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GOLCUV JENIKOV: Havlíčkův Brod District, Vysočina Region, Bohemia PDF Print E-mail

Alternate names: Golčŭv Jeníkov [Cz], Goltsch-Jenikau [Ger]. 49°49' N, 15°29' E, 49 miles ESE of Praha. Jewish population: 613 (in 1842), 79 (in 1930). Kobylí Hlava, Nasavrky, Římovice, Sirákovice, Stupárovice and Vrtěšice are administrative parts of Golčův Jeníkov.i

website in Czech with photo: "The synagogue in the middle of a large Jewish neighborhood was built between 1871 - 1873 on the site of two old synagogues (the first synagogue documented in written records in the mid 17th century, the second built in its place after a fire in 1808). (Architect Caslav Skrivanek, Romanesque style with Moorish elements). Used until WWII, in 1942 - 1965 the Czechoslovak Hussite Church and the Evangelical Church used the building. Abandoned from 1969-1973, the Jewish Museum in Prague took it over as its depositary. The Jewish Museum also maintains the synagogue at its expense and recently restored it. The interior decorations was preserved as was the tabernacle. The cemetery located on the west end of town, less than a mile from the square, next to newly built by-pass road, according to oral tradition, was founded in the first half of the 14th century.  At perhaps the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries and in the second half of the 19th century (perhaps 1876) the site was expanded. The oldest gravestones date from the early 18th century (1706 gravestone of Abraham and Adina and 1708 gravestone of Rivka. Burials stopped before WWII. The approximately 1,500 gravestones include the oldest (1806 Rabbi Jacob Jizchakovi), 1814 tomb of teachers Mordechaj Berovo, father of Aaron Kornfeld, and 1817 tomb of Salman, son Mischla Kornfeld. Tomb of the famous 19th century teacher in the local yeshiva, Aron Kornfeld, remains. Family grave of Bronneck von Goldreich. A simple ceremony hall at the entrance gate was built in the year 1871-1872. The area is regularly maintained and is one of the most valuable Jewish cemeteries in Bohemia. Currently, the mortuary is repaired, tombstones righted and has ongoing maintenance. In the future, restoration of valuable historic tombstones should be done and fences repairs continued." [September 2011]

Living here were Jonas Altar, Jonathan Ha-Levi Altar (1755 - March 25, 1855, Goltsch-Jenikau), Bohemian rabbi; Meir Ha-Levi Altar (1803, Goltsch-Jenikau - 1868, Goltsch-Jenikau), and Aaron Kornfeld (August 2, 1795, Goltsch-Jenikau - October 26, 1881, Goltsch-Jenikau), Bohemian-Austrian Talmudist.

In 1997 the reconstruction of the synagogue in Golcuv Jenikov (1871) was completed to house preserved Jewish historical and spiritual artifacts. Alternate names: Golčŭv Jeníkov [Cz], Goltsch-Jenikau [Ger]  Jews probably settled in Golcuv Jenikov at the end of the 16th century with documents indicating a synagogue in 1659 thatwas rebuilt in 1806 and 1870 and extant after World War II. Plague drove the Jews temporarily outside the town in 1681. In 1724. 28 families lived in Golcuv Jenikov; with 613 Jews in 1847 (27.8% of total population), and 79 (3.9%) in 1931. A Jewish German-language school existed from 1797 to 1907. R. Aaron *Kornfeld , whose yeshivah was the last in Bohemia, lived in Golcuv Jenikov. Jews remaining by 1942 were deported to Nazi extermination camps. The synagogue properties were transferred to the Central Jewish Museum in Prague. After the Holocaust, some Jews returned to Golcuv Jenikov. The Jewish quarter (rebuilt after a fire in 1808) and cemetery (the oldest gravestone dating from 1726) existed in 1970, but the synagogue was given to the Prague State Jewish Museum in 1969. Also using the cemetery was nearby Habry (Habern), a Jewish community was founded in the 14th century with a synagogue dating from 1650. Jewish population: 21 Jewish families in 1724; 120 families in 1848; 143 in 1893; and 79 in 1930. In 1898, Habry became part of the Golcuv Jenikov community. Very few emigrated in World War II. Most were deported to the death camps of Poland via Theresienstadt in 1942. See Maximovič, in: H. Gold (ed.), Die Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (1934), 152–7; O. Kosta, in: Židovská ročenka (1970/71), 71–79. [February 2009]

cemetery photo [February 2009]

important residents of Golcuv Jenikov [February 2009]

town web site in Czech [February 2009]

[UPDATE]  Photos by Charles Burns [November 2017]

GOLCUV JENIKOV:     US Commission No. CZCE000333

Alternate name: Goltsch-Jenikau in German. Golcuv Jenikov is located in the Bohemia, Havlickuv Brod region at 49°49' N, 15°29' E , 29 km SE of Kolin and 30 km SW of Pardubice and 49 miles ESE of Praha.. The cemetery is located 600 meters W of the square. Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with fewer than 10 Jews.

