Alternate names: Čáslav [Cz], Tschaslau [Ger], Časlau. 49°55' N, 15°24' E, 43 miles ESE of Praha (Prague), in central Bohemia. Jewish population: 300 (1870), 119 (1930). photos 43 miles ESE of Praha (Prague) in central Bohemia. [February 2008]
Jewish community dates from after the 1848 Revolution. 1870 Jewish population was about 300 and in 1930, about 120. In 1942, the Jews were deported to Theresienstadt and various death camps. The synagogue in Caslav was consecrated in 1900. See Spector, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust (2001), P. 235. [February 2009]
Czech Heritage Action Initiative (CHAI) is working on the restoration of Jewish cemeteries in the Czech Republic. CHAI is a non-profit organization led by Lisa Feder of Deerfield, IL that works with the Czech Federation of Jewish Communities. The Federation includes ten local Jewish communities in the Czech Republic. CHAI projects include the restoration of Jewish cemetery in čáslav. [May 2010]
The synagogue was built between 1899 and 1900 in Moorish style, designed by architect Wilhelm Stiassny. It was used until 1939 by the local Jewish community, which was then almost totally wiped out during the Shoah. After World War II the abandoned building saw use as a warehouse, and then (between 1969-1989) as a gallery. In 1989, it was returned to the Jewish Community in Prague and has recently been restored. [September 2011]
website in Czech with photo: "Jewish quarter is part of the town cemetery, located in the northern part of the city on the street leading to Chotusitz. It was established in 1884 and was used rarely even in the second half of the 20th century. The family of community leaders - mayors Goldberger, Beckmann and Seidemanna are buried there. The largest tomb belongs to the family of the founder Cosmos Factory, which was Ing. Emil Pick. In total, the Jewish cemetery has about 200 modern tombstones. Mortuary is in ruins, preserved is the entry gate. Currently, the cemetery is cleaned, the majority of tombs restored and ongoing maintenance is provided by the cemetery. Required is to build and repair the remaining toppled tombsstones." [September 2011]
US Commission No. CZCE000071:
Alternate name: Tschaslau in German.Čáslav [Cz], Časlau. Caslav is located in Bohemia, Kutna Hora at 49°55' N, 15°24' E, 9 km SE of Kutna Hora and 30 km SW of Pardubice. Cemetery: 1.5 km N on Chotusicka Street. Present town population is 5,000-25,000 with than 10 Jews.
- Town: Mestsky Urad (magistrate: Mr. Prochazka), Zizkovo namesti, 286 01 Caslav; tel. 0322/2231, 0322/2166, 0322/2377.
- Regional: Okresni Urad, Referat Kultury, Radnicka 178(?) 284 80 Kutna Hora; tel. 0327/2301 and Zidovska Nabozenska Obec v Praze, Maislova 18 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-69-25 MUDr. Bohuslav Prochazka, district conservator of hist. monuments), Ceska 240, 284 01 Kutna Hora.
- Interested: Okresni Muzeum, Barborska 28, 284 80 Kutna Hora; tel. 0327/2159 Mestske Muzeum, Protifasistickych bojovniku 281, 286 01 Caslav; tel. 0322/2207.
- Key holder: Hrbitovni sprava, 286 01 Caslav; tel. 0322/3106.
- Caretaker: Mr. Rokos, Technicke sluzby, Vrchovska 1354, 286 01 Caslav; tel. 0322/3711, 0322/4151.
- Earliest known Jewish community was between 1850 and 1870. Jewish population: 300 (in 1870), 119 (in 1930). Birthplace of historian Hugo Traub (1879-1942), film director Milos Forman (1932, lived in Hollywood), and famous sculptor Ales Vesely (1935). The unlandmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1884 with last known Conservative or Progressive/Reform Jewish burial 1975. The flat suburban site, part of a municipal cemetery, has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a continuous masonry wall and locking gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is about 0.06 ha. 20-100 stones, most in original location, date from 1880's-20th century. The cemetery has special sections with no detail given. The marble, granite, limestone and sandstone finely smoothed and inscribed stones or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some tombstones have iron decorations or lettering, with bronze decorations or lettering and/or portraits on stones. The cemetery contains no known mass graves or structures. The municipality owns Jewish cemetery property. Adjacent properties are municipal cemeteries. Frequently, private visitors stop. The cemetery probably was never vandalized. Individuals or groups of non-Jewish origin, regional/national authorities and Jewish groups within country did restoration in 1980's. The caretaker is paid by a local contribution. Serious threat: vegetation. Slight threat: uncontrolled access, weather erosion, pollution and vandalism.
- Martina Chmelikova [Nad Ondrejovem 16, 140 00 Praha 4; tel. 02/69-20-350] and Jiri Fiedler, z"l [Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40] completed survey on 27 May 1992 using Jan Herman, "Jewish Cemeteries of Bohemia and Moravia" (1980); Jahrbuch fuer israelische Cultusgemeinden Boehmens (1894-95); information from town council (1983). The site was not visited. Interviewed was Ms. Svozilova, Hrbitovni sprava (director of cemeteries), Caslav (see 13) 1992.