Jewish Children's Literature in Czechoslovakia: A Report from the Front Lines

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Leo Pavlát


What I am now about to narrate happened one winter day. It was freezing cold and I was in a hurry to get to the Old-New Syna­gogue in time for the beginning of the Sabbath. Close to the entrance to the synagogue I caught up with an elderly man. Suddenly, he slipped on an ice-patch and fell. As I was helping him get up, he muttered with a matter-of-factness typical of someone speaking his mother tongue: "Todah. Todah Rabah." At that moment, something utterly bizarre occurred to me, something that might be hard for you to understand. "That was Hebrew," I told my­self. "That language really does exist."


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How to Cite
Pavlát, Leo. 1993. “Jewish Children’s Literature in Czechoslovakia: A Report from the Front Lines”. Judaica Librarianship 7 (1–2), 36–38.
First International Symposium on Jewish Children's Literature
Author Biography

Leo Pavlát

Dr. Leo Pavlát is an editor at the Albatros Publishing House for children's and ado­lescent literature in Prague, Czechoslo­vakia, where he has translated and edited many children's books, including some with Jewish themes. He is also an author of children's books, which have been translated into several languages. Among them are The Secret of Book[!], Eight Lights, and The Old Testament for Chil­ dren. Since 1978, Dr. Pavlát has translated stories and articles from French for two Czech Jewish publications. In September 1993 he was appointed cultural attache to Israel in the Embassy of Czechoslovakia.