In September 2002, I joined a project of the Jewish Museum in Prague with my pupils. We started to look for witnesses of the pre-war period and to record their memories of fellow Jews who had been victims of the Holocaust. The result was a publication entitled "The Neighbours Who Disappeared" - a collection of memories of Litomyšl Jews collected by pupils of the Zámecká Primary School, Litomyšl. After the first edition in June 2003, it was just dusty. It was followed by a reprint, then a second expanded edition, then an English edition and another Czech reprint. From a hitherto neglected part of the town's history, it has become an important matter. We thank all those who were willing to talk to us about their Jewish friends, classmates, neighbors or acquaintances, and all those who supported us in our efforts.
Mr. and Mrs. Řehůřek prepared not only the book form of the anthology, but also its electronic form, which was upgraded in 2022.
Our "Neighbours Who Disappeared" by no means claims perfection, infallibility or historical accuracy. We have relied on oral history, i.e. human memory. We have included only the information we have heard from multiple sources and that which we have been able to verify in written sources.
We are well aware that many things are missing and that most Jewish families were left out. The reason for this is obvious - we have not been able to find the right memoirs in their case, or we have only come across fragmentary memories that were not enough for a chapter in the collection. That is why we are happy when from time to time someone comes forward with an offer to complete the text. Either in words or in a document. The electronic form allows new information to be added at any time - always with the name of the source and the date of acquisition.
We hope that this website will help to preserve the memory of people who were guilty of nothing, yet were sent to their deaths. We hope that our work has contributed at least a little to making respect for the victims of Nazi racial persecution part of the culture of our society.
Dagmar Burdová, May 2022