|MIKULOV: Breclav, Moravia|
Mikulov community web site. JewishGen ShteLlink for Mikulov and Cemetery Register Database, cemetery photos. cemetery photo and photos. town image. JOWBR: Jewish Cemetery burial listings [February 2009]
This town in the South Moravian Region with a population of 7,608 (2004) is located directly on the border with Lower Austria and at the edge of a hilly area and a large lake, extending from sea level of 200 to 250m. The UNESCO Biosphere reserve begins at Mikulov as does the Moravian Karst. Mikulov was the site of the Treaty of Nikolsburg on December 31, 1621 during the Thirty Years' War. After the Austro-Prussian War, Count Károlyi began work on a peace treaty in Mikulov that led to the Treaty of Prague in 1866.In 1938, the town had 8,000 (mostly German-speaking) inhabitants, but only a population of about 5,200 in 1948. The town's German population was expelled between 1945-46. Important economic activities in Mikulov are the machine-making, clay industries, oil discovered at the edge of the Viennese Basin, and local viticulture. Historic sights are Mikulov Castle of the Dietrichstein family and the Piarist College. [February 2009]
Once the largest and most important Jewish community in Moravia, Mikilov's Jewish presence was first documented in 1369 and peaked in the mid-19th century with about 3,700 Jews, almost 40% of the total population, and at least twelve synagogues. This population dropped to about 900 by 1900 with only two active synagogues. Almost all Jews left after the 1938 annexation by the Germans with those remaining deported east via Brno. See Neuschul Synagogue. In 1938 Mikulov had 472 (mostly German-speaking) Jewish inhabitants, out of whom only 110 managed to escape. 327 people did not survive the Holocaust.
In 1421, when, Jews were expelled from Vienna and from the neighboring province of Lower Austria by the duke of Austria, Albert II of Germany, fugitives settled in this town situated close to the Austrian borders, some 50 miles from the Austrian capital, under the protection of the princes of Liechtenstein. Additional settlers arrived after the expulsions of the Jews from the Moravian royal boroughs by the king Ladislaus the Posthumous after 1454. In 1575, the emperor gave Mikulov (and (the Jews' taxes necessary to the prosecution of the Thirty Years' war) to Adam von Dietrichstein, whose son, Cardinal Franz von Dietrichstein, was a special protector of the Jews. Jewish importance increased with Mikulov becoming the regional rabbinate of Moravia, and therefore cultural center of Moravian Jewry, in the first half of the 16th century. Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel (1525 - 1609), who is said to have created the golem of Prague, officiated here for twenty years (1553-1573) as the second regional rabbi. In the first half of the 18th century, the over 600 family congregation was the largest jewish settlement in Moravia. The 1754 census reveals about 620 families or a Jewish population of about 3,000 made half of the town‘s inhabitants. A smaller number of the Mikulov Jews worked as artisans and the rest as merchants. The congregation suffered severely during the Silesian wars of 1740 through 1763 due to furnishing the monarchy with their share of supertaxes to Maria Theresa's government from all Jews of Moravia. Quite a few Mikulov Jews continued to earn their livelihood in Vienna on special passports/permits. Freedom of residence conceded to the Jews in Austria in 1848 lessened Jewish residency in Mikulov to less than one-third of the greatest population. In 1904 the 749 Jewish residents were only a fraction of the total population of 8,192. In 1938, 472 Jews remained. The Jewish settlement of Mikulov ceased to exist during World War II. [February 2009]
Historický místopis Moravy a Slezska v letech 1848-1960, sv.9. 1984
Nezhodová, Soňa. The Jewish Mikulov (Židovský Mikulov). 1. ed. Brno: Matice moravská, 2006. 423 p. ISBN 80-86488-28-4
Epitaphien des Graberfelds zu Nikolsburg (Nikolsburg [Mikulov] cemetery epitaphs), by D. Feuchtwang. Kirchheim, no date. 32 pages, German and Hebrew inscriptions. 29V4830. Notes: 46 tombstones, 1605-1803, persons from the surroundings. Source: Printed Books on Jewish cemeteries in the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem: an annotated bibliography. The Israel Genealogical Society, Jerusalem 1997 by Mathilde Tagger
Synagogues Without Jews: See photos, maps, history! "a strategic castle promontory in the Pavlov hills just southeast of Brno.. began to attract Jews in the 15th century after they were expelled from Austria (1438) and the Moravian royal cities (1454)... for its location on the trade route between Vienna and Brno, and for the protection they found under its sovereign and his castle's walls. They could buy and own property ...and ...faced little threat of expulsion. ... subject to the whims of the aristocracy. ... in 1560, the Count decreed that Jews must give 40 days of annual service to the lords, "half on foot and half on horseback," ---labor with and without harness and plow.... kehillah, which prospered in the local wine industry. ... survivors of the Chmielnicki Massacres in Poland (1648-49) ...received a warm welcome. These Polish Jews... brought a Hasidic influence ... in 1719, a fire destroyed the Jewish quarter, and the community was forced to rebuild their homes in brick, Jews from all over Europe sent donations to help with the cost of reconstructing the quarter.
