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LETOV: Louny, Bohemia PDF Print E-mail

(part of the town PODBORANY) US Commission No. CZCE000245

Alternate German names: Ledau, Leedau and Letau in Bohemia, Louny, at 50º14 13º27, 3 km ENE of Podborany, 12 km SSW of Zatec, and 38 km E of Karlovy Vary. Cemetery: 0.5 km SE of town. Present population is under 1000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Mestsky Urad, 441 01 Podborany.
  • Regional: Jewish Congregation: ZNO, Moskevska 26, 400 01 Usti nad Labem; tel. 047/22710 and Okresni urak, Referat Kultury, 440 01 Louny.
  • Interested: 1. Regionalni Muzeum (Dr. Holednak and Dr. Zinnerova), Husova 678, 438 01 Zatec; tel. 0397/2840; 2. Okresni Muzeum Louny, Pivovarska 28, 440 01 Louny; tel. 0395/2456; and 3. Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/2310634.

Earliest known Jewish community was before 1783. There was 1 Jew in 1930. Jews moved to Podborany and to big towns after 1848; seat of congregation moved to Podborany in 1870. The Jewish cemetery originated in 1783 with last known Conservative burial probably in 1889. 2-5 km away were Blsany (Ger: Flohau), Libesovice (Ger: Lishwitz), Liborice (Ger: Liboritz) probably before 1857, and Podborany (Ger: Podersam) that used the cemetery. The isolated rural (agricultural) crown of a hill has no sign. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a broken masonry wall and a slightly damaged non-locking gate. Size of cemetery before and after WWII: probably 0.1316 ha.

20-100 gravestones, with some not in original locations and more than 75% toppled or broken, date from 1845-20th century. The granite and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew and/or German inscriptions. Usti nad Labem Jewish community owns the property used for Jewish cemetery only. Adjacent properties are agricultural. Compared to 1939, cemetery boundaries are smaller because of new roads or highways. Rarely, private visitors and local residents stop. Vandalism occurred from WWII onward. No maintenance or care. Security (uncontrolled access), vandalism, and weather erosion are moderate threats. Pollution, a moderate problem, results of incompatible nearby development are serious threats: a wild dump is very close to the cemetery. Uncontrolled vegetation overgrowth constantly disturbs stones, a very serious threat. Incompatible development (planned or proposed) is a slight threat.

Ladislav Mertl, Mgr. of Geography, Kubanske namesti 1322/17, 100 00 Praha 10; tel. 02/743213 and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on 5 June 1992. Documentation: 1. Hugo Gold: Die Juden and Judengemeinden Bohemens (1934); 2. W. Rott: Der politsche Bezirk Podersam (1902); 3. Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia (1980); 4.notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha (1957); 5. Cadastres [a public record, survey or map of the value, extent and ownership of land as a basis of taxation] of 1859 and 1878; and 6. Censuses of 1724, 1836, 1930, and 1991. Other documentation was inaccessible. Mertl visited site on 16 May 1992. No interviews.


Cleaning in preparation for restoration of the wall at Letov (Letau) Jewish Cemetery in the Czech Republic. The cemetery dating from the early 18th century is one of the oldest preserved Jewish cemeteries in NW Czech Republic.

Of the original reddish sandstone wall, only vestiges remain. The new stone wall to replicate the original material.

The project is undertaken in collaboration with Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic ESJF is the source. [August 2017]



Fence reconstruction continues at Letov in the Czech Republic

Work on reconstruction of the stone masonry fence at Letov in the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic is now well underway with the fence set to be completed before the end of the year. This work on carefully constructing the fence stone by stone is some of the most skilled work undertaken commissioned by the ESJF and is particularly used at sites in the Czech Republic. We are once again very grateful for our collaboration with our local partners at the Federation of Jewish Communities in Czech Republic.  Source:  ESJF Facebook [September 2017]

[UPDATE] Fence completion at Letov [January 2018]

Last Updated on Saturday, 20 January 2018 02:43
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