List of Czech and Slovak Jews

List of Czech and Slovak Jews

There was a large and thriving community of Jews, both religious and secular, in Czechoslovakia before World War II. Many perished after the Holocaust. Today, nearly all of the survivors inter-married and assimilated into the Czech and Slovak society.

Academics and scientists

* Yehuda Bauer, Czech born Israeli historian of the Holocaust [ [ ADL website] Accessed 9 Feb 2006]
* Itzhak Bentov, inventor [Review of his book, "The Cosmic Book: On the Mechanics of Creation" [ booksellers] calls him "a Jewish scientist and inventor, who was born in Prague". Accessed 20 Oct 2006]
* Samuel Bergman, philosopher [ [ Jewish Agency for Israel] ; [ The Hugo Bergmann family Papers] ; both accessed 11 March 2007]
* Berthold Bretholz, Moravian historian [Encyclopaedia Judaica, article "Historians", list of "Prominent Jewish General Historians".]
*Gerty Cori (1896 - 1957) biochemist [ [ Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori ] ]
* Martin Fleischmann, chemist [ [] : "Birthplace: Karlsbad, Czechoslovakia ... Religion: Jewish" accessed 8 Feb 2007]
*Vilém Flusser (1920 - 1991) self-taught philosopher [ [] "Vilém Flusser was born on the 12th of May 1920 in Prague into a family of Jewish intellectuals"]
* Ernest Gellner (1925 - 1995) philosopher and social anthropologist [Obituary, by John Davis, Warden of All Souls College [ London School of Economics] , "Ernest Gellner, who has died a few days short of his 70th birthday, was brought up in Prague, in an urban intellectual Jewish family." Accessed 10 Nov 2006.]
* Carl Koller (1857–1944), ophthalmologist [Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed., art. "Koller, Carl": "born in Bohemia"]
* Stephan Korner, philosopher [(Jewish Year Book 2005 p215, in List of Jewish Fellows of the British Academy; born Czechoslovakia; see Who was Who)]
* Ernest Nagel, philosopher [ [ List of Jewish philosophers] ; born in Prague [ Biography Research Guide] 10 March 2008]
* Samuel Steinherz, Czechoslovakian mediaevalist. [Encyclopedia Judaica, article "Historians", list of "Prominent Jewish General Historians".]
*Olga Taussky-Todd (1906 - 1995) mathematician [ [] "Political tensions arose around this time, and like many other Jewish intellectuals, she left Germany"]
* Rudolf Vrba (1924-2006) pharmacologist [ [,,1752845,00.html Obituary: Rudolf Vrba | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited ] ]


*Bedřich Feuerstein (1892 - 1936) architect, painter and essayist [ [] Noted in "Prague Jewish Architecture"]
*Miloš Forman (1932 - ) film director, actor and script writer [Web biographies that indicate Forman's father, who died in a concentration camp, was Jewish are incorrect. Neither one of his parents was Jewish. However, according to [] , Forman's biological father was Jewish, something he found out only after WWII: "About this time Milos received word from a woman who befriended Anna in Auschwitz. What she had to say would come as quite a shock. It seems Rudolf was in fact not Milos's father and that his real father was an architect who had worked for Anna. He too disappeared before the war but was Jewish thereby making Milos half Jewish. Milos would learn that this man was in fact alive and a professor at a university in Ecuador. They would never meet."]
*Arnošt Goldflam (1946 -) playwright, writer, director, screenwriter, and actor [Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed, art. "Goldflam, Arnošt": "Czech playwright, writer, director, screenwriter, and actor. Born to Holocaust survivors in Brno (Moravia)"]
*Hugo Haas (1901–1968), actor and film director [Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed, art. "Haas, Hugo": "Czechoslovakian actor and film director"]
*Francis Lederer (1899 - 2000) actor [Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed, art. "Lederer, Francis": "Czech actor"]
*Hugo Lederer (1871 - 1940) sculptor [ [ International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies - Cemetery Project] : he is buried in the Jewish cemetery in Znojmo, Czech Republic; accessed 18 May 2007]
*Herbert Lom (1917 - ) international film actor [ [ Flixster] 10 March 2008]
*Robert Maxwell (1923-1991) media mogul [ [ Robert Maxwell: Overview ] ]
*Emil Orlik (1870 - 1932) painter [ [] "important Jewish graphic artist and painter, Emil Orlik"]
*Alfréd Radok (1917 - 1976) stage director [ [] described Radok as "half Jewish"]
*Karel Reisz (1926 - 2002) director, became one of the most important film-makers in post war Britain [ [] "Reisz arrived in Britain in 1939 as one of more than 600 Jewish children, who escaped the horrific fate of their parents thanks to Sir Nicholas Winton, who arranged for them to escape Czechoslovakia"]
*Ivan Reitman, (1946- ) film director (born in Slovakia) [ [ Ivan Reitman - Canadian Film Director and Producer Born in Slovakia ] ]
*Jan Saudek (1935 - ) art photographer [ [] "in spite of the fact that due to his wartime experience as an enduring Jewish child"]
*Anna Ticho (1894 - 1980) artist [ [] noted in an essay on "Jewish artists"]


