|HROZNETIN: Karlovy Vary, Bohemia|
April 12, 2005 – Vandals destroyed several tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in Hroznetin.
Town web site [February 2009]
Czech Hroznětín; Ger. Lichtenstadt, Hebrew abbreviation: Lash in N.W. Bohemia. Jews are first documented in 1503. An important Jewish community In the 17th and 18th centuries, Hroznetin was the seat of the primator of Bohemian Jewry, Abraham Aaron Lichtenstadt, frequently mentioned in responsa of this time and one of the Jews who regularly attended the Leipzig Fair. Hroznetin Jews did business with nearby Carlsbad where some lived illegally (the foundation for the later community). In 1570, sixteen Jewish families lived in Hroznetin; 298in 1708; 47 families in 1724, 457 persons in 1857 (29% of the total population), 77 in 1869, 44 in 1921, and 7 in 1932. The community ceased to exist before World War II. [February 2009]
H. Treixler, in H. Gold (ed.), Die Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (1934), 378–82.
I. Ziegler, Dokumente zur Geschichte der Juden in Karlsbad (1913), 29 and passim.
S. Krauss, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden in der Tschechoslowakei, 2 (1931/32), 147–9.
M. Lamed, in: BLBI, 8 (1965), 302–11.
US Commission No. CZCE000277 [also see Karlovy Vary]
Alternate names: (German) Lichtenstadt and (Hebrew) Lash in Karlovy Vary, Bohemia at 50°18' N, 12°52' E , 5 km W of Ostrov and 6 miles N of Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad). Cemetery: 800 meters NW of square. Present town population is 1000-5000 with no Jews.
Earliest known Jewish community was early 17th century but probably earlier. 1930 Jewish population was nine. This dominant congregation in Karlovy Vary region had about 70 families permitted in first half of 19th century and was the seat of regional rabbis for counties of Zatec (Saaz), Loket (Elbogen) and was "Primator of Bohemian Jewry". After 1850, Jews moved to Karlovy Vary and other big towns, but an independent congregation (i.e., 120 in all area of congregation in 1921) existed until Kristallnacht in 1938. Abraham Aron Lichtenstadt (d. 1702) lived here as did regional rabbis and the ancestors of Lichtenstadt and Lash families. Jewish cemetery originated before 1618. Buried in the cemetery are rabbis; landesrabbiner of Moravia, Mordechai ben Abraham Benet, aka Marcus Benedikt, (1753-1829), exhumed in 1830 and others who came to Carlsbad Spa to die with last known Jewish burial before WWII.
The Jewish community was Conservative. Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), 9 km away, used this landmarked cemetery (number 120/828/Cat. II) before 1869 and Nejdek (Ger: Neudek), 10 km away, before 1914. The rural isolated wooded hillside has no sign. Reached by turning directly crossing a private forest, access is open via a broken masonry wall and non-locking gate. Size of cemetery before and after WWII was 0.6 ha.
100-500 gravestones, 1-20 not in original locations and 25%-50% toppled or broken, date from 1684-20th century. The marble, granite, and limestone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones, or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew and German inscriptions. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. Karlovy Vary Jewish community owns the property used for Jewish cemetery only. Adjacent properties are forest. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred prior to World War II and continuously since then. Local non-Jewish residents cleared vegetation in 1990. Care now is occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals with no caretaker. Within the limits of the cemetery are no structures. Security (uncontrolled access to the secluded spot) and lumberjacking are serious threats. Weather erosion and vandalism are moderate threats. The vegetation overgrowth seasonally prevents access.
Dr. Peter Braun, Komenskeho 43, 323 13 Plzen; tel. 019/52-15-58; 2. Rudolf Lowy, Jesenicka 33, 323 23 Plzen; tel. (019) 52-06-84; and Jiri Fiedler, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on 30 October 1992. Documentation: 1. 1674, 1724, 1830, 1921, and 1930 Censuses; 2. Die Juden and Judengemeinden Bohemens and Moravia (1934); 3. Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971); 4. Josef Pilz: Geschichte der Stadt Neudek (1923); 5. Notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha; and 6. Monthly Arnika, 1982, No. 2. Other documentation exists but was inaccessible: records No. 35 and 36 in Karlovy Vary congregation archives. Braun and Lowy visited site in May 1992 and interviewed Vlastimila Hamackova in 1992 at Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Praha.
|Last Updated on Friday, 13 February 2009 15:01|