Alternate names: Olomouc [Cz], Olmütz [Ger], Olmitze [Yid], Ołomuniec [Pol], Olomucium [Lat], Olmuntz, Olomouch, Olomóc. The Jewish community in 0lomouc manages and repairs the cemetery. 1998 saw the completed reconstruction of the Olomouc Ceremonial Hall. Jews were first mentioned in the town in 1140. The synagogue, designed by Jacob Gartner, was dedicated in 1897. 1,676 Jewish population in 1900 and 1903, the approximately 2,200 Jews were 3.3% of the total population. During the German occupation, the synagogue was burned down on March 15,1939 and Jews from surrounding areas concentrated in Olomouc. Ultimately, about 3,500 Jews were deported to extermination camps via Theresienstadt in Summer 1942 of whom only 128 survived. [February 2009]
photo of cemetery [February 2009]
town image [February 2009]
Olomouc is said to occupy a site of a Roman fort founded in the imperial period, originally called Mons Julii. Archaeological excavations revealed remains of a Roman military camp from the time of Marcoman Wars close to the city. Since the 7th century a local power centrer in the present-day quarter Povel and an important center of the Great Moravian Empire in the 9th and early 10th century. The centre shifted to the area of Předhradí, a quarter of the inner city (Eastern, smaller part of the medieval centre). Later, this was the capital of the province of Moravia. In 906 the first Jews settled in Olomouc. In 1060 they were forced into a ghetto and instructed to wear a yellow badge. ...a bishop's palace, a secular building of that early age is unique in Central Europe. The bishopric acquired large tracts of land especially in northern Moravia and was one of the richest in the area. .... In 1306 King Wenceslas III stopped here on his way to Poland, where he wanted to fight Wladislaus I the Elbow-high to claim his rights to the Polish crown and was assassinated. With his death the whole Přemyslid dynasty died out. The city in mid-thirteenth century became one of the most important trade and power centers in the region. In the Middle Ages it was the biggest town in Moravia and competed with Brno for position as capital. Olomouc lost after the Swedes took the city for eight years (1642-1650) during the Thirty Years War. In 1454 the Jews of Olomouc were expelled. The second half of the fifteenth century can be viewed as the start of Olomouc's golden age. Olomouc was fortified by Maria Theresa during the wars with Frederick the Great, who besieged the city unsuccessfully for seven weeks in 1758. In 1848 Olomouc was the scene of the emperor Ferdinand's abdication. In 1850 an important conference between Austrian and German statesmen called Punctation of Olmütz took place here. At the conference German Confederation was restored and Prussia submitted its leadership to the Austrians. Largely because of its ecclesiastical links to Austria, Salzburg in particular, the city had a German influence since the Middle Ages... The political and social changes that followed the Thirty Years War increased the influence of courtly Habsburg culture. The "Germanification" of the town was probably more a result of the cosmopolitan environment of the town than by design. As the cultural, administrative and religious center of the region, it drew officials, musicians and traders from all over Europe. Despite these influences, the Czech language still persisted...After the revolution in 1848, the Jewish expulsion order of 1454 was rescinded. In 1897 a synagogue was built and the Jewish population reached 1,676 in 1900. Olomouc was enclosed with city walls almost until the end of the 19th century. This suited to the city council, because demolishing the walls would allow extending the city, which would result into settling a lot of Czechs from neighbouring villages. The city council preferred Olomouc smaller, but German. Expansion came after the WWI and establishing Czechoslovakia, when Olomouc integrated two neighbouring towns and 11 surrounding villages and thus gained new space for its growth. Serious tensions existed between the Czech and German-speaking inhabitants during both world wars. On Kristallnacht ( November 10, 1938), the synagogue was destroyed and in March 1939, 800 Jewish men were arrested, some sent to Dachau concentration camp. During 1942-1943, the remaining Jews were sent to Theresienstadt and other concentration camps. 285 of the towns Jews survived the Holocaust. During the war most of the towns' German residents sided with the Nazis and the German-run town council renamed the main square after Adolf Hitler. The Czech residents changed the name again after the town was liberated. When the retreating German army passed through Olomouc in the final weeks of the war they opened fire on the town's old astronomical clock, leaving only a few pieces (that can now be seen in the local museum). The one seen today is a 1950s reconstruction. Most of the German population was expelled after the war. Its inner city has the second-largest historical monuments preserved in the country after Prague. Wikipedia. [February 2009]
