Jew portrayed as money-grubbing at Czech city festival
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Jew portrayed as money-grubbing at Czech city festival

Prague district criticized for the anti-Semitic stereotype used in a play celebrating Czech nationhood

A municipally organized street show in Prague on September 2 , 2018 celebrating Czech nationhood featured a skit apparently mocking an Orthodox Jew with anti-Semitic stereotypes (Screencapture/Facebook)
A municipally organized street show in Prague on September 2 , 2018 celebrating Czech nationhood featured a skit apparently mocking an Orthodox Jew with anti-Semitic stereotypes (Screencapture/Facebook)

A municipally organized street show in Prague celebrating Czech nationhood featured a skit apparently mocking an Orthodox Jew.

In the skit, police characters remove a man dressed like an Orthodox Jew for demanding money from the event’s host, who wears traditional Czech attire.

Sunday’s event was organized by the 3rd District of Prague.

The Jewish character was named Rozenkrants. “I will get this money from you one way or another,” the actor said, before another actor dressed as a police officer escorted him away. Hundreds of onlookers laughed.

Footage of the scene was circulated on social media, including by Maria Praha, an organizer of artists retreats.

“I wonder why they had to present Jews in such an utterly outdated antisemitic way,” she wrote on Facebook about the organizers. She also included a video she filmed of the Rozenkrants scene, which had more than 1,500 views.

We were at the celebration of The First Republic in Zizkov yesterday, it was organized by @praha3.cz , was interesting and we enjoyed it very much…but there was one thing I saw there that really disgusted me: a Jew Rozenkrats demanding money from the event host."I will somehow get this money from you!" – "Rozenkrats" is warning. Then a police officer and a "controller" come and arrest him.Since the theme of the event was "The 100 Years of the First Rebublic", I wonder why they had to present Jews in such an utterly outdated antisemitic way: orthodox clothes, demanding money… There were many university professors, journalists, writers, sportsmen/women, composers, social welfare workers, etc at that time in the First Republic, including Franz Kafka, Max Brod, Hugo Haas, Joseph Popper, Marie Schmolka, Hana Steiner and many, many others. So, the question is, do people in @praha3.cz support antisemitic views that were on a significant rise at that time, though Masaryk and Beneš were trying to present a different philosophy? Was this thing staged on purpose? Or are the organizers simply ignorant?

Posted by Maria Praha on Monday, 3 September 2018

“There were many [Jewish] university professors, journalists, writers, sportsmen/women, composers, social welfare workers and others in Czechoslovakia,” she added, including “Franz Kafka, Max Brod, Hugo Haas, Joseph Popper, Marie Schmolka, Hana Steiner and many, many others.”

Dinah Spritzer-Richter, a journalist living in Prague who has covered Czech Jewry for various publications including JTA, called the scene “disgusting” on Facebook.

The 3rd District of Prague did not immediately reply to a request for comment by JTA.

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