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KAMENICE NAD LIPOU: Pelhrimov, Bohemia PDF Print E-mail

Also see Cernovice

Alternate names: Kamenice, Kamenice nad Lipou, Kamenitz an der Linde. 49°18' N 15°05' E , 60.4 miles SSE of Praha

website in Czech with photo: landmarked and freely accessible. "The cemetery is located 1.500 m NE of the city in the woods. Turn off the main road leading from Kamenice Antonka over to Castro. Founded in 1803 and used until the beginning of World War II, about 150 tombstones are visible, the oldest from 1807. In 1987, the devastated area was put into decent condition. A small mortuary was previously completely dismantled; only the foundations were repaired. The cemetery wall has tombstones. At the entrance are information boards and a memorial plaque with the names of 47 people tortured to death in concentration camps. Current ongoing maintenance necessary." [October 2011]

photos and history of town on Wikipedia. [September 2011]

UPDATE: Concerning the role of 'caretaker' Pavel Roubal: Pavel Roubal (1948 - 1990) was my father, prominent dissident, member of VONS and Charta 77 movements. In his memory, I would like to add few words. Prevented by the communist regime from continuing in his profession and persecuted on regular basis, Pavel Roubal's care for the Jewish cemetery in Kamenice n. Lipou represented a way of self-realization as well as an attempt to deal with responsibility he felt as practicing Catholic for the Jewish heritage and a means of healing the wounds of anti-Jewish persecution.

When he 'discovered' the cemetery in mid 1980s, the site was completely devastated. The majority of the tombstones were toppled or broken. The ground was covered with full grown trees and bushes. The surrounding wall was collapsing in many parts. The first task therefore was to restore the wall, which my father and our family did during 1987, creating an important if symbolic barrier. Even though there was some vandalism recently, no single tombstone has been stolen since the wall was reconstructed. Facing the main road, an iron gate was erected, designed by famous Moravian sculptor, Otmar Oliva, and realized by my father. The Star of David in the middle is taken from a destroyed Jewish cemetery.

Next step was to clear the vegetation while leaving the original trees as well as replacing some with new. Finally, my father, with the help of a fairly primitive wooden structure, raised the tombstones and repaired the broken ones, while leaving aside those tomestones with unclear original location. This part of the work was not completed fully by the time of Pavel Roubal's death and was finished by group of volunteers during the 1990s including two Roubal sons. During the whole period, Pavel Sadilek, later major of Kamenice n. Lipou, Pavel Roubal's personal friend, was most helpful. Prague Jewish Council supported the work financially in later stages.

The Jewish cemetery in Kamenice thus, at least for me, represents not only important evidence of the former Jewish life here, but also a rare symbol of mutual respect between the Jewish and non-Jewish community. Source: Petr Roubal, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [October 2003]

map and photos: "The small town Kamenice nad Lipou lies on the NW outskirts of the Českomoravská Vrchovina (Czech-Moravian Uplands) on ...the small river Kamenička about 20 km north of Jindřichův Hradec near the narrow-gauge railway, which leads between the village Obrataň and the town Jindřichův Hradec.  Originally there was a Gothic castle built in the middle of the 13th century here. Not far from the castle there was a small town. It enlarged through time. The Renaissance chateau with arcade courtyard and with garden built by Jan Malovec of Pacov ...between 1580 - 1583.  The chateau was reconstructed in the Classicist style at the beginning of the 19th century. The entrance tower was built in the Baroque style and it comes from 1744. All Saints Church dates from the 13th century, but was many times reconstructed. Tombstones with reliefs from the 16th and 17th centuries can be found in its walls. The church tower is from the 17th century. In the Middle Ages the ironstone and the silver were mined around the town. The ore was processed into tools in the local iron-mills. In the 19th century there was a [stocking] factory ... in Kamenice, and in the 20th century there were a textile factory (produced mostly curtain materials and laces) and glassworks. A very old and preserved lime tree grows in the park around the chateau...age... between 600 and 800 years. The natural cemetery called Bradlo...can be found on the knoll above the town. The 46 km long narrow-gauge railway (founded in 1906) leads through Kamenice nad Lipou [and] used for daily transport and during the summer for tourist trips with special old trains and wagons." [February 2009]