*Karel Ančerl (1908 - 1973) conductor, respected for his performances of contemporary music and particularly cherished for his interpretations of music by Czech composers [ [ Canadian Encyclopedia, art. Jewish music and musicians] "Post-war Jewish immigration has related less to persecution than to professional appointments or opportunities (eg, Karel Ančerl" Accessed 23 October 2006.]
* Ralph Benatzky (1884-1957) operetta composer ["b Mährisch-Budweis [now Moravské–Budějovice, Czech Republic] , 5 June 1884; d Zürich, 16 Oct 1957). Austrian-Moravian composer." (art. Benatzky, Ralph). (In list of Jews who fled the Nazis) Vienna, §5: 1806–1945: (v) 1934–45. Both from: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed 2001)]
*Karel Berman (1919 - 1995) opera singer and composer [ [ The concentration camp for Jews - the Terezín Ghetto] lists Berman as among the Jews sent there; Accessed 3 November 2006
[ Jewish Theological Seminary] : "Czech opera star Karel Berman" Accessed 3 November 2006
* Ignaz Brüll, composer and pianist [Jewish: "Contemporary Review, June, 1999 by Anthony Paterson" [] "the Nazi ban on his compositions - he was Jewish" Accessed 6 Nov 2006.
born Moravia: "Composers of Classical Music" [] "Brull, Ignaz 1846-1907 Moravia, Prossnitz - Austria, Vienna" Accessed 6 November 2006.
* Alfred Grünfeld (1852-1924) pianist & composer [ [ Jewish Encyclopedia] ; "born at Prague" Accessed 28 Nov 2006.]
*Pavel Haas (1899 - 1944) composer ["Classical Composers Database" [] "Born: 21 June 1899, Brno (Czechoslovakia) ... Being Jewish, at the time of the Nazi invasion he divorced his Christian wife to save his family" Accessed 6 Nov 2006.]
*Eduard Hanslick (1825-1904) music critic [Avins, Styra "Brahms and the German Spirit (review)" Music and Letters - Volume 87, Number 1, 2006, pp. 136-141 online at [] or [] "three other Jews, Julius Epstein, Anton Door, and Eduard Hanslick"(Needs subscription, but found with this search: [] Accessed 6 Nov 2006.)
Born in Prague: [ Encyclopaedia Britannica] Accessed 6 Nov 2006.
*Gideon Klein (1919 - 1945) composer of classical music [ Czech Jewish Museum] "The life and work of the Czech Jewish composers Gideon Klein and Egon Ledeč" Accessed 10 Nov 2006.] [ [ The Gideon Klein Foundation] "The Gideon Klein Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Eliška Kleinová, Gideon Klein’s sister" Accessed 15 Jun 2007.]
*Eliška Kleinová (1912 - 1999) pianist, music educator, and was the sister of Gideon Klein
* Erich Wolfgang Korngold, composer [ [ Korngold Society] : "he got thrown out of Vienna because he was Jewish" Jessica Duchen, author of E. Korngold's biography); [ Korngold Society] : "BRNO, where the composer was born"; accessed 6 Feb 2007.]
*Hans Krása (1899 - 1944) composer [ [ Berkeley Repertory Theater] "Krása, who was Jewish" Accessed 23 November 2006
[ Minnesota Public Radio] "Krása was a gifted Czech composer" Accessed 23 November 2006
*Egon Ledeč (1889 - 1944) composer of classical music
* Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), composer and conductor, Czech-born [ [ IMDB database] "Mahler's Jewish faith stood in the way of his career goal" Accessed 28 Nov 2006.
[ Sony Essentials of Music] "Czech-born Austrian composer and conductor" Accessed 28 Nov 2006.
*Ignaz Moscheles (1794 - 1870) composer and piano virtuoso [Art. on Moscheles in [ Encyclopaedia Britannica] "Czech pianist, one of the outstanding virtuosos of his era"; Art. on Moscheles in [ Columbia Encyclopedia] "Prague -born Jewish virtuoso Ignaz Moscheles" Both accessed 29 Nov 2006.]
*Zuzana Růžičková (1927 - ) contemporary harpsichordist, interpret of classical and baroque music [ [ Radio Praha] "She was born in Pilsen in 1927 into an upper class Jewish family"; [ Goldberg the early-music portal] "France honours Czech harpsichordist Zuzana Ruzickova" Both accessed 29 Nov 2006.]
*Erwin Schulhoff (1894 - 1942) composer and pianist [School of Oriental and African Studies, [ Newsletter of the Jewish Music Institute] "Erwin Schulhoff, a Czech Jew executed by the Nazis..." Accessed 8 Dec 2006.]
*Julius Schulhoff (1825 - 1898) pianist and composer [Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2nd ed., art. "Schulhoff, Julius": "Born in Prague"]
*Walter Susskind (1913 - 1980) conductor [ [ Bach cantatas site] "The distinguished Czech-born English conductor" [ Lake Placid Film Forum] "Walter Susskind, a German Jew" Both accessed 4 Jan 2007]
*Viktor Ullmann (1898 - 1944) composer, conductor and pianist [ [] "Raised a German-Czech until a 1909 move to Austria" [] "Viktor Ullmann, composer, pianist, choirmaster, conductor and music critic, was one of the victims from among the Prague German Jewish musicians in World War II."]
*Jaromír Weinberger (1896 - 1967) composer [ [] noted as one of "Jews prominent in music"]


