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The New Jewish Cemetery in Prague

Somewhere here, under loamy leaves and mushrooms, lies the grave of my Loving Life Buddy's grandmother, Therese Löw. We couldn't find it, despite almost 2 hours of searching, with the help of a cemetery groundskeeper, who kept checking a piece of paper, mumbling to himself in Czech and finally, calling the front office. Therese died only months before she would have been transported to Terezin, and no doubt, Auschwitz, in rapid succession. In a way, she was spared. But Gidon was overcome. This is the 2nd time he has tried to find her resting place, without any luck. This is the "new" Jewish cemetery in Prague, which, during the Communist occupation/control over Czechoslovakia, was too risky to visit or have any upkeep done. In addition, according to the guy in the office, Jews who died at that time (1941) were buried in haste and sometimes without markers. Gidon at on a bench and sobbed. It's a pity, he said. I wanted to find her. I had no words of comfort. Disinterestedly, dejectedly, we visited the gravesite of Kafka but it was of no comfort.


Then I notice something. Plaques mounted on the cemetery walls, with lists of names, dates and the concentration camps where people had been murdered. On the spur of the moment, I went back to the office. How much does it cost to get one of these plaques? Nothing, but you need to prove that family members perished in the Holocaust. You just have to call this guy here in Prague and pay for engraving and tell him what size you want.


We can do this, I tell Gidon. We can get the names of your father and grandparents engraved and put here, in Prague, in this cemetery so that while they don't have graves, they are remembered. Phone calls are made. Orders are placed. Email addresses are exchanged. The office guy says you know what, we're going to figure out where Therese's grave is. We're going to pull back all the ivy and overgrowth and identify the plot where she is and make a marker. From such a sad place, we managed to be proactive and find a way to remember Gidon's grandmother and to memorialize all the other family members who should have been buried here, had they not been murdered.

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