Bratislava and the sadness of their Jewish Museum

Jul 13 2015 Published by under eastern europe, Uncategorized

From Journals (edited for grammar only)
Bratislava, in the center, is another medieval European town. I've seen many now, and while interesting, this has nothing in particular to recommend it. Cute, and much cheaper than Vienna or Budapest. But, the pastry is nowhere near as good.
The Jewish community, the issues of WWII are as much an afterthought here as they were in Austria. More on that tomorrow. We have a long ride to Prague during which I will write
The Jewish museum is Bratislava was  more depressing than Vienna. Vienna's museum was new, and marble and airy and could have been built by paranoid Israelis. Bratislava's was in an old building, with no technology (a good thing), but sad and shabby and artifacts with little information in dusty glass cases.  There were three Torah scrolls, under glass. It made me sad to see that they were not used, but there is only one synagogue in Bratislava, of older people. Jews do not seem to be part of Slovakia.
There is small documentation of the holocaust in Bratislava. But the region (whatever country it was then) welcomed Hitler, and the Catholic Church was instrumental in the process of depriving Jews of their property, their rights and finally their lives. Czechslovokia did not recognize Israel after 1968, and the few Jews that had returned after WWII left for Israel when they could. The old historic synagogue in Bratislava was torn down in the late 60s to build a highway and road into the old town. There was a holocaust memorial at the edge of the old town, but it was not marked and had no legend. There is small plaque to Raul Wallenberg, but it is on a busy road, and hard to see.
The town center of Bratislava was the small wandering streets filled with cafes, but probably fewer tourists than Krakow. I walked quite a bit, but I am getting to the point where old town centers, with histories of centuries blur together in my head.

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