We are privileged to have Czech Memorial Torah Scroll #516, one of the 1,564 Czech Memorial Sifrei Torah. This scroll constituted part of the treasures looted by the Nazis from the desolated Jewish communities of Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia during the 1939-1945 war.
It’s very probable that the Sefer Torah is from the town of Koloveč, and it’s the only scroll in the collection known to be from there. The etz haim (wooden shafts) of the Sefer Torah feature the name “Hutter.” Based on invoices for two very similar ketonot (mantles) from Koloveč in 1888, it’s likely that the donors of this Torah are Yitzhak and Reizl Hutter from Kollautschen, who owned a factory and were one of the wealthiest families in the town.
With the help of the Czechoslovak government and Artia (the State Cultural Agency), this Sefer Torah was delivered to Westminster Synagogue in 1964. Some of the collection remain at Westminster Synagogue, a permanent memorial to the martyrs from whose synagogues they come; with many of them distributed throughout the world.
From the town of Koloveč, this scroll was written in 1900.
Our Czech Torah (MST #516) is on permanent loan from the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London, England.