I made my first visit to Prague in 1984. The city was as magical as it was melancholy. I began photographing in Czechoslovakia in 1988 and continued until 2000. In a separate section of my archive there’s a folder on 1989, and I was in Prague for at least part of what they called The Velvet Revolution in November and December, 1989. In April, 1990, I was very lucky to have been asked by Michael Zantovsky, President Havel’s press secretary, to join them on the president’s plane when he made his official visit to Israel.
Czech Jewry had always been highly assimilated and that is reflected in the pictures in my archive. Slovak Jewry, as I mention below, was always more traditional. There are less than 3,000 Jews in the Czech Republic and about the same in Slovakia.
Below is an essay I wrote in the 1990s and updated it in 2017.