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Velhartice & Šumava

Yesterday we came back from Velhartice where we spent whole last weekend. We were walking there because there are very nice forests and many castles and ruins around Velhartice. On Suterday there were a concert where three girls (Annička, Bohdanka and Jana) from our youth group were playing (piano, violin and cello). It was very nice to hear so fantastic music and saw so nice places. One day we visited synagogue in Hartmanice. That place has interesting history. In May 2006, after 68 years, the Mountain Synagogue in Harmanice was re-opened to public. The synagogue, built in year 1883 by the Hartmanice - Kundratice Jewish Community has had a moving past. After the annexation of the border regions because of the Munich Agreement in 1938, the synagogue was confiscated by the Nazi authorities and passed to a local carpenter who made it into a workshop and a warenhouse. It served the same purpose after the war when the Czechoslovak state took ownership. After the fall of communism, the synagogue has changed owners several times. In 2002, the Hartmanice Memorial Association was established with the goal to save the synagogue. After securing the money for reconstruction, the newly repaired building hosts exhibitions about the history and life in Šumava. Occasionally, concerts, lectures and temporary exhibits take place in synagugue as well. Very interesting exhibition is about the coexistence of Czechs, Germans and Jews in this area. And very sad is the exhibition about villages, settlements or farms that were within several kilometers from the border with Germany, were systematically eliminated. Among them were villages where hudreds of inhabitants had lived for generations. An absolute curiosity is the exhibition with documents about the event which is called Death March of Jewish Women that led through Hartmanice at the end of WWII. These also include a certificate of the questionings by American officer with the witnesses of this tragic event. We visited also Jewish cametery which is near Hartmanice. The cametery is destroyed, but the place is calm and pleasant.