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BEROUN: Bohemia PDF Print E-mail

before 1886 used cemeteries at Liten and at Morina. Alternate names: Beroun [Cz], Beraun [Ger]. 49°57' N, 14°05' E, 19 miles WSW of Praha (Prague). 1921 Jewish population: 331.

Beroun, originally called na Brodě (by the ford), received the name of Bern, Berun or Verona in the 13th century when it obtained  privileges of a city from the emperor Charles IV who called it "Verona mea." In 1421 Jan Žižka stormed the town that later on was retaken and devastated by the troops of Duke Leopold, bishop of Passau. During the Thirty Years' War, the Imperial army sacked it, then the Saxons and the Swedes. Current population: 17,476. 1903 Town hall in Husovo Square is pseudo-rennaissance. Prague and Pilsner gates, rampart, moat and bulwarks from the 14th century are tourist destinations. Famous for its ceramics fair for seven years, potters were among the most appreciated and respected craftsmen in the Middle Ages. town website. map to cemetery. The first Jewish family arrived in Beroun in 1678 when the Jews engaged mostly in commerce, tanning, and butchery. Having no tanner, the aldermen invited a Jew called Mates Fiser, a skilled tanner. The Jews usually lived in villages and had ghettos in several towns; less than sixty years after the battle of Bila Hora, the Czechs disliked the Jews who spoke mostly German. Mates Fiser's wife got permission to open a store where she sold the Netherlands linen. The Fisers were baptized after some time for smoother assimilation within Beroun, however, they died of plague epidemic that touched Beroun a few years later. Six Jewish families arrived in Beroun in 1849 (one year after the abolishment of the Familiant :aw). As early as in 1852, the Jewish community built the synagogue with cheder at  today's No. 77 that ended in 1939. Eighty pupils attended it in 1870. In 1886 a Jewish cemetery was founded and a Chevra Kaddish established. Today, amateur gardeners plant strawberries and fruit trees among the gravestones of Beroun's Jewish cemetery. The rabbi of Beroun (Ph. D. Moric Mueller since 1927) served other villages like Liten and Morina. As in another Czech towns, the Second World War finished the history of the Jews of Beroun. [February 2009]

website in Czech with photo: "The [unlandmarked] cemetery is located on the western outskirts of the city in Pod Homolka at an elementary school, 1.5 km from the square Hus. Founded in 1886, the site contains 120 gravestones. Cemetery House No. 186, built simultaneously with the establishment of the cemetery once served as a dwelling for the undertaker and burial services, it was abandoned after WWII. On its facade is still visible the inscription "What are you, we were we, what we, you, too." Berounsky Jewish cemetery is a typical 19th century urban Jewish cemetery and an extraordinarily complex documentation of the former Jewish settlement. Since the 1950s part of the areawithout tombstones was used by the local gardening club, which divided the area into ​​flower beds and  cellars, sheds, and greenhouses on the side. Much of the waste in the cemetery was cleared in 2004, another part removed in 2006. Around the walls of the cemetery a lot of invasive species has grown, which have been mulched well in 2004. In 2007 all toppled tombstones were righted. Currently ongoing maintenance cemetery should continue in the coming years. Cemetery building is very devastated, masonry and plaster damaged by rising damp, lack of water supply and electricity, also windows, doors, floors and ceilings. In 2001 - 2002, the roof of the house was repaired but new flooring burnt; however, the overall completion of the reconstruction will take about another 3 million. It is expected that the reconstruction will serve as a manager apartment and a permanent cemetery exposition on the history of Jews in Beroun and its surroundings." [September 2011]

US Comm. report no. CZCE00028

Alternate/former name: Beroun [Cz], Beraun [Ger] Location: 2 km. WSW in Beroun, Bohemia at 49°57' N 14°05' E, 29 km WSW of Prague. Present total town population: 5,000-25,000; current Jewish population under 10.

