|NEVEKLOV: Benesov, Bohemia|
Torah: "The Nazis tattooed this Torah from the town of Neveklov, Czechoslovakia as Torah No. 398. A Jewish community established a Jewish cemetery in Neveklov in 1630 and a synagogue in 1657. In 1940, the Nazis evacuated the entire Jewish population. To this day in the town of 1,000 - 5,000 there are no Jews. This Torah is one of the few remaining artifacts of the Neveklov Jewish community. The "Tattooed Torah" was confiscated by the Germans and stored with thousands of Jewish artifacts to be part of an exhibit to the "extinct race" of the Jews. When the Germans were defeated, the 1,564 Torahs were abandonded in a warehouse of stolen Jewish property in Prague. In 1964, the entire collection of Torahs was taken to the Czech Memorial Scrolls Center of Westminster Synagogue, in London, England and sorted. ...Many were restored and are currently used in synagogue services today. This Torah is no longer kosher (ritualistically pure) and cannot be used in religious services. It is on permanent loan to the Center for Holocaust and Humanity from the Czech Torah Memorial Scroll Center. Normally, such a scroll would be buried, but it is suspended above the Weinberg Torah, between Heaven and Earth, representing all that was lost of Jewish life before World War II." [February 2009]
"In May 2001 Museum staff found another genizah, this time in the attic of a synagogue in the small town of Neveklov in the Central Bohemia Region. The Jewish community here was established in the first half of the 17th century and developed until around the mid-19th century, when its population started to decline as a result of migration to larger towns. The local community was snuffed out during the Second World War. The genizah was found in the synagogue not far from the square. This stone building dates from 1730, when an earlier synagogue that had been gutted by fire was renovated in a Baroque style. Today, it is a simple oblong structure with stone walls, semicircular windows and a flat ceiling. The remains of the genizah were found in the attic, near the entrance leading from what used to be the women's gallery. The genizah remained behind perimeter beams in the entire west and north-west facing area of the attic and in certain other spots. The genizah probably dates from the early 19th century, when the building was given a new ceiling and rafters. The age of the genizah corresponds to the age of the printed books (18th - early 20th century) that were found here. There are hardly any manuscripts (only two fragments of Torah scrolls). The most interesting items to have been found are textiles - one Torah curtain, several Torah mantles and, above all, several embroidered and printed Torah binders. A binder with an embroidered Star of David from 1715 is the oldest object to have been found in the repository. The genizah contains also the usual kinds of objects traditionally kept in such repositories: tallitot (prayer shawls), decorative covers, several plain candelabra and a brass sconce. Other objects that were found include fragments of tefillin (phylacteries) and various ink bottles and an interesting stoneware container. After careful sorting, most of the contents of the genizah were placed in sacks and prepared for burial in the local cemetery.The synagogue, which only recently was returned to the Prague Jewish Community, is soon to undergo complete reconstruction, starting with the roof. Once renovated, it will house an exhibition devoted to the history of local Jewish communities and sites and especially to the Chief Rabbi Dr. Richard Feder (1875-1970), who was born in the nearby town of Václavice. The exhibition will also highlight the history of the nearby camp of Bystřice (where men from mixed marriages were interned between 1942-45) and of the entire region during the war (when it was evacuated to make way for an SS shooting range)." 2001/3 Source with photos [February 2009]
Town website in Czech
US Commission No. CZCE000254
Alternate names: Neveklov [Cz], Neweklau [Ger], Neveklau. Neveklov is located in Bohemia-Benesov at 49°45' N, 14°32' E , 7 miles WSW of Benesov and 23 miles S of Praha (Prague). Cemetery: 750 meters SSE of town. Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.
Earliest known Jewish community was before 1657. Jewish population: 116 (in 1870). 1930 Jewish population was 28. Chevra Kadisha founded in 1630. Jews moved to big towns after 1870 when 116 people lived in Neveklov. The probably landmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1755 (contract for "founding") but probably enlarged on an older burial ground with last known Conservative Jewish burial in 1938 or 1939. Netvorice and Zahradka (7 km and 4 km away) used site in 18th century. A sign or plaque in Czech and Hebrew mark the isolated suburban agricultural site on flat land of a very small slope. The marker mentions "From dust to dust." Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via locking gate and broken masonry wall with only one gap. The approximate size of cemetery before and after WWII was about 0.1449 ha.
100-500 stones date from 1754-20th century. The granite, limestone and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some tombstones have traces of painting on their surfaces. The cemetery contains no known mass graves but has a pre-burial house. Praha Jewish community owns cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural. Occasionally, private visitors and local residents stop. Vandalism occurred during World War II, occasionally 1945-1991 with no maintenance. Moderate threat: weather erosion, vegetation and vandalism.
Ladislav Mertl, Mgr. of Geography, Kubanske namesti 1322/17, Praha 10-Vrosovice; tel. 02/743213 and Jiri Fiedler, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/553340 completed survey on June 1992. Documentation: Herman Gold: Die Juden and Judengemeinden Bohemens...1934 and Jahrbuch fue die israelische Cultusgemeinden Bohemens 1893-94 and notes of Stati zidovske Muzeum Praha from 1959.research and cadastres of 1840, 1853, and 1879 and censuses of 1930 and 1991. Other documentation was inaccessible. The site was not visited. Mayor Z. Culik was interviewed in 1992.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 21 February 2009 13:15|