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KASEJOVICE: Plzen-jih, Bohemia PDF Print E-mail

Alternate names: Kasejovice [Cz], Kasejowitz [Ger], Kassejowitz.  49°28' N, 13°44' E, 54 miles SW of Praha (Prague), 26 miles SE of Plzeň (Pilsen). 1930 Jewish population: 28.

"The Baroque Synagogue in Kasejovice (1762) (in which was established a local museum in the 1950s) was renovated in 1994 and now houses an new ethnographic exhibition dedicated to Jewish and local folk art." Source [February 2009]

"The settlement of the Jewish ghetto in this town is very unique. The Jewish town was established around 1727 ( according to the law about ghettos),
but Jews lived in this town ...in the 16th century (first [documentation] comes from 1570). Their settlement spread... The ghetto was built later on the edge of the town connected to the town by one road. There were 14 houses surrounding the square. The synagogue and four other houses were in the middle. There were two families living in one house, one on the ground floor and the other on the first floor. The building [remain]... on one side of the square but from the other side were damaged by [communists] building. The synagogue was built in the richest period of the Jewish community in the 18th century in the Baroque style. It was rebuildt in 1830. Services were kept until 1920 when a Judaic collection of Vaclav Mentberg (1886-1969) was placed here. Now this synagogue is used as a museum and as a cultural hall of the town. The interior decorations are geometrical and floral shapes on the walls. The original windows are kept. The aron ha-kodesh is from the 19th century. You can see some traditional handmade products here e.g. laces or pipes made of birch roots called kasovky ( first one was made by Frantisek Rybicka in 1828...). Another craft was pottery; the family of Stepaneks were making it for more than 200 years). The reconstruction of the ground floor is going to be done soon. Originally there was probably a kosher kitchen; the mikvas were situated not far away in the park by the brook. The Jewish cemetery was preserved in a good condition... on the edge of the town above the Catholic cemetery... Newly reconstructed ceremonial house is the entrance to the cemetery. The cemetery is divided into three parts and you can see how it spread. The oldest tombstones come from the begining of the 18th century (but the first [documentation is from 1669). The [chevra kaddisha] was established here in the 18th century too. ...some Czech text on the tombstones. ... Czech rabbi Philiph Bondy who was preaching in Czech languague probably as the first one in the Czech republic. Jews lived in this town until the begining of the second World war. All of them died in the concentration camps except one woman." Source and photos [February 2009]

photos. The town was established in 1264 as a fortress of nobel family. Kasejovice was privileged as a town in 1414. The town had good natural resources with goldmines nearby. The town had a brewery and trade markets. The town is build more in the town style than the country style. Settlement of the Jewish ghetto began around 1727 according to the law about ghettos, but Jews lived here in the 16th century (first mention in 1570). The ghetto was built later on the edge of the town connected to the town by one road with 14 houses surrounding the square. The synagogue and four other houses were in the middle. Two families lived in one house: duplexes. The buildings were kept on one side of the square but on the other side were damaged by the socialist-style of building. The 18th century Baroque synagogue was built in the most successful period of the Jewish community and was renovated in 1830. The synagogue was used until 1920 when the Judaic collection of Vaclav Mentberg (1886-1969) was placed here. Today, this synagogue is used as a museum and as a cultural hall of the town. The interior decorations are geometrical and floral shapes on the walls. The original windows remain as does the aron ha-kodesh from the 19th century. Traditional handmade products are seen here e.g. laces or pipes made of birch roots called kasovky ( first one was made by Frantisek Rybicka in 1828). Another craft was pottery with the Stepanek family were making it for more than 200 years). The reconstruction of the ground floor, originally there was probably a kosher kitchen, should be completed soon. The mikvas were situated not far away in the park by the brook.The Jewish cemetery was preserved in a good condition. Situated on the edge of the town above the catholic cemetery with a marvelous view of the whole region. Newly reconstructed ceremonial house is the entrance to the cemetery. The cemetery is divided into three parts. The oldest tombstones date from the begining of the 18th century (but the first mention is from 1669). The chevra kaddisha was established in the 18th century . Inscriptions are in Hebrew and Czech. Jews lived in this town until the begining of WWII. All of them died in concentration camps except for one woman. [February 2009]

The cemetery in Kasejovice, established in 1669, overlooks the town from a hilltop to the north. Many interesting Baroque and classical tombstones from the 17th and 18th centuries remain. Within the crumbling walls of the roofless ceremonial hall there used to stand the decrepit remains of a horse-drawn funeral wagon." [February 2009]

map and photos: The earliest mention of the village of Kasejovice located 11 km east of the town Nepomuk is 1264. "A strong Jewish population lived in Kasejovice before the Second World War. The Jews founded the Baroque synagogue in the second half of the 18th century. The museum is located here now. The Jewish cemetery (founded in 1704), another site of this community, lies on the northern outskirts of the village. It is split into two parts - there can be seen tombstones from Scandinavian granite in the first part of rich people and the ordinary tombstones of the poor in the other part." [February 2009]

