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ORLOVA: Karvina, Silesia, Moravia PDF Print E-mail

town image [February 2009]

Coat of arms of Orlová  Orłowaa town in the Karviná District, Moravian-Silesian Region at 49°50′50″N 18°25′6″E. "According to legend, Mieszko, a Silesian duke from the lower branch of the Piast dynasty, went hunting with his pregnant wife, Ludmiła. As they rested upon a hill, an eagle suddenly took flight, frightening the couple. The eagle dropped his prey, which fell to earth near them. Ludmiła prematurely gave birth to her child, Kazimierz. The couple, seeing a sign from God in this incident, founded a chapel on that spot and later named the subsequent settlement after the eagle (Polish: orzeł, Czech: orel). Thus, it is not clear when the settlement was really founded; however, it was first mentioned in a written document in 1223, and four years later the name of the village appears in documents. During the Middle Ages it was a settlement of agricultural character. Major change came in the 19th century with the coal mining boom. The population grew rapidly together with urban development. At the beginning of the 20th century Orlová became an important center of Polish and Czech education and home to many cultural and sport organizations of both communities. There were also a Jewish and a German community in the town. After the division of Cieszyn Silesia in 1920, the town became part of Czechoslovakia. Orlová gained town rights in 1922. During the workers' strike in 1925 four workers were killed by the police. Following the Munich Agreement, in October 1938, Orlová and the whole Zaolzie region were annexed by Poland. The village was then annexed by Nazi Germany at the beginning of World War II. After the war it was restored to Czechoslovakia. In 1946 the villages of Lazy (Łazy) and Poruba (Poręba) were administratively joined to the town. Widespread coal mining, especially during the communist era, had a devastating impact on the town, its buildings and architecture, especially in Lazy. Many buildings in Orlová were demolished, including the Polish gymnasium built in 1909. The character of the town was completely changed." Source [February 2009]


US Commission No. CZCE000140

Alternate German name: Orlau. Orlova is located in (Sezsko) Silesia-Karvina at 49÷51 18.26, 10 km E of Ostrava. Cemetery: 0.5 km W. Present town population is 25,000-100,000 with than 10 Jews.

  • Town: Mayor Engineer Ivo Kotaba, Mestsky Urad, namesti Osvoboditelu 796, 735 14 Orlova; tel. 06995/21765.
  • Local: Jirina Kubatova, Mestsky Urad-Referat Kultury,-rest as above -. Regional: Denisa Klapsiova, Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, Zakladatelska 974, 733 00 Karvina-Nove mesto; tel. 0993/45641.
  • Interested: Director Ph Dr. Vera Tomolova, Okresni Vlastivedne Muzeum, Hlavni tr. 13, 737 00 Cesky Tesin; tel. 0659/55060. PhDr. Jan Steiner, Csc., kpt. Jarose 755, 735 14 Orlova-Lutyne; tel. 06995/22590.
  • Caretaker with key, Technicke Sluzby Mesta Orl., sprava hrbitova, 735 14 Orlova; tel. 06995/22284.

Earliest known Jewish community was beginning of 19th century. 1930 Jewish population was 394. Jewish community established mid-19th century. The unlandmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1900 with last known Conservative Jewish burial 1980. No other towns or villages used site. The suburban hillside, part of a municipal cemetery, has no sign or marker. Reached by crossing public property cemetery, access is open to all via a continuous masonry wall, a hedge or row of trees or bushes with no gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is about 70x30 meters.

20-100 stones, all in original locations, date from 20th century. The marble and granite finely smoothed and inscribed stones or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some tombstones have iron decorations or lettering and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims but no known mass graves or structures. Ostrava Jewish community uses site as a Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are cemetery. Rarely, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred 1945-1981. Local/municipal authorities and Jewish groups within country did restoration in 1980s. Now, authorities occasionally clean or clear. The caretaker is paid by a local contribution. Slight threat: uncontrolled access and vandalism.

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

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 February 2009 05:29
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