* Viktor Adler (1852-1918) socialist politician, born Prague [ [;internal&action=_setlanguage.action?LANGUAGE=en Encyclopedia of Austria] born Prague (accessed 20 March 2008); "Jews and the American Soul: Human Nature in the Twentieth Century" by Andrew R. Heinze; Published 2004 Princeton University Press ISBN 0691117551, p.69 (includes him in list of notable Jews in Vienna)]
*Madeleine Albright (1937 - ) served as the 64th United States Secretary of State [ [] "When born Jews like Madeleine Albright leave Judaism to participate in new secular religions a la Karl Marx with Marxism" [] "The Washington Post reported Feb. 4 that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's parents were Jewish converts to Catholicism and that her grandparents died in the Holocaust."]
*Václav Benda (1946 - 1999) was a prominent right-wing politician.
*Pavel Dostál (1943 – July 24, 2005) was a social-democratic Minister of Culture in the Czech Republic.
*Ignaz Kuranda, politician [ [] Accessed 20 March 2008.]
*Artur London (1915 - 1986) communist politician and co-defendant in the Slánský trial. He was born in Ostrava, Moravia, Austria-Hungary [ [] "The film tells the story of Artur London, a Czech Jewish communist who survived Nazi concentration camps"]
*Rudolf Margolius (1913 - 1952) Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade (1949 - 1952), a victim of the Slánský trial [ [] "Articles and books about the life of Rudolf Margolius and his international economic agreements."]
*Petr Pithart Christian-democratic politician
*Rudolf Slánský (1901 - 1952) Communist politician and the party's General Secretary after World War II. Later he fell into disfavour with the regime and was executed after a show trial [ [] "The Czech Jewish party leader Rudolf Slansky"]
*Michael Žantovský Diplomat, politician and author. He was appointed to serve as the Ambassador to Israel in July 2003. [ [ Jewish News Weekly] Michael Zantovsky, a leading Czech political figure who is of Jewish background"; Accessed 5 Feb 2007]
*Vladimír Železný (1945 -) a media businessman and populist politician, member of the European Parliament, the founder of TV NOVA.

