Michal Brummel

Michal Brummel in 2019.

Michal Brummel was born on 27May 1933. His father came from a wealthy Jewish family, his mother was a Catholic from Austria. Michal lost several family members in the Holocaust but he survived because he was classified as ‘mixed-race’ by the Nuremberg laws instated by the Nazis.

Michal Brummel was born to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother on 27 May 1933. Because of this he was classified as being of ‘mixed race’ in accordance with the Nuremberg Laws. These racist laws implemented by the Nazi party stipulated which people were considered to be Jewish by the Nazis. Because of this Michal was not allowed to attend school, but he escaped the deportations that many of his family members fell victim to. Michal stayed in Pilsen throughout the war and witnessed the bombing of the city as well as its liberation by American forces.

The story of Michal and the broader story of the Second World War in Pilsen can be exemplified by the house of Michals uncle Jan Brummel which was built by the famous modernist architect Adolf Loos. Jan and his wife were Jewish and were deported to Nazi concentration camps during the war. Their house was ‘’Aryanised’’ which meant it was given to non-Jewish citizens.

After the war, both Jan and his wife miraculously returned to Pilsen having survived the concentration camps and death marches. The house in Husova street returned to its owners. In 1962, the communist government confiscated the house but Michal’s aunt and mother were allowed to live there until the 1980s. Michal himself lived in the house from 1945 to 1964.

After the fall of the communist regime the house was given back to Michal. He began a long and complicated renovation process to bring the house back to its original state. After the renovation had been completed, Michal opened the house to the general public in 2015.

Construction on Brummel’s house in 1928-1929. © www.memoryofnations.eu / private archive of Michal Brummel
Michal Brummel with his mother Valeria in the 1960s. © www.memoryofnations.eu / private archive of Michal Brummel
Jan Brummel and architect Adolf Loos in 1927. © www.memoryofnations.eu / private archive of Michal Brummel