Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Unknown

The unKnown
Help identify members and employees of the Prague Jewish Community in photographs from 1942–1945

The life and activities of the wartime Jewish Community in Prague (JCP) under the administration of the occupation authorities are documented by several thousands of photographs in our photo archive. About 700 of these are portraits of the community members and staff, most of whose identities are unknown. The captions that were written in the ‘book of negatives’ shortly after the war are very terse in nature – such as ‘unknown man’, ‘unknown woman’, ‘Mr. Bondy’, ‘Mr. Kohn’. Although only a few pictures have detailed captions (e.g., Jiří Baum, Leopold Fisch and Otto Munk), it is possible – but only with great effort – to find out the names (for instance, at least three Jiří Baums were living in Prague at the time) and fates behind the portraits. The unKnown project shows that even 60 years on, there may still be relatives, friends or acquaintances of former community members and staff among us. If we do not manage to find their identities, we will have to replace the capital K in the title with a small one.

The photographs are arranged alphabetically by surname, if it is known. The surname is followed by the first name or the initial of the first name, and then by the photo’s title and identification number. Portraits of as yet unknown persons are arranged under the letter “N”.

We will be grateful to all members of the JCP and other communities if they help to identify any of these people. Since the launch of the project at the beginning of November, we have been contacted by 15 people, some of whom spotted relatives or friends in these photos. A selection of about 400 photos can be seen at Prague’s Jewish Town Hall.

Martin Jelínek
Phone: +420 221711570
Photo archive
[email] martin.jelinek[at]


  1. that kid at the top kills me.
    hurts my heart.
    what remnants are left..