Jewish industrialist Emil Kolben commemorated in Prague
Tribute has been paid to the great Czech industrialist Emil Kolben, with the unveiling of a plaque at his former Prague home on Wednesday morning. Kolben, who died in the Holocaust, co-founded one of the country’s most important electrical engineering companies – and today a street and metro station in the capital bear his name.
Vinohrady, in Prague 10, meanwhile, was where he and his family moved in the early 20th century; they lived there until they were deported to the Terezín concentration camp in 1943. Bohumil Zoufalík is the district’s mayor.
“It makes me very happy to commemorate Emil Kolben in this way. It highlights the history of Prague 10, and Kolben and his former villa shows how many successful people lived here in the past.”
Emil Kolben, a native of Strančice outside the capital, and a graduate of Prague’s German Technical University, spent years in the US where he became the chief engineer at Thomas Edison’s laboratories in New Jersey.
One of Kolben’s grandsons lived in the Art Nouveau villa until his death last year. The local town hall then purchased the building, and is now planning to open its doors to the public. Mayor Zoufalík again.
“I think it should be a community centre, a gallery, or something like that. It should somehow commemorate Kolben and his era. But that’s just my idea. The decision will have to be made by future councillors who emerge from the elections in the autumn.”
Emil Kolben is also remembered in the Vysočany district where a metro station and a street now bear his name. Local authorities there are also planning to erect a monument dedicated to the Jewish industrialist later this year.