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OPAVA: Silesia, Moravia PDF Print E-mail

town image. Synagogue on Kristallnacht. It lies in the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia."Opava, first documented in 1195, received Magdeburg city rights in 1224 and was the capital of the Silesian, Bohemian, and finally Austrian Duchy of Opava. After the majority of Silesia was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia during the War of the Austrian Succession after 1740, the remaining Silesian territory still under the control of the Habsburg monarchy became known as Austrian Silesia with its capital in Opava (1742-1918). According to the Austrian census of 1910 the town had 30,762 inhabitants, 29,587 of whom had permanent residence there. Census asked people for their native language, 27,240 (92%) were German-speaking, 2,039 (6.9%) were Czech-speaking and 274 (0.9%) were Polish-speaking. Jews were not allowed to declare Yiddish, most of them thus declared the German language as their native. Most populous religious groups were Roman Catholics with 28,379 (92.2%), followed by Protestants with 1,155 (3.7%) and the Jews with 1,112 (3.6%).After the defeat of Austria-Hungary in World War I, Troppau became part of Czechoslovakia in 1919 as Opava. From 1938-45, Opava was part of Nazi Germany according to the Munich agreement. 1938, the town seceded from its okres and became its own Stadtkreis. After the end of World War II, the German population of Opava was expelled in 1945-46 under terms included in the Beneš decrees; many of them settled in Bamberg, Germany. Opava is currently an important business and cultural center with several economic and cultural institutions ... including the Silesian Land's Museum, the Silesian University of Opava, and the Silesian Institute of the Academy of Science. The city is part of a congested industrial area along with Ostrava and produces mining equipment. Opava also awards its own Cultural Prize. The Silesian Theatre in Opava was founded in the year 1805. Plays were performed in German until the end of the Second World War." Wikipedia [February 2009]


US Commission No. CZCE000139

Alternate names: Opava [Cz], Troppau [Ger], Opawa [Pol]. Opava is located in (Slenzsko) Silesia-Opava at 49°57' N, 17°55' E , 18 miles WNW of Moravská Ostrava and 30 km W of Ostrava near the border with Poland. Cemetery: 2 km SW, Oticka Street. Present town population is 25,000-100,000 with 10-100 Jews.

  • Town: Mayor Engineer Jiri Stanek, Urad Mesta Opavy, Horni namesti 69, 746 26 Opava; tel. 0653/212948.
  • Local: Engineer Pavel Konecny, Urad Mesta Opavy, Referat Kultury, Horni namesti 69, 746 26 Opava; tel. 0653/215860.
  • Regional: Engineer Romeo Doupal, Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, Bezrucovo namesti 14, 746 00 Opava; tel. 0653/212250.
  • Interested: Slezske Muzeum, dir. PhDr. Jaromir Kalus, Tyrsova 1, 746 00 Opava; tel. 0653/215386. Dr. Bohumir Indra, Maradkova 10, 746 01 Opava; tel. 0653/8427.
  • Caretaker with key: Technicke Sluzby Mesta Op., sprava kom. hrbitova, Oticka, 746 00 Opava; tel. 0653/215703.

Earliest known Jewish community was 14th century. 1930 Jewish population was 971. Grant of residence in 1848 and establishment of Jewish community in 1850 followed banishment in 1523. Leo Hass 1901-1983, painter; and Kurt Goldberger b. 1919, film director lived here. The unlandmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1892 with last known Conservative Jewish burial in 1980. The flat suburban site, separate but near cemeteries, has inscriptions on pre-burial house. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a continuous masonry wall and locking gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is about 135x100 meters.

100-500 stones, all in original locations, date from 1892-20th century. The marble, granite and artificial stone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, 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 no special memorial monuments or known mass graves. Within the limits of the site is a pre-burial house. Ostrava Jewish community owns the property used as a Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural and cemetery. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred 1945-1981. Local/municipal authorities and Jewish groups within country did 1980s restoration. Now, authorities occasionally clean or clear. The caretaker is paid by a local contribution. Slight threat: pollution, vandalism and proposed nearby development.

Engineer-Arch Jaroslav Klenovsky, Zebetinska 13, 623 00 Brno; tel. 0 completed survey on 1 March 1992. Documentation: Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia 1980. Other exisiting documentation was not used. Klenovsky visited the site in 1989 and 91. No interviews.

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 February 2009 05:31
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