The Midway Jewish Center Shoah Torah Scroll is from the Czech town of Horovice, a town about 12 miles SW of Prague. Jews settled there in the 15th century, but were then forbidden to live in the town, a prohibition that continued through the 17th century. Such restrictions were lifted in 1848, and by 1875, a congregation was formed. In 1903, a synagogue was built. Julius Bondy was then the Head of the Jewish Community and in 1904, Theodor Herzl wrote Mr. Bondy, congratulating him on the dedication of the synagogue.
During World War II, when it became clear to the Czech Jews that their lives were at stake, an effort was made to transfer all the sifrei Torah and ritual items to the Jewish museum in Prague where it was thought they would be safe. They were indeed safe there, far safer than the Jews. From January 18-26, 1942, 76 Jews were deported from Horovice through Plzen to Terezin. The Horovice Jewish community was murdered, but their scrolls survived.
The synagogue building still exists and has been used as a church for many years by the Czech Brethren Protestant Church.
Our Shoah Torah is identified as Scroll Number MST#1223 and is on permanent loan from the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London. For more information about the monumental effort to preserve the memroy of thos who perished in the Shoah, the richness of their lives prior to the war via the Czech Torah scroll project click here.