Olomouc Jewish Community: ŽIDOVSKÁ OBEC OLOMOUC
779 00 OLOMOUC
TEL/FAX: +420 - 585223119
web : www.kehila-olomouc.cz
gh the issue of special, highly priced, permits.Such medieval anachronisms were not abolished until...1848, when the Jewish population was conferred with full civil rights, including the freedom of movement. This triggered an influx of Jews from the surrounding small towns and villages into the bigger towns and cities, from which they had previously been barred, in search of better economic conditions. In 1865 a Jewish Religious Association was founded in Olomouc, and in 1892 this acquired the status of an independent religious community (religious societies with their own prayer rooms also existed at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries in the suburb of Pavlovičky and in the nearby towns of Šternberk, Uničov and Litovel). In 1897, Olomouc was the venue of the first Zionist congress...within the Austrian Empire, greeted by Theodor Herzl. The extent of Jewish involvement in the city's social, cultural and political life was underlined by the existence of numerous Jewish societies (the Chevra Kadisha burial society, a Women's Charity Association set up in 1893, a Jewish PE Association established in 1901 and renamed the TJ Makkabi sports club in 1927) and charitable humanitarian foundations (by 1906, for example, there were 42 such organizations, with funds amounting to 62,000 K). And during the First World War the city became a haven for hundreds of Jewish refugees from Galicia.The flourishing Jewish community was brought to a cruel end by the tragic years of nazi occupation. Those citizens of Jewish origin who were affected by the racist, so-called Nuremberg Laws were gradually deprived of all their rights and assets. In the course of five deportations (26 July 1942, code-named AAf; 30 June 1942 AAg; 4 July 1942 AAm; 8 July 1942 AAo, and 7 March 1945 AE7) a total of 3,498 people from the city and its surroundings were transported to Terezín and thence to extermination camps in the East. Their memory is honored each spring on Yom Ha-Shoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, with a memorial service in the ceremonial chamber of the new Jewish cemetery at Neředín. They are also remembered by a plaque (the work of the stone sculptor Miloš Brückner), unveiled on 3 May 1996 by the Ambassador of the State of Israel in the Czech Republic, His Excellency Rafael Gvir, on the wall of the elementary school in Hálek Street (Hálkova), where Jews from Olomouc were rounded up before being deported in 1942.The Jewish citizens who survived the horrors of the war were quick to restore a religious community in 1945. Few in number, however, they continued to dwindle through old age and emigration, until in 1962, as part of a new regional arrangement, the Olomouc congregation was meant to become a mere synagogal choir attached to the Jewish Religious Community of Ostrava. A revival of religious practice and ceremony in Olomouc was brought about by the democratic transformations that followed 1989, and by 1 April 1991 a separate religious community was re-established, covering the districts of Olomouc, Šumperk, Jeseník, Bruntál and Přerov. ... 1) Jews were already living at Olomouc around 1060, scattered among the Christian population, but that Prince Vratislav II ordered them thenceforth to live in their own community at Bělidla (literally, the bleaching fields) on the periphery, where the Jewish or Bernardine Gate once stood. 2) Olomouc District State Archive, Olomouc City Archive, book and manuscript collection, inventory no. 1822, sign. 36. We find the lists of creditors include e.g. the following Jewish names: Isra, Lazar, Abraham, Jordan, Salomon, Beneš, Munka, Merkel, Šefrelin, Gail, Liczko, Mušlin, Jekl, Smoyel, Tyczko. 3 ) Olomouc District State Archive, Olomouc City Archive, document collection, sign. 206.4 ) With certain exceptions, e.g. in 1622 the Jewish company Witte purchased a lease from Emperor Ferdinand to mint coins at the Olomouc mint." [February 2009]
Cemetery history: "South-west of today’s city centre - and not far from the medieval Jewish cemetery - is Smetanovy Sady, a public park named after the Czech national composer, Smetana. Long before it became a park, it was the site of Catholic and Lutheran cemeteries, and in 1867 they were joined by a new Jewish burial ground, covering 2,570 sq. metres of land listed as parcels 738/3, 738/4 and 103 st. in the Nová Ulice area Land Registry. A simple single-storey building stood on its south-eastern side, doubling as mortuary and grave-digger’s house, descriptive number 73. Burials ceased here in 1900, at which time some of the headstones were transferred to the new cemetery at Neøedín (where they can be found around the side walls), and in 1920 the land was turned into a park. Some gravestones remained, however, until