich *13.3.1899 Uher. Brod, wife Marta neé Jablonská *1.1.1899 Breslau, children:
Ilsa *18.12.1912 Breslau, married Friedenberg(ová), Alice * 16.8.1911 Uher. Brod, married Kuffler(ová).
Last address Mor. Ostrava, Tyršova 6, emigrated to England, then USA.
Ernest Ing. *12.8.1888 Uher. Brod, wife Edita neé Singer(ová) *7.1.1902 Orsová, children: Pavel *18.11.1925 Mor. Ostrava, Herbert *25.2.1929 Mor. Ostrava.
House builder, last residence in Ostrava, Tyršova 10. Emigration to Australia at the beginning of the war. He was a famous architect and builder
Frieda *20.5.1891 Uher. Brod - her fate is unknown.
Czechs urged to repeal law denying rights to Kindertransport descendants
Communist-era rule to punish defectors is denying descendants of escapees from Nazi occupation Czech citizenship
The Czech government is coming under pressure to amend a communist-era rule that denies citizenship rights to descendants of Jewish refugee children who fled to Britain from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia on pre-second world war Kindertransports.
A law passed after the communists seized power in 1948 aimed to punish defectors who fled the dictatorship for the capitalist west by stripping them and any children they had afterwards of the right to citizenship, unless registered at a Czechoslovak embassy within a year of their birth.
Campaigners say the regulation – which applies to anyone of Czech parentage born between October 1949 and May 1969 – has had the unintended effect of barring citizenship rights for potentially thousands of children and grandchildren of young Jewish refugees who escaped Czechoslovakia thanks to the efforts of the British humanitarian aid worker Sir Nicholas Winton and other noted volunteers, including Doreen Warriner and Trevor Chadwick.
Between March and August 1939, eight trains evacuated a total of 669 mainly Jewish children from Prague to London, until the outbreak of war stopped the transports.
The cold war-era law punishing defectors for “unauthorised abandonment” of Czechoslovakia was abolished in 1990, the year after the communist regime was toppled in the Velvet Revolution.
Those forcibly deprived of citizenship have since had it restored, but the regulation barring unregistered children remains in effect.
A 2013 citizenship law granted those born in the 1949-69 period a year-long amnesty to submit applications but the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR), a British-based charity for Holocaust refugees, says the vast majority of Kindertransport descendants knew nothing of the temporary window and remain excluded.
Officials say more than 500 people born to Czech parents successfully gained citizenship before the amnesty expired in January 2015.
The association is now pressing the government of Petr Fiala, the Czech prime minister, to adopt an amendment tabled nearly two years ago by an MP, Karla Šlechtová, that would grant a new five-year amnesty for unregistered applicants.
The amendment stalled after the 2021 general election that brought Fiala’s coalition administration to power and has been further stymied by the new government’s focus on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Amid growing frustration, the UK government’s special envoy for post-Holocaust affairs, Lord Pickles, recently wrote to his Czech counterpart, Robert Řehák, urging that matters be accelerated by tacking the amendment on to unrelated legislation, such as the government-sponsored finance bill.
The AJR has enlisted the support of Czech Jewish groups to bolster a lobbying effort aimed at overcoming what it perceives as a lack of political will. “There is much sympathy,” said Michael Newman, the organisation’s chief executive. “There is also the text of a law and the intention to promulgate but no timeline when. This is what is frustrating.”
The restrictions contrast with recent descendants’ citizenship rights extensions in Austria and Germany, where the offspring of Jews in or displaced from the Sudetenland at the time of its annexation by Hitler from Czechoslovakia in 1938 are able to claim German citizenship, even while they are ineligible for Czech nationality.
Aspiring applicants invoke emotional ties to their parents’ or grandparents’ birthplace, but some also express a desire to restore EU rights lost due to Brexit.
Her father was a Czech citizen who was sent to Britain in May 1939.
Naomi Yandell, 61, who lives in Cambridge, had her citizenship application rejected despite having been invited to a ceremony at the Czech embassy in London to unveil a portrait of Winton, who was awarded the Czech Republic’s highest honour before his death in 2015.
She was inspired to apply by the story of her late father, George Fuller (originally Fuchs), who was sent to Britain in May 1939, at the age of eight, by his parents, who later perished at Treblinka.
“I was born in 1961, the daughter of a Czechoslovak citizen,” she said. “I am sad that my children and I no longer appear to have an opportunity to claim Czech citizenship, given my family’s deep roots with the country over many generations. It seems most unjust.”
David Lowy, 56, who lives in Vancouver, said he was denied citizenship despite his father, Otto, having served in the Czechoslovak squadron of the RAF after fleeing Prague as a 17-year-old. Otto later emigrated to Canada, where he became a broadcaster noted for his programmes on Czech history and culture.
“I want this because I’m Czech – it’s the environment I grew up in,” said Lowy, who holds Canadian and British citizenship. “Those Kindertransport children were Czechs who were got out as nine or 10-year-olds by Nicholas Winton, who is one of the most honoured people in the Czech Republic. Yet their own children, born 20 years later, cannot become Czechs – it’s terrible.”