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cemetery photos and photos [February 2009]

map and photos: " The small town Mirotice is located on the Lomnice river about 14 km NW of the town Písek. The free royal town of Mirotice was established in the second half of the 13th century close to an old market village by the last Premyslids after the royal castle Zvikov and the royal town of Pisek were founded. The church of St. Jilji was built there, in Roman style early in the 13th century, and its administrator was instituted directly by the Czech kings. Mirotice used to be a member of the Royal Chamber. After the Hussite Wars it became property of Zvíkov castle. Jindrich of Svamberk bestowed upon Mirotice the privilege of using the town brewery, the municipal forests and the Lomnice River in 1549. Other privileges included the right to use the municipal book of records and contracts, the town emblem (the first Premyslid sign-a female eagle), the communal brick-kiln and the municipal weighing machine. The written privilege also stated that there was a subjective duty to Zvikov, the feudal lord. One had to give him 180 days of service and pay various kinds of tributary; including 142 hens a year. In 1575, the auspicious economic development of Mirotice was slowed down due to a big fire, which destroyed 50 houses. Mirotice remained part of Zvikov after the partition of Svamberk's domain in 1584. There were 76 houses, mostly in the hands of the class and executive nobility. The economic situation of Mirotice was, at the beginning of the 17th century, so good that the Mirotice burghers contemplated  buying their once lost freedom back. In 1610 they agreed to pay 10,000 threescore of groschens to the Zvikov domain landowner, Jan Jiri Ehrenreych of Svamberk, to get out of their fiefdom. Unfortunately Pasov soldiers raided Mirotice in 1611 and ravaged the town to such an extent that the last instalment could not be paid. Mirotice was encumbered with debt and Jan Horcic of Prosty on Bratronice became the new owner. He granted the city all Svamberk's former privileges and even added some others.From 1672 it was a possession of the neighbouring village Cerhonice. Mirotice was in the possession of many owners in the 17th century. The last of them were Jiri Frantisek Doudlebsky and his wife Ludmila. They added the town to their neighbouring Cerhonice homestead and did not want to accept the ancient Mirotice privileges resulting in frequent lawsuits. In 1688, the Cerhonice homestead, including Mirotice, was bought by the Premonstratensain Monastery in Schlagl, Upper Austria. The lawsuits continued with the new owner until Emperor Leopold ended them in favour of Mirotice. The originally Romanesque St. Gilles' Church from the end of the 12th century ...was rebuilt into the Baroque style at the end of the 17th century...[and] last reconstructed in the Neo-Romanesque style in the second half of the 19th century. 1811 was a disastrous year for Mirotice. One of the town mills was destroyed by fire that spread quickly and consumed the whole northern part of the square. However, incorporation of Mirotice worked well in the 18th century. During this period, Mirotice achieved a good standard of living from good revenues from the municipal brewery, its surrounding forests, a brick-kiln, and prosperous local trade. The traffic on the  Imperial Road through Mirotice contributed to the welfare of many local inns, mostly in the hands of the local Jewish community. At the end of the 18th century Mirotice was enlarged by new homes on Rybarska street and the new quarter Neradov, built on the other bank of the Lomnice River. Unfortunately in 1875, the fame and importance of Mirotice inns faded away. The busy traffic of its main road decreased when a newly built railway bypassed Mirotice and passed through nearby Cimelice and Smetanova Lhota. The end of WWII brought tragedy to the small town. On April 29, 1945 an American aeroplane fired on retreating German troops of the Schorner Army and accidentally demolished 27 homes and damaged 30 others. 17 people lost their lives that Sunday morning. Unfortunately the bombing was not the last of misfortunes. Supported by the Soviet Army and Soviet influence, both of which were already strong in Czechoslovakia, the communists were able to carry out a coup in February 1948. For Mirotice, as well as for the whole country, it meant four decades of communist rule from which it will take many years before the town fully recovers from otalitarian rule, ended by the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

One of the best preserved Jewish cemeteries in South Bohemia can be found on the northern outskirts of Mirotice. It was founded in 1861 and it was used until 1946. The famous Czech painter Mikoláš Aleš was born in Mirotice. The period house with the memorial was built in the place of his house of birth. There is an exhibition of the puppeteer Matěj Kopecký, who also lived in the town. The small chateau Karlov lies about 4 km east of Mirotice. The Baroque building originates from the first half of the 18th century. The instructional trail Alšova Stezka (Aleš' Instructional Trail) leads from Mirotice to the small town Čimelice." [February 2009]

