|CESKY TESIN: Karvina, Silesia, Moravia|
town image Alternate names: Český Těšín [Cz], Tschechisch Teschen [Ger], Czeski Cieszyn [Pol], Teschen, Tešín, Tschechisch-Teschen in E Czech Republic, on the Polish border. Jewish population 259 (in 1890), 1,021 (in 1921). See Encyclopedia of Jewish Life (2001), p. 240: "Cesky Tesin". cemetery photos [February 2009]
History: "It lies on the west bank of the Olza River, in the heart of the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia. Until the 1920 division of the region between Poland and Czechoslovakia it was just a western suburb of the town of Teschen, which after the division fell to Poland as Cieszyn. ... In 1849 the western part of Teschen was home to only 14.9% of the town's total population, in 1880 24% and in 1910 33.4%.Teschen was known for its national and cultural diversity, comprising mostly of German, Polish, Jewish and Czech communities. There was also a small but lively Hungarian community in the town comprised mostly of officers and administrative workers. According to the Austrian census of 1910, Teschen had 22,489 inhabitants. The census asked people for their native language; 13,254 (61.5%) were German-speaking, 6,832 (31.7%) were Polish-speaking and 1,437 (6.7%) were Czech-speaking. Jews were not allowed to declare Hebrew or Yiddish, most of them thus declared the German language as their native tongue. The most populous religious groups were Roman Catholics with 15,138 (67.3%), followed by Protestants with 5,174 (23%) and the Jews with 2,112 (9.4%).[In 1938 there was a sizeable Jewish minority in the town, about 1,500 in Cieszyn and 1,300 in Český Těšín. Nearly all of them were killed by Nazi Germany in concentration camps. Most of the synagogues were destroyed. Today the only synagogue still stands in the town, used as a Polish cultural centre. The Jewish cemetery in Český Těšín is abandoned. The sizeable German community fled or were expelled to Germany after the war. There are no Jewish, nor German communities in the town today. ... There were four synagogues or Jewish prayer houses in Český Těšín before World War II. The oldest one had existed since the beginning of the 20th century. It was run by the Schomre Schabos (Guardians of Shabbat) society. In 1928-1929 the society built a new synagogue on Breitegasse Street. It is to date the only synagogue in the town which still stands. Nazis didn't destroy it due to its proximity to other residential buildings. In 1967 the building was bought by the Polish Cultural and Educational Union (PZKO). The Maschike Hatora (Upholding the Law) Orthodox society built its own prayer house on the Felix Dahn Street shortly after the Schomre Schabos synagogue began operating. In 1931-1933 a prayer house was built on the Friedrich Schiller Street but was burned down when Nazis entered the town on 1 September 1939." [February 2009]
US Commission No. CZCE000072
Earliest known Jewish community was 1920. 1930 Jewish population was 1,148. Jewish community established 1920. Ludvik Askenazy (1921-86) writer lived here. The unlandmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1924 with last known Conservative Jewish burial in 1969. Trinec, 8 km away, used cemetery. The flat suburban site, separate but near cemeteries, has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a continuous masonry wall, a continuous fence and locking gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is approximately 50x60 m.
20-100 20th century stones are all in original location. The marble and granite finely smoothed and inscribed stones or obelisks have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some have metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no special memorial monuments or known mass graves. Within the limits of the site is a pre-burial house. Ostrava Jewish community owns Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are cemetery. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred occasionally 1945-1991. Jewish groups within the country did restoration in 1960's. Now, authorities occasionally clean or clear. The caretaker is paid by a local contribution. Moderate threat: vegetation. Slight threat: uncontrolled access, weather erosion, pollution, vandalism, and existing and proposed nearby development.
Engineer Arch. Jaroslav Klenovsky, Zebetinska 13, 523 00 Brno; tel. 0 completed survey on 1 March 1992 using Jan Herman: "Jewish Cemeteries of Bohemia and Moravia" (1980). Other exisiting documentation was not used. J. Klenovsky and Jiri Fiedler visited the site.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 15 February 2009 19:55|