Behind us is the busy street Na Struze, it was one of the most prestigious places in Trutnov. And here stood the Trutnov Synagogue.
In the places where we are standing with the parish priest of the Church of the Czech Brethren, Tomáš Molnár, there is a wall of leveled masonry and a few steps. “Apparently here was the Tabernacle with the Torah. In that year 1938, Trutnov was already part of the Great German Empire, and the local synagogue, like many hundreds of others, fell into the hands of the group, unfortunately at that time controlled by the Nazi state.”
“There is practically nothing left of the building. Only the remnants of the original cast-iron railing have survived to this day, and we have a piece of wooden paneling from the altar in our museum. Several plans and also a few photographs of the synagogue have been preserved. It was built in the 1880s in a traditional Moorish style,“ says historian Ondřej Vašata.
And adds. “And it stood here until that fateful, so-called Kristallnacht from November 9 to 10, 1938, when it was set on fire by the local Henlain family. It burned for several days and was subsequently torn down.“
Today, this place is reverently maintained and various gatherings are held here. This Sunday afternoon also with the presentation of new, so-called memory stones for Trutnov. All this as part of the Czech – German – Jewish festival Nine Gates.
“According to František Langer’s book, the name of the festival is Nine Gates, and access to all festival events and concerts is free,“ says Tomáš Molnár.
There will be amazing music, from klezmer to serious music. But what I like most about this festival is the ecumenical side of the whole event. “Certainly. We cooperate with the Czechoslovak Hussite Church and it is about reminding ourselves that Jews have lived here with us for thousands of years, they were part of our culture.“
“And also to recall the demise of the Trutnov Jewish community during the Second World War and the horror of the Holocaust in general. And of course we also want to warn against similar things, which unfortunately still happen in the world. And I fear they will continue to happen,“ adds Tomáš Molnár, parish priest of the Czech Brethren Evangelical Church.