Traces of memory: the fate of Jewish book owners in Moravia during the Shoah

One year student project is supported by the IGA grant of Palacký University in Olomouc (03/2023 - 0/32024, IGA_FF_2023_013). The student team of the Kurt and Ursula Schubert Center for Jewish Studies (Kamila Cmolová, MA student and Václav Chalupný, PhD student), led by Dr. Daniel Soukup, will research in cooperation with the Jewish Community of Brno the so-called memory traces contained in the books that were largely confiscated from their Jewish owners (individuals and legal entities) during the Nazi persecution.

What are these memory traces? They are the individual features of these books, i.e. ownership notes, signatures, drawings, ex libris, stamps, marginal inscriptions, inserted slips of paper or bookmarks. We are interested in how the books were handled and related to by their owners, and based on this information we will try to reconstruct the fate of the books as well as those who owned them. The subject of the pilot research will be the extensive collection of approximately 13,000 prayer and religious books currently housed at the Jewish Community in Brno. The project, which is a follow-up to the "Library of Stolen Hopes" project, will select only a small portion, approximately 100 copies, which can be linked by provenance to the pre-war Jewish community in Moravia. These books are often the only tangible evidence of family stories, family memory, and the lives of specific individuals who were victims of the Holocaust. Their fates are to be commemorated by this project.

You can follow the partial results on the project's Facebook profile here.

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