Psychologists and psychiatrists

* Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) founder of psychoanalysis [ [] "Sigmund Freud was born of Jewish parentage in Freiburg, Moravia, Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic)"]
* Wilhelm Jerusalem (1854-1923) philosopher and psychologist [Memoir by his son [] "there were also two other Jewish teachers at the Gymnasium school apart from my father" [ Autobiography on genealogy web site] (He and his brother) "were born in the small village of Drenice in Bohemia". Both accessed 29 Nov 2006.]
* Max Wertheimer, one of the founders of Gestalt psychology [ [ Jinfo list of Jewish psychologists] , Czech-born [ Encyclopaedia Britannica Online] Both accessed 28 May 2008 ]
* Edmund Husserl, philosoph and founder of Phenomenology

Religious leaders

* Samuel Abramson, rabbi of Carlsbad [ [ Jewish News Weekly of Northern California] "A chance meeting 13 years ago changed the course of Rabbi Samuel Abramson's life... He left his homeland, Czechoslovakia, in 1988" Accessed 8 Dec 2006.]
* Tzvi Ashkenazi, better known as Haham Zevi, chief rabbi of Amsterdam, prominent opponent of the Sabbateans
* Nehemiah Brüll, rabbi (born Neu-Raussnitz, Moravia) [ [ Jewish Encyclopedia] , "Rabbi and scholar of varied attainments; born March 16, 1843, at Neu-Raussnitz, Moravia" Accessed 10 Nov 2006.]
* Israel Bruna, rabbi (born Brno) ["Historical survey of Jewish settlement in Brno", [ Centropa Quarterly, Summer 2006] , "Rabbi Israel ben Chajim, also known as Israel Bruna (born in Brno early 15th century, died after 1475) was the first important Hebrew scholar in the Czech lands." Accessed 30 Oct 2006.]
* Aaron Chorin, rabbi (born Moravia) [ [ Jewish Encyclopedia] "rabbi; born at Weisskirchen, Moravia" Accessed 7 Nov 2006.]
* Joseph H. Hertz (1872-1946) Chief Rabbi of the British Empire. [ [] "Joseph Herman Hertz was born in Slovakia in 1872"]
*Judah Loew ben Bezalel (1525?-1609) rabbi [ [ Jewish History] "Rabbi Judah ben Bezalel Lowe was born about the year 5285, probably in Posen. He became famous as a great Talmudic scholar at an early age. In his late twenties, he was invited to become the Rabbi in Nikolsburg, Moravia, a position which he held for about twenty years. His greatest fame, however, came to him as the spiritual head of the Jewish community in Prague" Accessed 22 May 2007.]
* Isaac ben Jacob ha-Lavan, Bohemian tosafist [Jewish Encyclopedia: [] Bohemian; [] tosafist]
*Mordecai Meisel, Philanthropist and communal leader at Prague [ [ Jewish Encyclopedia] : "born at Prague 1528; died there March 13, 1601. The persecution of the Jews of Prague by the fanatical Ferdinand I. occurred while Mordecai was a youth. In 1542 and 1561 his family, with the other Jewish inhabitants, was forced to leave the city" Accessed 22 May 2007.]
* Karol Sidon, playwright, chief rabbi of Prague, and Convert to Judaism.


