|KOSTELEC NAD LABEM: Melnik, Bohemia|
town web site: [February 2009]
http://www.hrbitovy.cz (KOSTELEC NAD LABEM) [January 2001]
Alternate German name: Elbekosteletz. It is in Bohemia-Melnik at 50°13′36″N 14°35′11″E , 19 km NE of Praha. Cemetery: 700 meters SW of square at 337/45 Neratovicka Street. Present population is 1000-5000 with no Jews.
Earliest known Jewish community was late 16th century. 1930 Jewish population was 18. Jewish community probably was banished after 1651. New congregation was founded 1864; Jews moved to big towns in second half of 19th century. The Jewish cemetery originated in 1594 with last known Conservative Jewish burial 1948. Zlonin, 6 km away, and Libeznice, 8 km away, used this unlandmarked cemetery. The isolated flat suburban land by water has no sign. Reached through former house of Chevra Kadisha at 337/45 Neratovicka, access is open with permission via a continuous masonry wall and locking gate. Size of cemetery before and after WWII was perhaps 0.1723 ha.
100-500 gravestones, with 1-20 not in original locations and 25%-50% toppled or broken, date from 1852-20th century. The oldest tombstones were removed in the 1970s. The marble, granite, and sandstone tombstones and memorial markers flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German, and/or Czech inscriptions. Some have traces of portraits on stones and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. Praha Jewish community owns the property used for Jewish cemetery purposes, waste dumping, and a garden. Properties adjacent are agricultural and residential. The cemetery, visited occasionally by private visitors, was vandalized between 1945 and ten years ago. Within the limits of the cemetery is a pre-burial house, now a residence. Jewish groups within the country re-erected stones, cleaned stones, cleared vegetation, and fixed wall before 1950. Current care: occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals and regular caretaker probably paid by Praha Jewish Congregation. Vegetation overgrowth seasonally prevents access. Pollution and vegetation are moderate threats. Vandalism and incompatible nearby development (existing, planned or proposed) is a slight threat.
Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 on completed survey 30 June 1992. Documentation: 1. Justin Prasek: Brandejs nad Labem (1908-1913); 2. Jahrbuch fur die israelische Cultusgemeinden Bohemens (1894-95); 3. Notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha; 4. Cemetery Book (1870-1948); and 5. 1984 letter of widow of the last gravedigger. Other documentation exists but was inaccessible: Nos. 26, 35, 36, 59, 60, 64 in archives of Prague Jewish Congregation. Fiedler visited site in 1990 and interviewed K. Smolik [see above].
|Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2009 02:41|