...primary seat of the Moravian chief rabbinate from the 16th to the19th centuries. Many prominent rabbis and scholars were drawn to its famous yeshivot. ...Yehudah Loew ben Bezalel ...Shmuel Ben Hirsch Horowitz (r. 1773-1778), ... Mordechai ben Abraham Benet (r. 1789-1829). ... Samson Rafael Hirsch (r. 1847-1851)... ... burial in the Rabbis' Mount area of the cemetery...The cemetery itself is one of the most important in Moravia. Its 4,000 gravestones are archetypes of Moravian Jewish funerary art, displaying both the plant motifs of Moravian culture along with Jewish symbols: crowns, lions and inverted scrolls.... involved mainly in the retail or wine trades, ... by the 17th century, ... crafts and professions. Furriers, tailors, goldsmiths, physicians and musicians were represented in the kehillah. Larger groups of tradesmen formed guilds and prayed together at their own small synagogues. By the early 19th century, there were 12 synagogues in the city. The Jews comprised 42 percent of the town's population and maintained ritual baths, hospital, yeshivah, and school for girls.... Vienna-Brno railroad ...built in 1841... bypassed Mikulov, which ceased to be a major junction.... many families left the overcrowded ghetto for the larger terminal cities, where they were newly permitted to settle. ..., the Jewish population dwindled ... By 1919, only the upper Altschul and the lower Neuschul [synagogues] were functioning. ... economic development of the town ... Jewish ... clothing mill, leather factory and a grain distribution center, among others. During World War I, thousands of destitute Jews from Galicia found safety in Mikulov, but the post-war economic decline drove most of them away. ...Munich Pact of 1938 ...ceded Mikulov to the Germans ...whoever could, fled the city for the countryside.... In 1941, deportation squads found 39 Mikulov Jews in hiding ... to Theresienstadt. The few Jews who returned after the war met open hostility from the gentiles who were occupying their houses, and left. Today, there are no Jews in Mikulov. In the 1970's, the Neuschul synagogue was torn down by the Communist regime after years of neglect. ... historians and researchers of the Regional Museum of Mikulov mobilized to ... restore the Altschul synagogue. Expert craftsmen worked on the synagogue painstakingly but intermittently for 12 years, as a lengthy struggle for funds took place. Now renovated, the building serves as the town's cultural center. Inside, where the Ark once stood, are glass-enclosed cases for displaying Mikulov's Judaica, due to return from the Jewish museum in Prague. ...reopening of the synagogue took place on September 23, 1992, with a concert of classical and Israeli selections performed by Jerusalem musicians." [February 2009]
"Reconstruction of the Upper synagogue in Mikulov (1723) was started as early as the 1980s and completed in 1992 and in 1995 a new exhibition dedicated to the history of the local Jewish community was installed." Jewish Community of Brno owns, manages, and renovated the cemetery around 1997. The cemetery contains several layers of graves. photo of metal and glass canopies protecting tombstone from erosion [February 2009] Source [February 2009]
US Commission Report No. CZCE000131
Alternate names: Mikulov [Cz], Nikolsburg [Ger], Svati MukulowTown is in Morava-Breclav at 48°48' N, 16°38' E, 132 miles SE of Prague. Cemetery: 0.3 km N of town in Kozi hradek-Str. Present population is 5000-25,000 with than 10 Jews.
Earliest known Jewish community was in the 15th century. Privilege was granted 1509. Jews of Vienna immigrated in 1670 to this seat of Moravian "landrabbi" from 1550 to 1850. 1930 Jewish population was 437 Jews. Noteworthy individuals: Rabbis Jehuda Loew ben Becalel (1511-1609), Semuel Smelke Horrowitz (1726-1778), Menachem Mendel Krochmal (1600-1661), and Mordechaj Benet (1753-1829.) The landmarked (# 1548 S.M.) Jewish cemetery originated 15th century. M.M. Krochmal (+1661), S.S. Horrowtiz (+1778), and M. Benet (+1829) are buried here with last known Conservative Jewish burial was about 1950s. The suburban hillside, separate but near other cemeteries, has Czech sign mentioning Jews, the Jewish Community, and famous individuals buried in the cemetery. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a continuous masonry wall and locking gate. Size of cemetery before and after WWII: 1.918 ha.
500-1000 gravestones, all in original locations with 50%-75% toppled or broken, date from 1618-20th century. Some stones removed from the cemetery are in a museum of conservation. The cemetery is divided into special sections for men, rabbis, children, and old/new parts. The marble, granite, limestone, and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones, or obelisks have Hebrew, German, and/or Czech inscriptions. Some have traces of painting on their surfaces, iron decorations or lettering, bronze decorations or lettering, and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to the Holocaust and Jewish soldiers but no known mass graves. There is a pre-burial house with distinctive architecture. Brno Jewish community owns the property used for Jewish cemetery. Frequently, organized Jewish group tours or pilgrimage group and private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred from 1945 onward. Individuals or groups of non-Jewish origin, regional or national authorities, and Jewish groups within country re-erected stones, cleaned stones, cleared vegetation, and fixed wall and gate annually as needed. Brno Jewish Congregation pays a regular caretaker. Security (uncontrolled access) and incompatible nearby development are slight threats. Weather erosion, pollution, vegetation, and vandalism are moderate threats. Vegetation overgrowth is a constant problem disturbing stones.
Engineer arch. Jaroslav Klenovsky, Zebetinska 13, 623 00 Brno; tel. 0 completed survey on 1 March 1992. Documentation: Hugo Gold: Die Juden und Judengemeinden Bohemens (1934) and Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia (1980). Other documentation exists but was too old. He visited site in January 1992. No interviews.
|Last Updated on Friday, 27 August 2010 16:15|