* Henri Blowitz, journalist [Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed., art. "Blowitz, Henri]
*Max Brod (1884 - 1968) author, composer, and journalist [ [] "Czech-born, German-language novelist" [] "Brod was a Czech Jew, or more precisely a Prague Jew, and a member of the famous Prager Kreis-that is to say, a Jew inhabiting a special cultural enclave"]
*Avigdor Dagan (1912 - 2006) writer [ [ All About Jewish Theatre - The Court - Jesters in Jerusalem ] ]
*Egon Hostovsky (1908 - 1973) writer [ [ Egon Hostovsky ] ]
*Franz Kafka (1883 - 1924), novelist ["KAFKA, Franz (1883-1924): Czechnovelist.": Hutchinson 20th Century Encyclopedia (7th ed, 1986), p.702.] ["KAFKA, FRANZ (1883-1924): Czech author.": The New StandardJewish Encyclopedia (fifth ed, 1977, ed. Geoffrey Wigoder), p.1101.] [ [] "Czech writer"]
*Siegfried Kapper (1821 - 1879) writer [ [ The Jewish cemeteries of Prague ] ]
*Ivan Klíma (1931 - ) novelist, playwright [ [] "You might say that the Czech novelist, Ivan Klima, has been the victim of the famous Chinese curse, 'may you live in interesting times'. Born in 1931 he was a boy when Czech independence was in effect handed over to Nazi Germany in 1938. As a Jew he and his family were interned in the Terezinstadt Concentration Camp during the Second World War"]
* Leopold Kompert (1822-1886), author [ [ Jewish Encyclopedia] , "born at Münchengrätz, Bohemia" Accessed 8 Dec 2006.]
*Arnošt Lustig (1926 - ) author of novels, short stories, plays and screenplays whose works have often involved the Holocaust [ [] "Lustig was one of the few out of fifteen thousand Jewish children"]
*Heda Margolius Kovály author and translator [ [] "Included in Clive James's book "Cultural Amnesia"." [] "List of her books and translations."]
*Karel Poláček (1892 - 1945) writer and journalist [ [ Terezín Memorial - The concentration camp for Jews - the Terezín Ghetto ] ]
*Tom Stoppard (1937 - ) playwright, famous for plays such as "The Real Thing" and "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead", and for the screenplay for "Shakespeare in Love" [ [] "At 68, he is still discovering himself. When he was a boy, his mother drew a veil over the family's past. There had been a Jewish grandmother, she said, and this was why they had to leave Czechoslovakia. Only relatively recently did he learn the full story. His whole family was Jewish. Most of his relatives had been murdered in the death camps. His father, once the house doctor at the Bata shoe factory in Zlin, had been killed in a Japanese air raid."]
*Hermann Ungar (1893 - 1929) writer of German language and an officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia [ [] "Hermann Ungar was born on April 20, 1893 to a comfortable Jewish family in the small Moravian town of Boskovice, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Formerly the Jewish ghetto, the Jewish Town of Boskovice had the unusual distinction of having been established as its own municipality in 1848 (one of only two such instances, this status lasted until 1919) after the Habsburg's emancipation of the Jews in the Czech Lands... Ungar grew up speaking German and Czech..."]
*Jiří Weil (1900 - 1959) writer whose works include the two novels "Life with a Star" ("Život s hvězdou") and "Mendelssohn is on the Roof" [ [] "Jiri Weil, a Czech Jewish writer"]
* Franz Werfel (1890-1945); Czech-born writer; married Mahler's widow [ [ Feuchtwanger memorial Library] : "The Czech-born, Austrian-Jewish writer Franz Werfel" accessed 27 Mar 08]


*Jacob Bassevi (1580 - 1634) Bohemian Court Jew and financier [ [] "This provides an overview of the history of the Jews in the Czech Lands... Jacob Bassevi, the first Jew to be raised to the nobility"]
*Hana Brady (1931 - 1944) Holocaust victim [ [] "Alternating chapters tell not only of the Jewish Hana Brady's deportation..."]
*George Brady (1928 - ) brother of Hana Brady [ [] "The Bradys were Jewish. They weren't a religious family. But Mother and Father wanted their children to know about their heritage. Once a week, while their playmates were at church, Hana and George sat with a special teacher who taught them about Jewish holidays and Jewish history."]
*Salo Flohr (1908 - 1983) leading chess master of the early 20th century [ [] "Since his family was Jewish, they were in great danger"]
*Petr Ginz (1928 - 1944) young boy who was deported to the Terezín concentration camp during the Holocaust [ [] "Recalling the diaries of another teenage victim of the Holocaust, Anne Frank, they reveal a budding Czech literary and artistic genius whose life was cut short by the Nazis... Moon Landscape connects the dream of one Jewish boy who is a symbol of the talent lost in the Holocaust"]
* Isaak Löw Hofmann, Edler von Hofmannsthal, (1759-1849) merchant [ [ jewish Encyclopedia] "born June 10, 1759, at Prostiebor, near Kladrau, in the district of Pilsen, Bohemia" accessed 23 Jun 2008]
* Frank Lowy (1930-), businessman [ [ Australian Graduate School of Management] "Czechoslavakian-born Lowy"
[ Australian Jewish Times] "In Forbes magazine's second annual Top 10 rich list for Australia and New Zealand, four Jewish businessmen feature prominently. Frank Lowy (second), Richard Pratt (Third), John Gandel (sixth) and Harry Triguboff (eighth) all had reported wealth of over $1 billion; both accessed 3 Dec 2006.
*Richard Réti (1889 - 1929) chess grandmaster [ [ No Archiving Spiders Allowed ] ]
*Wilhelm Steinitz (1836 - 1900) first World Chess Champion [ [ - STEINITZ, WILHELM: ] ]

ee also

*List of Czechs
*List of Austrian Jews
*List of East European Jews



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