A respected Czech Jewish historian was laid to rest this week after he and his wife were found murdered in their home in Prague last month.
Czech police have yet to make any headway in the investigation of the murders of Jiří Fiedler, 78, and his 75-year-old wife Dagmar, Czech media reported Friday. The two were found at their home on Brdičkova Street in Prague’s 13th district by their son, but the circumstances of their murders remained unclear.
Fiedler, a former director of research at the Prague Jewish Museum, was instrumental in documenting the history of Czech Jewry after the Second World War, at a time when it was politically inexpedient to do so under the Communist regime. Though not Jewish himself, he was passionate about chronicling the history of Czechoslovakia’s lost Jews.
After the fall of Communism, Fiedler authored “Jewish Sites of Bohemia and Moravia,” first published in English in 1996.
“Traveling on his bicycle from town to town, Jiří Fiedler single-handedly documented Jewish cemeteries throughout the Czech Republic,” recounted Amira Kohn Trattner on a Jewish genealogy listserv.
“He compiled thousands of photographs of synagogues, cemeteries, rabbi’s houses and former Jewish schools — many of which were destroyed in subsequent years,” the Prague Jewish Museum said in a statement. “In addition, he obtained factual information relating to the photographs, which he meticulously extracted from countless sources.”
“At a time of destruction, Jiří Fiedler did what specialist institutions should have devoted their time to,” the museum said.
“His sudden death has come as a painful shock to all of the museum’s staff who knew Jiří Fiedler as a helpful colleague and a wonderful person.”