  • Town: Mestsky Urad, 582 82 Golcuv Jenikov, Mayor-tel. 0451/932-12, secretary-tel. 0451/932-87.
  • Regional: (1) Okresni Urad, Referat Kultury, (Director: Ms. Sucha), Staflova 2003, 580 01 Havlickuv Brod; tel. 0451/327; (2) Zidovska Nabozenska Obec v Praze, Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-69-25; and (3) Pamatkovy Ustav Vychodnich Cech (Director: Engineer Skalova), Zamek 4, 530 02 ardubice; tel. 04/51-60-21.
  • Interested: (1) Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34 or 231-07-85; and (2) Okresni Muzeum, Namesti 56, 580 04 Havlickuv Brod; tel. 0451/4101.
  • Caretaker with key: Hana Ronovska, Komenskeho 462, 582 82 Golcuv Jenikov.

Earliest known Jewish community in Golcuv Jenikov was 1654, but allegedly is older. Allegedly, the community's origin is medieval. 1930 Jewish population was 79. In 1784, the old archives of the congregation were destroyed in a fire. Peak Jewish population was before the mid-19th century. In 1842, there were 613 persons, about 27% of the total population. In 1842, Sir Moses Montefiore visited the local yeshiva of Rabbi Kornfeld. In the late 19th and early 20th century, people started moving to the bigger towns with last rabbi leaving in 1930. Living here were Rabbi Aron Kornfeld (1795-1881, born and buried there and headed of the famous yeshiva); psychologist Siegmund Kornfeld (1859-1927); Judaist Bedrich Thieberger (1888-1958); poet and writer Gertrude Thieberger-Urzidil (1898-1977); poet Oskar Kosta (pseudonym Peter Pont, 1888-1973); and Isaac Mayer Wise (1819-1900, founder of American Reform Judaism, who began studies in the Yeshiva in Golcuv Jenikov in 1835). The landmarked Conservative Jewish cemetery originated in the 17th century. Rabbi Aron Kornfeld (1795-1881), Rabbi Michael Kornfeld (d. 1803) and Rabbi Jakob Jicchak ha-Levi (d. 1806) were all buried there with last known Jewish burial before 1943; the last urn was in 1974. The isolated flat suburban/rural site has no sign or marker. Reached off a public road, access is open with permission via continuous masonry wall and locking gate. The size of cemetery before WWII and now is 0.7336 ha.

100-500 gravestones, all in original location, date from 1706-20th century. The marble, granite and limestone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones, multi-stone monuments, and sarcophagus-shaped tombs have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some tombstones have portraits on stones and/or metal fences around the graves. Within the limits of the cemetery is a pre-burial house. The cemetery is not divided into special sections. Praha Jewish community owns the property now used as a Jewish cemetery and a garden. Adjacent properties are agricultural. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Local non-Jewish residents and Jewish groups in the Czech Republic cleared vegetation and fixed wall. Praha Jewish congregation pays a regular caretaker. Slight threats facing this cemetery are lack of security, weather erosion, pollution, vandalism, and incompatible nearby existing development. Vegetation overgrowth in the cemetery is a seasonal problem, preventing access.

Vlastmila Hamackova, Zabelska 37, 312 15 Plzen; tel. Office 02/231-06-34; and (2) Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on August 26, 1992. Documentation: (1) notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha (2) Die Juden und Judengemeinden Bohemens, 1934; (3) Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries of Bohemia and Moravia, 1980; (4) Jaroslav Holy: Poznejte Golcuv Jenikov, 1969, (5) A Guide to the Writings of Isaac Mayer Wise, 1981; and (6) letters of former cemetery-caretaker Antonin Dolezal, 1984-1985. V. Hamackova visited site in 1991.

BOOK: Czech Republic, Prague: Der Juedische Friedhin Golcuev Jenikov, 203, article p. 000203, 6/15/1990, HAMACKOVA Vlastimila, title: "in Judaica Bohemiae, Volume XXI/2", Judaica Bohemiae, 1985, pp. 95-103, German. Source: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 November 2017 05:39
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