Czech Torah Scroll
This scroll now in the Bristol and West Progressive synagogue has a remarkable provenance. A Jewish businessman travelling from England to Czechoslovakia just after the Second World War learned by chance that many Torah Scrolls were still in a cellar where they had been originally dumped during the Nazi occupation of that country. Many of the scrolls were defecated on or otherwise defaced. Some reportedly still had blood on them from the Jews who were killed when the Nazi ransacked and destroyed the synagogues. As there were virtually no Jews left in the country, a few English Jews arranged to bring a number of the less damaged scrolls to the Westminster synagogue in London in the 1950s. There they stayed until a travelling torah scribe called into the synagogue to see if any work was available. He ended up staying several years to repair the scrolls. One was donated to the Bristol congregation, some of whose original members were themselves Holocaust survivors.