the early 1940s, when the last remnants of the cemetery were finally obliterated by the Nazis. map Effectively the only well-preserved tangible monument to the Jewish community of Olomouc is the Jewish section of the municipal cemetery on Peace Avenue (třída Míru), 2 km from the city centre in the district of Neředín. This cemetery was set up in 1900 as part of a master plan for the growth of Olomouc, with the whole eastern sector earmarked for Jewish graves. This new Jewish cemetery today covers 9,040 sq. metres (the rear part of the original 18,604 sq. meters sector having been relinquished in 1962, by agreement with the city authorities). The dominant feature on entering the burial ground is the neo-Gothic funeral hall, its front decorated with a metal Star of David and the traces of a Hebrew inscription. The roll of honor which was once inside, bearing the names of 1,502 Jewish victims of the Second World War from Olomouc, is now transferred to the anteroom of the prayer room at No.7 Komenský Avenue (Komenského).The ordered groups of graves number around a thousand, ranging from simple headstones to the most ornate tombs. The more modern of them are simple in form, in light or dark granite, marble or artificial stone, with inscriptions in Czech and German and minimal decoration and symbols. The more splendid or extravagant monuments are to be found mostly next to the funeral hall building. The well-tended cemetery is surrounded by a red brick wall, and its paths are lined with mature trees: red cedars - the trees of life - lindens, birches and poplars.At both sides of the cemetery stand memorials to the fallen of the First World War, and between them the graves of 48 servicemen who died at the Klášterní Hradisko military hospital in Olomouc. At the end of an avenue of trees extending from the axis of the funeral hall stands a memorial in stone to the martyrs of Olomouc who fell victim to the Nazis, including the head precentor Berthold Wolf, the Religious Community chairman Dr Ludvík Meissner, and the poet Vlastimil Artur Polák. Both the memorial to the martyred Jews and the cemetery funeral hall are listed as protected monuments (numbered 23874/8-3135 and 11219/8-11219 respectively)." Economics of the Jewish Community [February 2009]
US Commission No. CZCE000137
Alternate name: Olmuetz and Olmutz. Olomouc is located in Morava-Olomouc at 49°35' N, 17°15' E , 10 miles NE of Prostějov (Prossnitz), 38 miles NE of Brno (Brünn). Cemetery: 2.5 km W, tr. Miru Street. Present town population is over 100,000 with 10-100 Jews.
Earliest known Jewish community was 1060. 1930 Jewish population was 2,198. Grant of residence in 1848 and establishment of Jewish community in 1865 followed banishment of Jews in 1454. A.L. Jeitteles (1799-1878, poet); Berthold Oppenheim (+1943, rabbi); Paul Engelmann (1891-1965, architect); and Jaques Groag (1892-1961, painter) lived here. The Jewish cemetery originated in 1901. Buried in the cemetery are Rabbi Berthold Wolf +1862 and Vlastimil Artur Polak +1990, writer with last known Jewish burial in 1992. Conservative Jews used this unlandmarked cemetery. No other towns or villages did. The suburban flat isolated site marked by inscriptions on pre-burial house and Jewish symbols on gate or wall, but no sign. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a continuous masonry wall and locking gate. The approximate size of cemetery before WWII was about 1.76 ha s and is now about 0.8 ha. The cemetery has special section for rabbis, children, and military.
500-5000 stones, most in original locations, date from 1867-20th century. Some were transferred from old cemetery. The marble, granite and artificial stone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, sculpted monuments, multi-stone monuments or obelisks have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some tombstones have iron decorations or lettering, with bronze decorations or lettering and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims and Jewish soldiers but no known mass graves. Within the limits of the site is a pre-burial house with catafalque and wall inscriptions. The municipality owns the property used for Jewish cemetery and waste dumping. Properties adjacent are Christian cemetery. The boundaries are smaller than 1939 because of Christian cemetery. Frequently, private visitors and local residents stop. Vandalism occurred 1945-1981. Jewish groups within the country did the restoration annually. The regular caretaker is paid by local contribution. Slight threat: pollution and vandalism.
Engineer arch Jaroslav Klenovsky, Zebetinska 13, 623 00 Brno; tel. 0 completed survey on 1 March 1992. Documentation: Hugo Gold: Die Juden und Juden Gemeinden Morava... 1928. Other exisiting documentation was not used. No site visits or interviews occurred.
1300 names were recorded June 1997 by Engineer Milos Dobry, Ruzova 53, 779 00 Olomouc; Tel. 68/541 5987
|Last Updated on Monday, 23 February 2009 15:53|