 

US Commission No. CZCE000364
Alternate German name: Mirotitz. Mirotice, is in Bohemia-Pisek at 49°26' N, 14°02' E , 49 miles SSW of Praha (Prague), 11 miles NNW of Písek, in S Bohemia and 21 km NNE of Strakonice. Cemetery: 0.3 km N of the square, near Neradovska Street. Present population is almost 1000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Obecni urad, 398 01 Mirotice; tel. 0362/98101 or 98313.
  • Regional: 1. Jewish Congregation: ZNO Praha (Ms. Jana Wolfova), Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/2318664; 2. Pamatokovy ustav, jiznich Cech, namesti Premysla Otakara 34, 370 21 Ceske Budejovice; tel. 038/23792; and 3. Head, Zbynek Samsuk, ulica O. Sevcika 207, Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury 397 01 Pisek; tel. 0362/4384 as well as Jiri Hladky (Inspector for Care of Historical Monuments) at same address.
  • Interested: 1. Prachenske Muzeum, Head: Vaclav Bartos, Velke namesti 114, 397 24 Pisek; tel. 0362/4731 to 2; 2. Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/2310634; 3. Josef Kostner, 398 01 Mirotice 204; and PhDr. Jan Skoda, Kamerunska 607, 160 00 Praha 6; tel. 02/346809.
  • Caretaker with key: Vaclav Krajic, Neradovska No. 145, 398 01 Mirotice.

Earliest known Jewish community wastown was 1681. 1930 Jewish population was 14 Jews but 25 by racial laws of 1942. Scanty independent congregation had peak population in mid-19th century with 15 families disbanded probably in the early 20th century but synagogue existing until 1941. A noteworthy individual from the town was JUDr. J. Kohn, author of distinguished legal publications. The landmarked 1681 Jewish cemetery originated in 1681 with last known Conservative Jewish burial in 1946. Pisek (before 1879); Rakovice; Varvazov (Ger: Warwaschau); Orlik nad Vltavou (Ger: Worlik); and Blatna, 2-16 km away, used this tidy cemetery. The isolated suburban gentle slope has Czech sign reading "Jewish Cemetery." The ceremonial hall exists; more detailed printed information is available. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open with permission with locking gate. The size of cemetery before and after WWII is 03417 ha.

100-500 gravestones, with 1-20 not in original locations and less than 25% toppled or broken, date from allegedly 1647 but one is legible from 1690-20th century. Some stones removed from the cemetery were incorporated into roads or structures. The marble, granite, limestone, 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 but a pre-burial house with a communal coffin affixed to the bier does. Used for Jewish cemetery only, Jewish community of Praha owns the site. Adjacent properties are agricultural meadow and private garden. Occasionally, organized Jewish group tours or pilgrimage group, Jewish or non-Jewish private visitors, and local residents stop. Vandalism occurred between 1945 and ten years ago. Local non-Jewish residents and Jewish groups within country re-erected stones, cleaned stones, cleared vegetation, and wall fixed. Praha Jewish Congregation pays regular caretaker. Security (uncontrolled access) and vandalism are slight threats.

Ladislav Mertl, Mgr. of Geography, Kubanske na. 1322/17, Praha 10-Vrsovice; tel. 02/743213; and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey in August 1992. Documentation:

  1. Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia (1980);
  2. Hana Volavkova: Pribeh zidovskeho muzea ... (1966);
  3. Hugo Gold: Die Juden und Judengemeinden Bohemens (1934);
  4. Old "town books" of Mirotice in town archives;
  5. Notes of the Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha;
  6. 1983-86 letters of J. Kostner;
  7. Cadastres (a public record, survey or map of the value, extent and ownership of land as a basis of taxation) of 1831 and 1855; and 8, censuses of 1724, 1859, 1930, and 1991.

Other documentation was inaccessible. Mertl and Fiedler visited the site. Vaclav Krajic on 8 September 1992 and Dr. J. Skoda in 1990 and 1992 were interviewed.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 February 2009 16:57
 
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