Religious Observance - Artifacts
Bar Mitzva in Theresienstadt
A Tallit (ritual garment),
received by Jerzy
Bader for his Bar Mitzva
which was celebrated in
Theresienstadt on his
Jerzy Bader was born in April, 1930, in Kyjov, Czechoslovakia to Pavel & Greta Bader. Four years later his sister Vera was born. The Bader family led a traditional Jewish lifestyle and owned a store which enabled them to live comfortably. In January 1943, just two months before Jerzy’s Bar Mitzva, the Bader family was deported to Theresienstadt along with the rest of the Jews of Kyjov. Naturally, in the midst of the upheaval in the family’s life, it was impossible to celebrate Jerzy’s Bar Mitzva.
In April 1944, when Jerzy was 14, it was finally possible to mark the occasion in the youth club of the ghetto. In spite of the difficult conditions, Jerzy's family and friends from Kyjov prepared gifts for him: he received an album illustrated by the talented caricaturist Max Placek, and a prayer shawl and its cloth bag among other items.
Six months after the Bar Mitzva celebration, Jerzy and his father were deported to Auschwitz where they both perished. Greta Baderova managed to conceal Vera from deportation throughout the rest of the war. After the war they both returned to Kyjov, where Vera lives until today.