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30 April 2012

The Golem of the Prague Ghetto

Click image to enlarge.

In recent years, this clay figure has become the iconic souvenir of Prague. The myth of the Golem is very spooky, and is violently and unhappily wrapped up with the Jews of Medieval Prague.

From silent movie days they've been making creepy impressionistic movies about the Golem. He is a giant homunculus made of clay, with superhuman strength. He dwelleth in a room with neither windows nor doors in the Prague ghetto. He slumbers there unseen, but every 33 years the Golem wakes and wanders the streets and ancient sewers of Prague by night.

If you should encounter the Golem, look on his forehead for a carved Hebrew word EMET = truth. Erase the Aleph -- the first letter -- and MET will remain. MET = death, and the Golem will fall into his deep slumber again.

1 comment:

PatFromCH said...

Contrary to common belief the legendary book by Gustav Meyerbrink has nothing to do with the original jewish tale of the Golem, but there is a film by Paul Wegener from 1920 which you can get here since it is in the Public Domain:
(Good grief, it must be 25 years since I saw that one the last time)
Interesting side note: Henrik Galen who co-wrote and co-stars in this adaption also wrote the legendary first Nosferatu movie.