The Jewish cemetery, a registered national landmark, was founded in 1803 at  Antonka. The oldest tombstones date back to 19th century. According to evidence, the Jewish settlement in Kamenice nad Lipou had been there since 1603. In 1904, 163 Jews lived in Kamenice and surrounding villages. In mid-19th century, around 120 people and in 1930 only around 30 people, since Jews were moving to big towns. The cemetery is in an isolated area, surrounded by forests but not far from the main road. The Wetheimer family is the oldest family buried on the cemetery. The gravestones date from 1807. The marble, granite, limestone and sandstone flat shaped stones with carved relief decoration on some have Hebrew, German or Czech inscriptions. Through the years, some stones have been stolen from the cemetery; and vandalism is still the main threat. The Jewish congregation of Kamenice nad Lipou became extinct during the Nazi occupation when the Jews were transported to concentration camps. After that, the cemetery started to deteriorate. Vandals were demolishing tombstones and the stone wall so, in 1959, the cemetery was in a state of a serious devastation. Ing. Pavel Roubal from Častrov was the first person to "discover" the devastated cemetery in mid 1980s. Most of the tombstones were pushed over or broken. Together with his family, he restored the collapsing wall. He also repaired the broken tombstones and made an iron entrance gate which was designed by a famous Moravian sculptor Otmar Oliva. The Jewish community of Prague owns the cemetery and also supported some repair works financially. On 8 May 1996, a memorial to 46 victims of holocaust was place here by Ing. Věra Roubalová, the daughter of Pavel Roubal. The newest synagogue in Czechoslovakia was built in 1937-8 in Kamenice nad Lipou. [February 2009]

US Commission No. CZCE000347 [used Cernovice before 1804]:

Alternate German name: Kamenitz an der Linde and Ceska Kamenice (18th century). Town is in Bohemia-Pelhrimov at 49º18 15º05, 31 km ESE of Tabor and 36 km and WSW of Jihlava. Cemetery: 1300 meters NE of chateau near hamlet Antonka. Present population is 1000-5000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Mayor: Engineer Pavel Sadilek, home tel. 0364/2454, Mestsky Urad, 394 70 Kamenice nad Lipou, office tel. 0364/2360 or 2612.
  • Regional: Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, 393 01 Pehlrimov; tel. 0366/3107 and Jewish Congregation: ZNO Praha (Ms. Jana Wolfova), Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-69-25.
  • Interested: 1. Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/2310634; 2. Okresni Muzeum, head: Engineer Jiri Cerny, Masarykovo namesti 12, 393 01 Pelhrimov; tel. 0366/2535; and 3. Vlastivedne Muzeum, Palackeho 75, 394 70 Kamenice nad Liou; tel. 0364/2168.
  • Caretaker: Jan Tusil, Antonka 9, 394 70 Kamenice nad Lipou. Former caretaker: Engineer Vera Roubalova, Nad starou piskovnou 1281, 156 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/402-31-62, office tel. 02/471-52-10 or 471-44-03.

A prayer-room was recorded since 1673. 1930 Jewish population was 34. Peak Jewish population was mid-19th century with approximately 20 families and 120 people. Later, Jews moved to big towns. The landmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1803 with last known Conservative or Reform/Progressive Jewish burial before 1943. Between fields and woods, the isolated hillside has Czech sign on the signboard beside entrance. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a continuous masonry wall and non-locking gate. Size of cemetery before and after WWII: 0.0569 ha.

100-500 gravestones, 1-20 not in original locations and less than 25% toppled or broken, date from 1807-20th century. Some stones removed from the cemetery were stolen. The marble, granite, limestone, and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones, or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German, and/or Czech inscriptions. Some have traces of painting on their surfaces and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no known mass graves or structures. Praha Jewish community owns Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural and woods. Occasionally, organized individual tour. Vandalism occurred from 1945 onward. Individuals or groups of non-Jewish origin and Jewish groups within the country re-erected stones, patched broken stones, cleaned stones, cleared vegetation, and fixed wall and gate from 1987-1991. Praha Jewish Congregation pays regular caretaker. Security (uncontrolled access) and vandalism are serious threats. Weather erosion and pollution are slight threats. Vegetation overgrowth seasonally prevents access.

Martina Chmelikova, Nad Ondrejovem 16, 140 00 Praha 4; tel. 02/69-20-350 and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey form on 31 August 1992. Documentation: 1. 1723, 1849, 1930 Censuses; 2. Hugo Gold: Die Juden and Judengemeinden Bohemens (1934); 3. Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia (1980); and 4. Notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha. Chmelikova visited site in 1992 and interviewed Engineer Pavel Roubal, Engineer Vera Roubalova (former caretakers) in Praha in 1990 and 1992 and Mayor Engineer P. Sadilek by phone in 1992.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 October 2011 16:01
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