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KLATOVY: Plzen, Bohemia PDF Print E-mail

Klatovy at 49°23′43″N 13°17′36.75″E was founded during 1260–1263 by Přemysl Otakar II to protect trade routes. uring the Middle Ages, Klatovy developed into one of the most important town in Bohemia. In the 17th century the town grew into regional centre  thanks to Jesuits, who came in 1636. In the same year they founded secondary school and three years after that, the Baroque Pharmacy, which is landmarked by  UNESCO. There are several historic buildings in the town such as the Black Tower, the Baroque Pharmacy, the Jesuit church with catacombs and the Archeacon's church. In the 19th 20th centuries, Klatovy developed into an industrial town. During the World War II. a Gestapo (Nazi secret police) headquarters was here. Klatovy was liberated on May 5 1945 by US Army.  Klatovy is the seat of the Municipality with Extended Competence and Municipality with Commissioned Local Authority. [February 2009]


US Commission No. CZCE0000104

Alternate names (German): Klattau. It is in Bohemia-Klatovy at 49°24' N, 13°18' E ,  24 miles S of Plzeň (Pilsen). Cemetery: 900 meters NNE of town. Present population is 5000-100,000 with fewer than 10 Jews.

  • Town: Mestsky Urad, odbor kultury, 339 01 Klatovy.
  • Regional: 1. Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, 339 01 Klatovy; and 2. Zidovska Nabozenska Obec, Smetanovy sady 5, 301 37 Plzen; tel. 019/357-49.
  • Interested: 1. Okresni Muzeum, Hostasova 1/IV, 339 01 Klatovy; tel. 0186/2309; and 2. Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/2310634. Lewis Weiner, 87-08 Santiago Street, Holliswood, NY 11423, 718/468-6844.
  • Caretaker with key: Karel Stern, Cs. Tankistru 203, 339 01 Klatovy.

Earliest known Jewish community was 1867. 1900 Jewish population was 724. 1930 Jewish population was 344. Chief Rabbi of Bohemia and Moravia, Gustav Sicher (1880-1960); painter and writer Karel Fleischmann (1897-1944); poet Frantisek Gottlieb (1903-1974); Lewis Weiner, organizer of Society for the History of Czechoslovak Jews and editor of The Jews of Czechoslovakia and of The Review of the Society for the History of Czechoslovak Jews (born 1910) were born here. The landmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1872 with last known Reform Jewish burial in 1953. The suburban hillside, separate but near other cemeteries, has Czech 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: 0.2973 ha.

100-500 gravestones, all in original location with less than 25% toppled or broken, date from second half of 19th-20th century The cemetery has a special section for children. The marble, granite, limestone, and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, multi-stone monuments or obelisks some with bronze decorations or lettering, other than metallic elements, and/or metal fences around graves have Hebrew, German, and/or Czech inscriptions. The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims but no structures. Plzen Jewish community owns and uses it for cemetery only. Adjacent properties are residential and municipal cemetery. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred between 1945 and ten years ago. Local or municipal authorities and Jewish individuals abroad (Lewis Weiner) re-erected stones, patched broken stones, cleaned stones, cleared vegetation, fixed wall, and fixed gate from 1987-1989. Plzen Jewish congregation pays a regular caretaker. Security (uncontrolled access) and vandalism are moderate threats. Weather erosion and vegetation are slight threats. Vegetation overgrowth seasonally prevents access.
Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on 18 May 1992. Documentation: 1. J. Vancura: Dejiny nekdejsiho kralovskeho mesta Klatov (1927-1936); 2. Notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha; 3. Jews of Czechoslovakia, I; 4. Cadastre [a public record, survey or map of the value, extent and ownership of land as a basis of taxation] of 1876; and 5. G.A. Schimmer: Statistik des Judenthums... (1873). Fiedler visited site in 1990. No interviews.
Update: I have a map containing plots and those buried within them. Source: Steve Axelrath, Littleton, Colorado; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [date?]

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2009 02:01
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