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"In Search for the Fantes Family"

A trip of discovery

A journey to the past

A link to the future


Day 1 & 2


Closing Notes
Family Chart
Jakob Survival
Fantes' Survivors

It was a trip of discoveries, our itinerary was: Days (1 to 8)


Outstanding personalities in our trip:


1)    Achab Haidler: Unique, generous and special individual. Actor and director in a Prague theater. His passion is working in Jewish Cemeteries of Bohemia and reporting, completing lists, translating the gravestones from Hebrew. Cleaning, fixing, uncovering the tombstones and researching their secrets hidden by the workings of time or anything else. He does that on his free time!: weekends, vacations. He sleeps and camp outdoors while working. He appears oblivious to weather, seasons, and temperature. His Dog accompanies him. He should be doing this job full time. I think that it is his calling. I do hope he gets the financial support to do that one day. His list of the Cemetery of Ckyne allowed me to know that there were Fantes from the area, and allowed me to get in touch with a new wise and generous cousin: Alexander Woodle, whose help has been invaluable. He had done lot of research for his family including the Fantes(es).

2)  Chubbie: Achab’s Dog. A well-behaved energetic and playful African Dog.

3) Julius Mueller: A PhD in Biochemistry and a genealogist.  A clever man and a good person without a doubt. He is a master in researching Czech Archives and has an incredible insight in where to look for missing links. He had provided a great deal of the information about the Fantes(es). For instance: uncovering the connections of Ignaz, Joseph, Jakob, Josefine Dubsky and their connections to Ckyne, Straz, Jindrchuv Hradec. Also found out the trades of some of those Fantes.

4) Josef Lavicka: Matrikar of the city of the City of Ckyne. A generous Czech who goes out of his way to help

5) Jindra Bromova: Coordinating a Project of recovery of Ckyne’s Synagogue that has the ultimate goal of transforming it in the Jewish Museum of the Town.  Probably, the museum will be the best witness for the Jewish families who helped to build the Synagogue.





Day 1


In search for the best offer to fly to Prague, we found a flight of Air France: Miami-Paris-Prague arriving in Prague at 5 p.m. We arrived in Prague in a foggy, cold, dark and rainy afternoon. By the time we left the airport it was really dark and foggy. These made the driving a bit dangerous under very difficult visibility conditions. We safely found the Hotel in Prague that we were going to spend the night. What a blessing is a comfortable bed when you are tired!.


Day 2




”Friedrich FANTES, son of

Ignatz FANTES, salesman of Marien Bad (Marianske

Lazne) and Josephina FANTES nee DUBSKY of Platz am den

Naser, was born in Marien Bad in April 22, 1889. As

listed in the book of birth records 1870-1895, HBMa

1171, Friedrich had brothers Oskar b. Dec. 2, 1880,

Emil b. Nov. 18, 1884, Max b. June 26, 1887, Artur b.

May 4, 1891 and Joseph b. Feb. 27, 1894. Ignatz also

had sisters Berta b. April 3, 1879 and Hermine b. Dec.

6, 1882.”

Julius M.



After a good breakfast, we were eager to go to Marienbad. We looked at the map and found that the fastest route was through Plsen. We had no problems with that, because we were familiar with Hanna connection to Plsen, therefore we did not mind getting lost there for a while. Achab was waiting for us at the Jewish Cemetery in Marienbad where he had been working for the last couple of days. He had written me through the internet that he had been unable to find Ignaz and Josefine Fantes gravestones. Also told me, that the Cemetery had sustained significant damage during the Nazi occupation and years of neglect during communist rule.

  Our drive began through a light rain, and quickly we were off and running to Plsen. In Plsen, we decided to drive through downtown and other sites of midtown. It was surprising to me how many old tall buildings there were, and how big the city was. I had a vision of a relative smaller town. We did not mind being lost in Plsen, although we had no maps of the city. We enjoyed the experience. We were ready to go to Marianske Lazne via Stribo. With all the driving, we had no idea where North or East was. I made a right turn to begin asking how to get to Stribo or Marienbad. Our first enquiry was to a gentleman that had no idea of English (nor we understand any Czech or so I thought!) but he could guess “Marianske Lazne”.

  No English and friendly help was a common finding with our Czech interactions in the rest of our trip. He gave us a long explanation in Czech, and I had no idea what he said. Lourdes told me he had said to go straight and we will find a sign that reads Sribo shortly, if we continue straight. Skeptically, I continued straight and we found our road to Marienbad. In addition, I found a reliable Czech translator sitting next to me. This was a consistent finding during the whole trip.

  Our drive was nice. We drove through small towns in a narrow road, with sharp hills and sharp turns, surrounded by a wooden landscape with very tall trees. The weather opened up big time and we were approaching Marienbad. A sign of good luck maybe?.

  We went almost straight to the Cemetery to find Achab. As Heini described it: it was in a wooden area that was just off the town. There they were, Achab and his dog Chubbie waiting for us. He expressed his sorrow for not finding Fantes(es) gravestones. As I was making enquires of Holocaust victims and a possible memorial in that cemetery. I approached a dirty thinned stoned. Through the dirt it could be seen several names. In the middle of the stone Josef and Erna Fantesovi. 

  I knew Fantes, Josef and Erna but not Fantesovi. I called for help and a good clean up by Achab showed clearly Fantesovi, which he explained me was a plural for Fantes. In addition, we found some stones upside down without proper identification, and we planned with Achab to lift the stones with the right help in the near future. Fantes or no Fantes it does not matter. No gravestones deserve to be fallen upside down.  

Achab said goodbye and left for some extra work in a nearby cemetery in which some voluntaries were waiting for him. We were to find him in two days in the Ckyne cemetery. He was taking a day of vacation from his regular work to drive with us by different towns of South Bohemia.


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Last updated: July 06, 2002.