  • Local: Mestsky urad, Husovo namesti 68, 266 01 Beroun.
  • Regional: 1. (Jewish Congregation): ZNO Praha (Ms. Jana Wolfova, Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1, tel. 02/2318664; 2. Okresni urad, referat kultury, Ms. Markova, 266 01 Beroun; 3. Pamatkovy urad strednich Cech, Hybernska 18, 110 01 Praha 1, tel. 02/235490 to 2
  • Interested in the site: 1. Statni zidovske muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1, tel. 02/2310634 and 2. Okresni muzeum Beroun, Husovo namesti 87, 266 01 Beroun, tel. 0311/2091.
  • Keys: 1. Stanislav Vacek, caretaker, tr. Miru 1158, 266 01 Beroun. 2. Rudolf Kucera, tr. Miru 1144, 266 01 Beroun, and 3. Jan Jires, tr. Miru 1218, 266 01 Beroun. Stanislav Vacek is the caretaker.

Date of earliest known Jewish community in town is 1852. 1921 Jewish population was 133. 1930 Jewish population (census) was 113. The Jewish cemetery was established in 1866 with last known Progressive/Reform Jewish burial: 1953. The cemetery is probably not protected. The isolated suburban, hillside (really a small slope) has inscriptions in the pre- burial house in Czech and with a sign in Czech saying: "What you are now, we have been too/ What we are now, you will be too." The cemetery is reached by turning directly off a public road. Access is open with permission. A continuous masonry wall and a gate that locks surround the cemetery. Size of cemetery before WWII was about 0.329 hectares. Present size of cemetery is 0.17 hectares. 100-500 gravestones are in original location and 20-100 not in original locations. Less than 25% of surviving stones are toppled or broken. Stone removed from the cemetery are incorporated into roads or structures. The gravestones are from after 1885 through 20th century. The granite, limestone, and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, sculpted monuments, multi-stone monuments, or obelisks/round columns have nscriptions in Hebrew, German, and/or Czech. Some with metal fences around graves. Several family memorials are included among graves. The present owner is the Prague Jewish community. The property is used for a Jewish cemetery and as a garden. Properties adjacent are agricultural, residential, and a road. Compared to 1939, the cemetery boundaries enclose a smaller area because of new roads or highways and a garden, i.e., burial is only on one third of the property. Occasionally, organized Jewish group tours or pilgrimage groups, private visitors, and local residents visit. The cemetery was vandalized during World War II and between 1945 and ten years ago but not in the last 10 years. Care: re-erection of stones, patching of broken stones, cleaning of stones, clearing of vegetation, and fixing of all as well as the creation of the ceremonial hall-mortuary by local/municipal authorities and Jewish and non-Jewish groups/individuals within the country between 1970 and 1972. The Jewish Congregation of Prague rents part of the cemetery for gardening to pay the regular caretaker. Within the limits of the cemetery is a pre- burial house with a tahara (table), wall inscriptions, and a chimney. Two tablets installed on a back of the burial house are dedicated to significant persons from the local community. Also, a tablet fixed on the wall by the main entrance commemorates the founding members of the local Chevra Kadisha and notes original warnings related to required behavior in the cemetery. Vegetation overgrowth is a seasonal problem preventing access.

Ladislav Mertl, Mgr. of Geography, Kubanske nam. 1322/17, Praha 10-Vrsovice, tel. 02/743213 and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5, tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on 7 July 1992 using the following documentation: 1. Jahrbuch fur die israelische Cultusgemeinden Bohmens (1893-94); 2. J. Vavra: Pameti kralovskeho mesta Berouna (1899); 3. Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia(1980); 4. Judische Enzyklopedie, Berlin; and 5. Censuses of 1930 and 1991. Other documentation exists but was inaccessible: specificially records no. 26, 36, 53, 62 in archives of Jewish Congregation in Prague. Ladislave Mertl visited the site on 6 June 1992 when he interviewed Jan Jires and Stanislav Vacek.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 September 2011 16:39
 
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