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Synagogues Without Jews, Cemetery web site with burial search. map [February 2009]

Šachova Synagogue in Holešov: The Renaissance synagogue with valuable 1737 wall paintings represents the unique style of Polish synagogues and belongs among the most valuable monuments of its kind in the Czech Republic. It bears the name of rabbi Sabbatai ben Meir ha-Kohen called Šach whose Baroque tomb is at the Jewish cemetery. Šachova synagoga, Příční ulice, 769 01 Holešov, Phone: +420 573 397 822. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Web: [February 2009]


A Jew was mentioned in the town in 1391, but of the Jewish community founded in the first half of the sixteenth century only the breastplate of a 1549 Torah scroll remains. The synagogue and all archives were destroyed in a fire. The synagogue was rebuilt in 1560. Fifty Jewish homes were in Holesov in 1629. The oldest known tombstone dates from 1647. The community apex was under the leadership of R. Shabbetai b. Meir ha-Cohen (1662–68). Maria Theresa's plan to expel the Jews from Moravia (1742) saw the synagogue and its silver seized and notables arrested. Persecution, the Familiants Law, and anti-Jewish measures forced many Holesov Jews to seek new homes. Many settled in Upper Hungary (Slovakia today), some founding the congregation of Liptovsky Mikulas (Liptószentmiklós) [Slovak Republic] in 1720. In 1774, when a Christian maidservant was found murdered in a Jewish house, the Catholic clergy saved the household from the mob by surrounding the building with altars. Jewish population: 194 Jewish families (1,032 persons) living in 49 houses in Holesov in 1794 with a Christian population of 554 families (2,973 persons) in 256 houses. In the 19th century, Holesov was one of Moravia's politische Gemeinden. In 1869, the community numbered 1,764. A new synagogue was built in 1893. Antisemitic riots in 1899 encouraged many Jewish families to leave the town. On Dec. 4, 1918, all but three Jewish shops were plundered and two Jews killed. From 1,200 Jewish inhabitants in 1914, the community declined to 273 (4% of the total population) in 1930. 200 Jewish families were deported to extermination camps by the Nazis with synagogue appurtenances transferred to the Central Jewish Museum in Prague. Following World War II, a small community reconsitituted, affiliated with the Kyjov community. The Jewish quarter was restored, including the cemetery and the old synagogue, [from 1964 housing a museum of Moravian Jewry, a branch of the Jewish State Museum in Prague]. Community records, cḥevra kaddisha statutes, and other documents from 1653 to 1914 are preserved in the National Library in Jerusalem and in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Holesov natives: Johanan b. Isaac, rabbi of the Hambro Synagogue of the London Ashkenazi community at the beginning of the 18th century and Gerson Wolf, historian. [February 2009]


Encyclopedia Judaica

Freimann, in: H. Gold (ed.) Die Juden und Judengemeinden Maehrens in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (1929), 233–40; idem, Kobez al Jad (1936), 111–34.

R. Iltis, Die aussaeen in Traenen… (1959), 59–63.

I. Halpern, Takkanot Medinat Mehrin (1952), 103–4.

Madrikh la-Arkhiyyonim ha-Historiyyim be-Yisrael (1966), 129 nos. 173–8. Yeshayahu Jelinek (2nd ed.)]

Encyclopedia of Jewish Life (2001), p. 522: "Holesov".


The "Shach" Synagogue dating (1559/1737) was renovated in 1995 and is now a museum on the history and life of the Jews in Moravia. The old cemetery is close by with gravestone of the legendary Rabbi Shabbtai Meir Kohen (Schach). Jewish Community of Brno owns, manages, and renovated the cemetery around 1997. town image [February 2009]

The Šach Synagogue in Holešov belongs is the only preserved synagogue of the so-called Polish type, characterized by floral decoration and fruit or animal motives. In the 18th century, it was rebuilt in the Baroque style, but its Renaissance central part is preserved. Today  the museum exposition of the Jewish history and Jewish sights of Moravia is housed there. The Jewish cemetery's Baroque tomb of  Rabbi Šach has been a pilgrimage place for many foreign visitors. [February 2009]

web site [February 2008]


US Commission No. CZCE000085

Alternate name: Czech Holešov; Ger. Holleschau. Holesov is located in Morava-Kromeriz at 49°20' N, 17°35' E , 35 km SE of Olomouc, 44 miles ENE of Brno (Brünn), 23 miles ESE of Prostějov (Proßnitz) in Zlín Region. Cemetery: 0.3 km N of Hankeho Street. Present town population is 5,000-25,000 with fewer than 10 Jews.

  • Town: Magistrate Antonin Foukal, Mestsky Urad, Masarykova 628, 769 01 Holesov; tel. 0635/2872.
  • Regional: Marie Docekalova, Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, Husovo nam., 767 01 Kromeriz; tel. 8634/514.Interested: Muzeum Kromerizska, dir. Mgr. Vaclav Tomasek, Velke namesti 38, 767 01 Kromeriz; tel. 8634/21457.
  • Interested: PhDr. Josef Svatek, U potoka 1349, 769 01 Holesov; tel. 0635/2146.
  • Caretaker: Zakladni Organizace Ceskeho Svazu Invalidu Holesov.

Earliest known Jewish community was after 1454. The Jewish population: 1,200 (in 1914) and 328 in 1939. 1726 transfer; pogroms in 1774, 1850, 1899 and 1918; self-standing political community 1850-1919 were events effecting the community. Rabbi Sabbatai ben Meir ha-Kohen (Sach), 1622-1662, lived and is buried here. The Jewish cemetery originated in second half of the 15th century with last known Conservative Jewish burial in 1975. Landmaked cemetery (Nr. 5952 S.M.). Other towns or villages used site. A Czech sign or plaque mentions the Jewish Community, famous individuals buried in cemetery and marks The flat isolated suburban site by water has Jewish symbols and inscriptions in Hebrew on the gate or wall. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a continuous masonry wall and non-locking gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is 0.819 ha.

500-5000 stones, all in original locations, date from 1670-20th century. The marble, granite, limestone and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones, multi-stone monuments or obelisks have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some have traces of painting on their surfaces, iron decorations or lettering, bronze decorations or lettering, and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no special memorial monuments. Within the limits of the site are a pre-burial with wall inscriptions-painting house [sic] and an ohel. Muzeum Kromerizska v Kromerizi owns the site used only as a Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural and residential. Frequently, organized Jewish tours or pilgrimage groups and private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred occasionally 1945-1991. Local non-Jewish residents, regional/national authorities, Jewish individuals abroad, and Jewish groups within country did restoration in 1980s, last 1991. Now, authorities occasionally clean or clear. Moderate threat: uncontrolled access, weather erosion, vegetation and vandalism. Slight threat: pollution, existing and proposed nearby development.

Engineer arch. Jaroslav Klenovsky, Zebetinska 13, 623 00 Brno; tel. 0 completed survey on February 3, 1992. Documentation: Gold, Herman. Other exisiting documentation was not used. No site visits or interviews occurred.
BOOK: Vlastimila Hamackova and Jamila Skochova. "Cimetiere Juif de Holesov" in Judaica Bohemiae (1979), p. 122-125.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 February 2009 20:20
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