Pribram, Czech Republic
The Holocaust Center’s exhibit now includes a Torah rescued from Pribram, Czechoslovakia and provided to the museum by the Memorial Scrolls Trust.
1,564 Torah Scrolls were saved. After the war, the Torahs were left in storage, mostly abandoned until British philanthropists purchased the collection from the Czech government in 1964 and created the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust. From London, scrolls have been loaned to communities and museums around the world.
A Torah scroll is hand written on parchment in Hebrew, and contains the five books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, which are also the first five books of the Christian Bible. Judaism teaches that the Torah was delivered to Moses from God and is a guide for how to live their lives. A portion of the Torah is read every Sabbath in Jewish synagogues.
These scrolls, which already held religious significance, are the last remaining religious objects connected to Jews murdered in the Holocaust.
In 1940, the Schwarz family escaped their home near Berlin, Germany and immigrated to Shanghai, China. Heinz, age 13, joined the Shanghai chapter of the Boy Scouts. After the war, Heinz and his family settled in Seattle.
On May 5, 1945, a resistance group, the Regiment Danforce, made up of Swedish and Danish citizens, entered Denmark to help liberate the country from the German occupation. Martin Metzon, a young Danish Jew, wore this armband to show he was part of the liberating troops. Metzon had fled Denmark in 1943 for the relative safety of Sweden. In 1953, he settled in Seattle.