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Alternate names: Bechyně [Cz], Bechin [Ger], Beching, Bechyn. 49°18' N, 14°29' E, in S Bohemia, 12 miles SW of Tábor, 22 miles N of České Budějovice (Budweis). Jewish population: 145 (in 1902).

  • Encyclopedia of Jewish Life (2001), p. 95: "Bechyne".
  • JewishGen Austria-Czech SIG
  • Encyclopedia of Jewish Life (2001), p. 95: "Bechyne". [February 2009]

website in Czech with photo: "The cemetery was founded before 1636. From the NW square of Michalska street in the moat outside the city walls. In 1697, the cemetery was repaired, enlarged in 1834. Before the mid-19th century cemetery parcel No. 137 was owned by the Bechyně municipality, later transferred to the ownership of the local Jewish religious community. An area 1,369 meters square is preserved with about 250 graves from 1687 to early 1940s. Last buried was former sales representative Kamil Fischer, who died in July 1941 in Bechyně in house No. 23 at the age of 46. In August 1942 widow Teresa Popper, age of 84 years. Many gravestones are Renaissance and Baroque type more than two meters high with surrounding walls repaired in 1908. In the 1990s, the cemetery was cleared of the vegetation, and an enclosing wall rebuilt or built, including the entrance gate. Ensuring ongoing maintenance of the landmarked cemetery is required." [September 2011]

BECHYNĚ: photos and map. Situated on the rocky spit above the valley of the lower reaches of the Lužnice river about 20 km south-west of the town Tábor, Originally a 9th century Slavonic fortified settlement and probably the most important administrative centre of Bohemia at that time, on the rock above the river and built by King Premysl Ottakar II s the e originally Gothic castle, rebuilt into the Renaissance chateau at the end of the 16th century. The surrounding village originates from the same time and became a town in 1323. The town, burnt by the Hussites in 1422, was occupied in 1428. Around 1500, the town was extensively reconstructed in the Gothic style and the fortification system of the town and castle were built, the system was one of the most perfect in Bohemia. Their (beginning in 15th century) pottery tradition resulted in the first ceramic workshop at the end of the 19th century. The spa near the spring dates from 1728. The town declined after 1776. The 13th century Franciscans' monastery with the Church of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary stands on the eastern outskirts of the town not so far from the chateau. The center of the town is the square with Renaissance and Baroque private houses. St. Matthew's Church dominates the western side was founded at the beginning of the 16th century on the site of another sacral building. The town museum and the museum of the fire fighting are located in the square too. The Jewish cemetery lies not far from the old Christian cemetery. The new modern spa mostly for the treatment of rheumatism uses peat from the peat-bog Borkovická Blata (Borkovice Marshland)." Bechyne Jewish community dated from the 17th century. Siroka Street was onceJewish Street, the heart of the Jewish neighborhood because Jews were not enclosed in a ghetto wall. The houses have been preserved. On Siroka Street is a synagogue, currently a fire museum, and a former Jewish school.  The cemetery includes beautiful Baroque tombstones from the 17th century until World War II. [February 2009]


BECHYNE: US Commission No. CZCE000212

Alternate/former names: Bechin, Beching, Bechyn [Ger] .Bechyně [Cz]

in Tabor, Bohemia at  49°18' N, 14°29' E, S Bohemia, 12 miles SW of Tábor, 22 miles N of České Budějovice (Budweis). Cemetery: 100 meters NW of the square in Michalska street. Present town population is 5,000-25,000 with probably no Jews.

  • Town: Mestsky Urad, namesti TGM 2, 391 65 Bechyne; tel. 0361/96-10-22. Regional: 1. Okresni Urad, Referat Kultury, Zizkovo namesti 11, 390 01 Tabor, tel 0361/226-45; 2. Jewish Congregation: ZNO Praha (Ms. Jana Wolfava), Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-69-25.
  • Interested: 1. Muzeum Krizkova 31, 390 01 Tabor; tel. 0361/222-42; 2. Muzeum keramiky, namesti TGM 140, 391 65 Bechyne; tel. 0361/933-53; and 3. Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jacymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34 or 231-07-85.
  • Caretaker with key: Josef Zunt, Michalska 314, 391 65 Bechune.

Earliest known Jewish community is probably first quarter of the 17th century. 1906 Jewish population was 145. 1930 Jewish population (census) was 32. Jews moved to big towns in the 20th century. Jewish cemetery originated first half of the 17th century. Noteworthy Jews buried in the cemetery were rabbis with last known Conservative or Progressive/Reform Jewish burial was before 1943. Landmarked: (no details given). The urban hillside, separate but near other cemeteries, has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open with permission via continuous masonry wall and locking gate. Size of cemetery before and after W.W.II is 0.1257 ha.

20-100 gravestones are in original location with less than 25% toppled or broken. Tombstones date 1687-20th century. The granite and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German, and Czech inscriptions. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. Praha Jewish community owns property used for a Jewish cemetery only. Adjacent properties are residential. Occasionally, organized Jewish tours or pilgrimage groups and private visitors stop. Local or municipal authorities and Jewish groups within the country re-erected stones, cleaned stones, cleared vegetation, fixed wall, and fixed gate in 1977, 1987, and 1990. The cemetery now receives occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals and by a regular caretaker paid by Praha Jewish Congregation. Within the limits of the cemetery are no structures. Security (uncontrolled access) and vandalism pose a slight threat. Vegetation overgrowth seasonally prevents access.

Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on 28 June 1992. Documentation: 1. Arnost Chleborad: Popis okresu bechynskeho (1928); 2. Jahrbuch fur die israelische Cultusgemeinden Bohemens (1894-95); 3. Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia (1980); and 4. Letter of Local Historian, Ms. Jirina Vesela (1985. Fiedler visited site in 1991 and interviewed J. Zunt, the caretaker.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 September 2011 15:25
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