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File:Bestin CZ CoA.gif - Wikimedia ... (before 1835) used cemetery at Liten


US Comm. no. CZCE000029

Alternate/former names of Bestin are Bieschtin (German) and Bechcin [Yiddish?] in Beroun, Bohemia at 49÷49 14÷ 02, 12 km N of Pribram and 42 km SW of Prague. Location: 800 meters NE, on the cadastre [a public record, survey or map of the value, extent, and ownership of land as a basis of taxation] of Hostomice, near the road leading to Hostomice. Present town population is 1,000 to 5,000 with no Jews.

  • Town officials: Obecni urad, 267 24 Hostomice.
  • 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; and 3. Pamatkovy urad strednich Cech, Hybernska 18, 11 01 Praha 1, tel. 02/2354940 to 2.
  • Interested: Statni zidovske muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1, tel. 02/2310634 and Frantisek Nezval, 268 01 Horovice 542 and Okresni muzeum Beroun, Husovo namesti 87, 266 01 Beroun, tel. 0311/3091.

The earliest known Jewish community in town dates from the late 18th century or the early 19th century. 1930 Jewish population (census) was 0 in Bestin and 38 in Hostomice. In 1866, Bestin and Hostomice's Jewish population sustained a pogrom. The Jewish congregation moved to Hostomice after 1872 but the synagogue in Bestin was used by the congregation until 1941. The Jewish cemetery was established perhaps 1835 with last known Conservative or Reform/Progressiv Jewish burial in 1946. Hostomice (since the second half of the 19th century), about 2 km. away, and Lochovice, about 5 km. away, used this cemetery. The cemetery is probably not protected. The rural (agricultural) hillside, separate, but near other cemeteries with no sign, is reached by turning directly off a public road. Access is open with permission via a broken masonry wall and no gate. Size of cemetery before and after WWII about 0.3 hectares.

100-500 gravestones, more than 75 % toppled or broken, are in cemetery with 20-100 in original location and 100-500. The gravestones date from 1835 (but legible only from 1838) to 20th century. The granite, limestone, and sandstone flat shaped stones; finely smoothed and inscribed stones; and multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German, or Czech Inscriptions. Some tombstones have traces of painting on their surfaces and metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. Prague Jewish community owns property used for Jewish cemetery purposes only. Properties adjacent are meadow and forest. Rarely, private visitors and local residents visit. The cemetery was vandalized occasionally in the last ten and between 1945 and ten years ago. No care or maintenance. Within the limits of the cemetery is a pre-burial house -- hardly ruined. Vandalism is a very serious threat. Security (uncontrolled access because of secluded location) and vegetation are serious threats. Weather erosion, Pollution, and Incompatible nearby development are slight threats. The vegetation overgrowth is a constant problem disturbing graves.

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 this survey on 7 July 1992 using the following documentation: 1. Frantisek Nezval: Zide v Horovicich a okoli (manuscript, 1986); 2. Monografie Horovicka a Berounska, III (1929), VI (1931); 3. Dnesek 1948; pg. 633- 635; 4. G.A. Schimmer: Statistik des Judenthums... (1982); 5. Notes of Statni Zidovske muzeum Praha; 6. Letters of F. Nezval (1984); 7. Cadastre [a public record, survey or map of the value, extent, and ownership of land as a basis of taxation] of 1839; and 8. Censuses of 1930 and 1991. Other documentation exists but was not accessible: specifically records No. 26, 35, 36, 59, 60 in archives of Jewish Congregation in Prague. Ladislav Mertl who conducted no interviews visited the site for this survey on 6 June 1992.

Last Updated on Saturday, 28 February 2009 16:15
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