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HRANICE: Presov, Moravia PDF Print E-mail

Alternate names: Hranice [Cz], Mährisch Weisskirchen [Ger], Weißkirchen, Hranice na Moravě. Purportedly, Jews settled between 1475 and 1553, but the first documentary mention is 1644. Among the Jewish settlers were refugees from the Chmielnicki Massacres (1648) and cattle dealers on their way to Moravian markets. 120 Jewish families were permitted to reside in the town by the Familiants Law. Jewish population: 115 families in 1753, 659 in 1830, 802 in 1857, 582 in 1869, 522 in 1880, 462 in 1900, 192 persons (1.8% of the total population) in 1930, and 143 in 1938. Most of Jews lived in the Christian part of town. After 1848, the Jewish community was one of the politische Gemeinden. Those remaining in 1942 were deported to Nazi extermination camps. Synagogue appurtenances were sent to the Central Jewish Museum in Prague. Fourteen Jews returned after World War II. A reconstituted religious congregation did not remain active, but its prayer room was in use until 1969. After 1943, the synagogue, built in 1863–64, served as the municipal museum. Julius Freud, the brother of Sigmund Freud, is buried here. Natives of Hranice: German apostate writer, J.J. David; Jewish scholar Isaac Hirsch Weiss; the editor of the Jewish Encyclopedia, Isidore Singer; and Reform advocate, Aaron Chorin. [February 2009]


Rabbinowicz-Wachstein, in: H. Gold (ed.), Juden und Judengemeinden Maehrens (1929), 381–5

I.H. Weiss, Zikhronotai (1895), 13–18 and passim.

Yeshayahu Jelinek (2nd ed.)] Encyclopaedia Judaica.

Encyclopedia of Jewish Life (2001), p. 531: "Hranice".

Spector, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust, P. 531


"1996 saw the completed reconstruction of the synagogue in Hranice (1864), which now serves as the local museum art gallery." Source [February 2009]

The Jewish community dates from the end of the 15th century with Jewish population peak of 800 in 1857. A new synagogue was built in 1864. In 1938,about 140 Jews remained, most of whomwere deported to Theresienstadt and death camps in Poland. [February 2009]

August 10, 2004 – Some 80 tombstones were overturned.[February 2009]


US Commission No. CZCE000089
Alternate names: (German) Mahrisch-Weisskirchen and Maehrisch-Weisskirchen. Town is in Morava-Presov at 49º35 17º45, 22 miles E of Olomouc (Olmütz). Cemetery: 0.2 km NE, Zborovska Street. Present population is 5000-25,000 with fewer than 10 Jews.

  • Town: Mayor phDr. Vladimir Jurecka, Mestsky Urad, Masarykovo namesti 71, 753 01 Hranice; tel. 0642/2855.
  • Regional: mgr. Oleg Dejnega, Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, Smetanova 7, 750 00 Prerov; tel. 0641/2141.
  • Interested: JUDr. Peter Schlesinger, cp. 137, 664 67 Bratcice; tel. 0; and Dr. Bohumir Indra, Maradkova 10, 746 01 Opava; tel. 0653/8427.
  • Caretaker with key: Okresni Vlastivedne Muzeum, dir. Ladislav Foukal, Horni namesti 22/23, 750 00 Prerov; tel. 0641/3286. Mestsky Urad Hranice n. M.

Earliest known Jewish community was 17th century. 1930 Jewish population was 192. This was a self-standing political community from 1880-1919. Noteworthy individuals who lived here were Rabbi Isias Reiniger (+1857); J.J. David, poet (1859-1906); prof. Dr. Jakub Rabbinowicz, Rabbi; and Max Wolf, musician (1840-1886). The landmarked Jewish cemetery (landmark # 440 N.M) originated in 1580. Julius Freud, brother of Sigmund Freud, (+1858) is buried in the cemetery with last known Conservative Jewish burial in 1956. Czech sign mentioning the Jewish Community marks the isolated suburban site by water. 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 size of the cemetery before and after WWII is 0.4276 ha.

500-1,000 gravestones, 20-100 not in original locations and less than 25% toppled or broken, date from 1686-20th century. Some stones removed from the cemetery are in a museum of conservation. The marble, granite, limestone, sandstone, slate, and iron flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, or obelisks have Hebrew, German, or Czech inscriptions. Some have traces of painting on their surfaces, iron decorations or lettering, and/or bronze decorations or lettering. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. Within the limits of the cemetery is a destroyed pre-burial house. The municipality owns the property used for Jewish cemetery only. Adjacent properties are agricultural and residential. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred during World War II and between 1945 and ten years ago. Local or municipal authorities re-erected stones and cleared vegetation in 1990-1. Care now is occasional clearing or cleaning by authorities. Security (uncontrolled access), vandalism, and incompatible nearby development, and pollution are slight threats. Weather erosion is a moderate threat. Vegetation overgrowth seasonally prevents access.

Engineer Arch Jaroslav Klenovsky, Zebetinska 13, 623 00 Brno; tel. 0 completed survey on 1 March 1992. Documentation: 1. Gold and 2. Herman. Other documentation exists but was too old. Klenovsky visited site in 1989 and 1991 but conducted no interviews.

Last Updated on Sunday, 15 February 2009 20:40
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