Ruth Schächterová Landscape with Three Houses
During reconstruction in 1950–1954, the original floor-level as well as the appearance of the synagogue were restored. In following five years, the walls of the synagogue were covered with names of about 78 000 Bohemian and Moravian Jewish victims of Shoah. The names are arranged by communities where the victims came from and complemented with their birth and death date. The memorial was designed by painters Václav Boštík and Jiří John. In 1960 it was opened to public, but it was closed after less than a decade, in 1968, after the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. It was said that the reason for closing was moisture. After the fall of communistic regime in 1989 the synagogue had been reconstructed for three years and then opened to public, but it took another three years to restore the inscriptions of the names on the walls that were damaged by moisture. Moreover, in 2002, an old enemy of the synagogue – flood – proved its power and the inscriptions had to be restored again.
On the first floor of the synagogue there is an exhibition of pictures drawn by children in the concentration camp in Theresienstadt. Children did not draw them accidentally but during drawing lessons led by Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (1898–1944), a painter, who studied at Bauhaus, Weimar. Dicker-Brandeis's experience from Bauhaus influenced the conception of her drawing lessons in Theresienstadt. She encouraged children to express themselves in drawing, to grapple with their grim experiences from the ghetto, as well as to capture their memories from home and dreams about the future. Their pictures therefore offer wide-ranged testimony about the daily reality of the ghetto and about individual children. Most of the children, as well as Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, died in Auschwitz. The only witnesses of their lives, their drawings, "survived" because Dicker-Brandeis hid them in Theresienstadt before her deportation to Auschwitz. After the war about 4,500 pictures were handed over to the Jewish Museum in Prague.