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Blovice

Alternate names: Blovice [Cz], Blowitz [Ger]. 49°35' N, 13°33' E, 14 miles SE of Plzeň (Pilsen). JewishGen Austria-Czech SIG

Photos and cemetery photos [February 2009]

website in Czech with photo: "Jewish settlement is documented from the early 16th century. The Jewish community existed since the beginning of the 17th century until the Nazi occupation.  Two Jewish residential districts, which operated from 18 century: the north  located at the northern side of the square between the river and Úslava main street that connects the square with the church. Here there were five mostly wooden houses and a synagogue. The second Jewish section was west of the square in a narrow street with eight mostly brick homes, all demolished, but the street is maintained. The synagogue is located in an alley on the NE corner of the square. It was built between 1903 - 1904 to replace the older wood (shingles) synagogue of the 17th century. Prayer rooms were used only in Nazi occupation. After 1950 the synagogue was used as the town library and later converted into offices and apartments still in use today. Buried there are a preserved wooden false vault with original ornamental decoration and fabion illusion. The cemetery is located approximately 1 km to the east, partly on a slope at the pond below the dam in the valley creek, north of road leading to Struhař. Established in 1683, its total area is more than 1430 square meters. The older eastern section of the cemetery with several dozen tombstones, the oldest of which dates from the end of the 17th and 18th century. Modern graves in the western part were mostly stolen. The remaining approximately 30 gravestones are mostly toppled, including a Holocaust memorial from the 1990s. Overall, about 350 tombstones remain in the landmarked cemetery. Only small remnants of the wall of quarry stone are preserved. Cemetery freely accessible." [September 2011]

The Stemberg family owned the village in the 16th century and received the privilege as a town in 1587. Industrial development started in the 19th century when the railway was build. A castle was rebuilt from the original fortress named Hradiste.Jewish settlement dating from 17th century was ended by Holocaust. The last synagogue was built in 1904 and later turned into offices. The Jewish cemetery situated on the same edge of the village is difficult to find. In bad condition, only a few gravestones remain. See photo and contact information. [February 2009]

The history of Jewish settlement in this village reaches from the 17th century to the Holocaust. The last synagogue built in 1904 was renovated into offices. The Jewish cemetery is situated on the same edge of the village and difficult to find survived in a bad condition with only a few interesting gravestones remaining. Adolf Kraus (1850 - 1928 in Chicago), moved to America and became president of Bnai Brith in the USA. This village was originally built on land owned by Kladruby´s monastery. The Stemberg family owned the village in the 16th century and granted privileges of a town (in 1587). A big industrial development started in the 19th century when the railway was build here. An Eare mpire townhall and St. John Evangelist´s church on a lovely looking square. A castle was built from the original fortress named Hradiste and became a part of the town later.  An English park is a part of the castle. [February 2009]

US Commission No. CZCE000060

Alternate/former German name of town: Blowitz in Plzen-jih (Pilsen South), Bohemia at 49°35' N, 13°33' E', 14 miles SE of Plzeň (Pilsen).. Cemetery: 700 meters E of town. Present total town population: 1,000-5000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Mestsky Urad, 336 01 Blovice.
  • Regional: 1. Okresni urad Plzen-jih, Referat Kultury, Radobycicka 14, 320 00 Plzen; 2. Zidovska Nabozenska Obec, Semtanovy sady 5, 301 37 Plzen; tel. 019/357-49.
  • Interested: 1. Okresni Muzeum, 336 01 Blovice cp. 148; tel. 0185/157; 2. Josef Kozeluh, Jarov 7, 335 51 Mecholupy u Blovic (regional historian) and 3. Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34 or 231-07-85. No caretaker.

Earliest known Jewish community dates from mid-17th century. 1930 Jewish population (census) was 25. 11 Jewish families were expelled in 1747. Jews moved to big towns in second half of the 19th century.Birthplace of famous journalist (Times) Henri George Stephan Opper de Blowitz (1825-1903) and of Adolf Kraus (1850-1928) president of the B'nai Brith in the USA and co-founder of the Anti-Defamation League. The landmarked cemetery originated in 1683. Rabbus were buried in the cemetery with last known Conservative or Reform Jewish burial was before 1943. The isolated suburban agricultural flat land has no sign. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a broken masonry wall and no gate. Size of cemetery before and after WWII 0.1503 ha.

20-100 gravestones, in original location with 25-50% toppled or broken, date from second half of the 18th-20th century. The granite flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German and/or Czech inscriptions. The cemetery has no known mass graves. Plzen Jewish community owns property used for Jewish cemetery only. Adjacent properties are agricultural. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred occasionally in the last ten years and between 1945 and ten years ago. Jewish groups within country re-erected stones, patched broken stones, cleaned stones, and cleared vegetation in 1985-1991. Now, occasionally authorities clear or clean. Within the limits of the cemetery are no structures. Vandalism is a very serious threat. Security is a serious threat. Vegetation is a moderate threat. Vegetation overgrowth seasonally prevents access. Pollution is a slight threat.
Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on 26 May 1992. Documentation: 1. Gold: Juden...Bohemens...(1934); 2. Notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha; 3. Cadastre [a public record, survey or map of the value, extent and ownership of land as a basis of taxation] 1838]; 4. Ottuv Slovnik naucny; 5. Census mid-17th century. and 1930; 6. Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia (1980); 7. Guido Kisch: In Search of Freedom (1949); and 7. Fr. Rausar: Kulturni vyvoj Blovicka (1933). Fielder interviewed Josef Kozeluh and visited site in 1990.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 September 2011 17:22
 
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