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cemetery photos [February 2009]

Mladá Boleslav (German: Jungbunzlau, Latin: Bumsla) is a city in the Central Bohemian Region on the left bank of the Jizera river about 50 km northeast of Prague was founded in the second half of the 10th century by King Boleslav II as a royal castle. Because there already was a castle known as Boleslav near Prague, this new castle was named Mladá (young) to distinguish it from the older Boleslav, known in the 15th century as Stará Boleslav (Old Boleslav). The town received partial city rights in 1334 and 1436, becoming an important site on the road from Prague to northern Bohemia, Lusatia, and Brandenburg. In the 16th century the town was a leading centre of the Unitas Fratrum / Unity of the Brethren / Moravian Church church, hosting the Brethren's bishop, Renaissance church, and printing house. After being re-Catholicized in the 17th century, the town's population declined. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Mladá Boleslav was an important Jewish center. In this period, about one half of the town's population was Jewish. In the 19th century (coinciding with the decline of the Jewish community), Mladá Boleslav was dubbed "Jerusalem on the Jizera". In 1634, Jacob Bashevi von Treuenberg (born 1580 in Verona, Italy), the first ennobled Jew in the Habsburg monarchy, was buried on the Jewish cemetery in Mladá Boleslav. In the 19th century new prosperity brought new schools, theatres, museums, and the Laurin & Klement (today Škoda) automobile factory were founded. After the communist revolution in 1948, the town suffered a mass decline, however it has been improving since the 1990s as the factory is making it one of the richest Czech towns. Wikipedia [February 2009]

[UPDATE] Photos by Charles Burns [November 2017]

US Commission No. CZCE000250

Alternate names: Mladá Boleslav [Cz], Jungbunzlau [Ger], Bumsla [Yid], Mlada Boleslaz. Mlada Boleslav is located in Bohemia at 50°25' N, 14°54' E , 30 miles NE of Praha (Prague). Cemetery: 200 meters SE of the castle in Prazska (Dimitrovova) Street. Present town population is 25,000-100,000 with fewer than 10 or 10-100 Jews.

  • Town: Mayor Dr. Kercik and Vice Mayor Petr Kadanik, Mestky urad, odbor kultury, Staromestske namesti, 293 01 Mlada Boleslav.
  • Regional: 1. Jewish Congregation: ZNO Praha (Ms. Jana Wolfova), Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-69-25; 2. Okrensni urad, Referat Kultury at the above address; and 3. Pamatokovy urad strednich Cech, Hybernska 18, 110 00 Praha 1; tel. 02/23-54-940 to 42.
  • Interested: 1. Okresni Muzeum, Staromestske namesti 1, 293 80 Mlada Boleslav; tel. 0326/2279 or 3234 and 2. Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34 or 231-07-85.
  • Key holder: Jewish Congregation ZNO Praha.

Earliest known Jewish community was second half of 16th century. 1930 Jewish population was 264. Peak Jewish population was in the mid-19th century (about 900 people or 18% of total population). Native town and burial site of the following: many prominent rabbis, Jakob Bassevi (1570-1634, the first Jew ennobled in Hapsburg Empire), writer Isidor Heller (1816-1879), Czechoslovak minister Alfred Meissner (1871-1952), poet and cartoonist Frantisek Gellner (1881-1914), and painter Max Horb (1882-1907). The Jewish cemetery originated in perhaps 1584 with last known Conservative Jewish burial probably in the 1960s. Probably, Dolni Cetno (before 1869) and Lustenice and Benatky nad Jizerou, 8 km and 10 km and 15 km away, used this landmarked site. The isolated urban hillside has a sign or plaque in Czech ("Cultural Monument"). Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open with permission via continuous masonry wall and locking gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is 1.3475 ha.

500-5000 stones, most in original locations, date from 1585 or 1604-20th century. The marble, granite, limestone and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones, multi-stone monuments or obelisks have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some tombstones have traces of painting on their surfaces, with bronze decorations or lettering, portraits on stones and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. Within the limits of the site is a pre-burial house with wall inscriptions. Praha Jewish community owns cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural and residential. Occasionally, private visitors stop. The cemetery was hit by an air raid during WWII. Regional/national authorities, Jewish individuals and groups within country did restoration after 1945 and and in 1989-1992. Praha Jewish congregation pays the regular caretaker. Moderate threat: uncontrolled access and vandalism. Slight threat: weather erosion.

iri Fiedler, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on 26 June 1992. Documentation: 1. Hugo Gold: Die Juden und Judengemeinden Bohemens (1934) and 2. Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia (1980). Fiedler visited site in 1990. No interviews

Update: Daniel Dratwa; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it : The Jewish exhibition catelogmetery at Mlada Boleslav, 413, article p. 000414, 6/19/1990, "Sadek Vladimir, Sedinova Jirina", title: Judaica Bohemiae, Volume XVIII/1, 1982, pp. 50-54, ANG. The books are among the collection at the Jewish Museum of Belgium. [1997]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 November 2017 02:17
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