The murder of a Prague researcher on Jewish heritage has instigated a police investigation in the Czech Republic.

Jiri Fiedler, 78, and his wife Dagmar, 74, were discovered dead in their home last month, though their killing took place as early as January.

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Fiedler was in the middle of research documenting Jewish heritage sites in the Czech Republic, though he himself was not Jewish. As part of his work, he traveled to remote sites and interviewed rabbis at their homes.

The research drew the attention of authorities, who several times called Fiedler in to question him.

“At a time when the Jewish cultural heritage in Bohemia and Moravia was treated with utter contempt, he produced a trove of work that can be drawn on by future generations of researchers in the area of Jewish topography,” the Prague Jewish Museum, where Fiedler worked from 1996 to 2012, said in a statement.

Museum workers said the murder is “a painful shock to all of the museum’s staff who knew Jiri Fiedler as a helpful colleague and a wonderful person.”

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