Synagogues Without Jews: See photos! "Jewish quarter of Kasejovice, locally known as Zidovske mesto, is a former ghetto, established under an edict of Emperor Charles VI. ... a short distance from the circularly shaped main square ...Until WWII not more than a single narrow lane connected the Jewish enclave with the rest of the town. The first Jew, Jakub Mali, settled here about 1570, and by 1618, four Jewish families were listed in the town roster. ... always a small community, ... some 160-170 persons at the maximum, between 1774 and 1786. No more than 20-30 Jewish families lived in Kasejovice during the 18th and 19th centuries...The extension of civil rights to Jews in 1848 stimulated many of them to leave Kasejovice ... [115] Jews still resided in Kasejovice in 1904, ... by 1930 only 28 remained. On Nov. 26, l942, 42 Jews from Kasejovice and the neighboring town of Breznice were transported to Terezin. One woman, alone, returned to Kasejovice. The names of thirty-six Jewish victims of the Nazis from Kasejovice are engraved on a black marble memorial tablet that was erected in a little park area on the edge of the former ghetto.... 1763, ... synagogue in a small open space within a ring of 14 simple houses. In Rococo style, ... quite ornate for so small a community. ... 'Kasula' form windows, ... often found in Catholic churches of that period. A short flight of stairs up from the main entrance leads directly into the prayer room. There is no sign of a separate women's gallery. ...The Rabbi's apartment consisted of three small rooms, below the sanctuary. The synagogue exterior underwent restoration in the summer of 1992 and the interior was renovated later. Still present and in good condition is a Baroque Aron Kodesh of wood on a dark gray base, dating from the reconstruction of 1830. The four panels of its doors are embellished with gold Stars of David. The Aron is outlined by two pairs of pillars and a graceful, Baroque frame resting on Ionic capitals, all painted to simulate light gray marble. Above this structure and within a draped triangular cartouche topped by a gilded crown, a gilded inscription declares: "Moses entrusted us with the Torah-- a tradition for the congregation of Jacob." (Deut. 33:4). A chronogram designates the year as 5590 (1830). ... Holocaust survivor, Vaclav Mentberger (1886-~1970), an avid collector of Bohemian folk art and Judaica, returned to Kasejovice ...  prevailed upon the local authorities to designate the vacant synagogue as the town museum. He restored the building and transferred his private collection there, bequeathing it to the town. He also organized the remaining records of Kasejovice's Jewish community. ... In the museum storeroom, in another building, a few torn and decaying Torah scrolls lay scattered on a low table.

CEMETERY:

US Commission No. CZCE000348

Alternate names: Kasejovice [Cz], Kasejowitz [Ger]. It is in Bohemia-Plzen-jih (Pilsen-South) at 49°28' N, 13°44' E , 15 km NNE of Horazdovice, 30 km SW of Pribram, 54 miles SW of Praha (Prague), and 26 miles SE of Plzeň (Pilsen).. Cemetery: 500 meters NNW of Catholic Church. Present population is 1000-5000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Obecni urad, 335 44 Kasejovice; tel. 0185/952-19 or 951-00.
  • Regional: 1. Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, Radobycicka 14, 301-32 Plzen; 2. Zidovska Nabozenska Obec, Smetanovy sady 5, 301 37 Plzen; tel. 019/357-49; and 3. Pamatkovy ustav, Dominkanska 4/6, 301 00 Plzen; tel. 019/354-62 or 358-71.
  • Interested: 1. Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34 or 231-07-85 and 2. Okresni Muzeum, 336 01 Blovice cp. 148; tel. 0185/157.
  • Caretaker with key: Karel Polanka, 335 44 Kasejovice cp. 108.

A prayer room was recorded before 1618. 1930 Jewish population was 28. Ghetto was constructed about 1727. Peak Jewish population was in mid-19th century (about 230 people). Later, Jews moved to big towns. Independent congregation disbanded between 1922 and 1930. Noteworthy individuals: Rabbis Shalomon (1651) and Jakub Lazar (1783). The cemetery probably originated in 1704 with last known Conservative burial was before 1943. Podhuri, 5 km away; Nepomuk, 11 km away, and Blatna, 11 km away, used this is unlandmarked cemetery. The isolated rural (agricultural) hillside and crown of a hill has no sign. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open with permission via a continuous masonry wall and locking gate. Size of cemetery before and after WWII: 0.3086 ha.

100-500 gravestones, 1-20 not in original locations and less than 25% toppled or broken, date from 1710-20th century. Some stones removed from the cemetery are in (another) cemetery in Kasejovice. 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, some with metal fences around graves, have Hebrew, German, and/or Czech inscriptions. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. Within the limits of the cemetery is a pre-burial house. Plzen Jewish community owns and uses the site only for Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural and residential. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred between 1945 and ten years ago but not in the last ten years. Local non-Jewish residents and Jewish individuals abroad re-erected stones after 1971 and cleared vegetation continually. Current care: occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals and by a regular unpaid caretaker. Weather erosion is a moderate threat.

Dr. Peter Braun, Komenskeho 43, 323 13 Plzen; tel. 019/52-15-58; Rudolf Lowy, Jesenicka 33, 323 23 Plzen; tel. 019/52-06-84; and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on 1 September 1992. Documentation: 1. Die Juden and Judengemeinden Bohemens..(1934); Jan Pelant: Mesta a mestecka Zapadoceskeho kraje (1984); Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia (1980); V. Mentberger: Kasejovicti zide (manuscript); and notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha. Braun and Lowy visited site on 26 May 1992. K. Polanka in Kasejovice was interviewed.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 January 2013 11:21
 
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