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OSTRAVA: Silesia,Moravia PDF Print E-mail

German: Ostrau, Polish: Ostrawa, Moravska Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic, however it is the second largest urban agglomeration after Prague. It is also the administrative center of the Moravian-Silesian Region and of the Municipality with Extended Competence. Ostrava is located at the confluence of the Ostravice, Oder, Lu?ina and Opava rivers. Its history and growth have been largely affected by exploitation and further usage of the high quality black coal deposits discovered in the locality, giving the town a look of an industrial city and a nickname of the “steel heart of the republic” (Czech: ocelové srdce republiky) during the communism in Czechoslovakia. Ostrava was an important crossroads of prehistoric trading routes, namely the Amber Road. Archaeological finds have proven that the area around Ostrava has been permanently inhabited for 25,000 years. The town itself was founded in 1267. Until the late 18th century, Ostrava was a small provincial town with a population around one thousand inhabitants engaged in handicraft.  In 1763, large deposits of black coal were discovered, leading to an industrial boom and a flood of new immigrants in the following centuries. During the 19th century, several mine towers were raised in and around the city and the first steel works were established. Industrial growth was made possible by the completion of Kaiser-Ferdinands-Nordbahn from Vienna in 1847. The 20th century saw further industrial expansion of the city accompanied by an increase in population and the quality of civic services and culture. However, during World War II, Ostrava - as an important source of steel for the arms industry - suffered several massive bombing campaigns bringing large amounts of damage to the city. Since the Velvet revolution in 1989, the city is going through big changes. Coal mining in the area of the city was stopped in 1994 and a large part of the Vítkovice ironworks near the city center was closed down in 1998, both improving the environment dramatically, although the Arcelor Mittal plant (ex-Nová Hu?) continues to heavily pollute the Radvanice district and surrounding area, resulting in one of the highest concentrations of PM10 dust in Europe. Wikipedia [February 2009]
Jewish Cemetery:" 2007: Jewish cemetery was desecrated near the northeastern Czech town of Ostrava, 218 miles east of Prague. Jirina Garajova, head of Ostrava's Jewish community, said that 25 tombstones were overturned at the Jewish cemetery in the nearby town of Bohumin over the weekend. [February 2009]
Torah: "Following the invasion and destruction of the synagogues, the Nazis ordered the razing of the sites, at the expense of the Jewish community. In October 1939, Adolf Eichmann pioneered the mass deportation of Jews from Ostrava to eastern Poland. Very few survived the war. In 1942, the remainder of Ostrava's Jewish community, which had been subjected to increasingly harsh discrimination, was deported to the Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration camp and then on to Nazi death camps such as Auschwitz and Treblinka." [February 2009]
Jewish Community of Ostrava: The Jewish community of Ostrava is mostly elderly.  Many Holocaust survivors are left dependent on the JCC for services which include assistance with homecare, meals, and transportation to and from rehabilitation. These services allow these elderly survivors to remain independent in their homes. Jirina Garajova, Chairwoman of the Ostrava Jewish Community. [February 2009]


OSTRAVA:     US Commission No. CZCE000142
Alternate names: Ostrava [Cz], Ostrau, Ostrau-Michalkowitz [Ger], Mährisch-Ostrau [Ger], Schlesisch-Ostrau [Ger],  Moravská Ostrava [Cz, bef 1929], Ostrava-Michalkovice [Cz] Ostrawa [Pol], Morawska Ostrawa [Pol], Mihrisch Ostrau, Mahrish Ostrau, Mahrisch-Ostrava. Located in Silesia (Slezsko)-Ostrava at 49°50' N, 18°17' E, 140 km NE of Brno. Cemetery: 3 km E, Obecni-Str. Present town population is over 100,000 with 10-100 Jews.

IAJGS NOTE: Center of the Moravian-Silesian Region, NE Moravia, near the Polish border.  Jewish population: 3,000 (in 1890), 6,895 (in 1930). [February 2009]

  • Town: Magistrate Engineer arch. Jiri Smejkal, Urad Mesta Ostravy, Prokesovo namesti 8, 729 30 Ostrava; tel. 069/215920.
  • Local: Iva Tvrda, Urad Mesta Ostravy, Referat Kultury, Prokesovo namesti 8, 729 30 Ostrava; tel. 069/216216.
  • Interested: Ostravske Muzeum, Director Engineer Martin Benes, CSc, Masarykovo namesti 1, 700 00 Ostrava; tel. 069/234449. Stepan Mayer, Dimitrovova 62, 701 00 Ostrava; tel. 069/213357.
  • Caretaker with key: Technicke Sluzby Mesta Ostr, Sprava Hrbitovu, 700 00 Ostrava; tel. 069/215883.
Earliest known Jewish community was 1792. 1930 Jewish population Michalkovice was 61 in 1930. The Jewish community originated here in 1875. Ilse Weberova, 1903-1944, poetress; Chana Rosen, b. 1905, politician; Joseph Wechsberg, b. 1907, publicist; and families Rotchild + Guttmann lived here. The unlandmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1901 with last known Conservative Jewish burial in 1940s. 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 town cemetery, access is open to all via no wall, fence, or gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is about 5x50 meters. 20-100 stones, all in original location, date from 20th century. The marble and granite flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones or obelisks have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some tombstones have iron decorations or lettering and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no special memorial monuments, sections, known mass graves, or structures. The municipality owns Jewish cemetery property. Adjacent properties are cemetery. Rarely, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred 1945-1981. Local/municipal authorities did restoration in 1980s and now occasionally clean or clear. Moderate threat: uncontrolled access, pollution and vandalism. Slight threat: weather erosion, vegetation and proposed nearby development.
Engineer-Architect Jaroslav Klenovsky, Zebetinska 13, 623 00 Brno; tel. 0 completed survey on 1.3.1992. Documentation: Gold, Herman. Other exisiting documentation was not used. The site was visited by J. Klenovsky. No interviews.


US Commission No. CZCE000143

Cemetery: (old cemetery) 1.5 km W, 28.Rijna-Str. The unlandmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1872 with last known Conservative Jewish burial in 1961. No other towns or villages used site. The flat urban location has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via no wall, fence, or gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is 1.482 ha. No stones, special memorial monuments, known mass graves, or structures exist. The municipality owns property used for park, playground, and athletic field. Adjacent properties are recreational. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred during World War II and 1945-1981. Now, authorities occasionally clean or clear. Slight threat: pollution, vegetation and vandalism.


US Commission No. CZCE000144
Alternate name:  in German. New Cemetery is 1 km E, on Najmanske-Str. See Ostrava (Michalkovice) for town and historical information. The unlandmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1961 with last known Conservative Jewish burial in 1992. The suburban hillside, part of a municipal cemetery, without sign has Jewish symbols on gate or wall. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a continuous fence and locking gate. The approximate size of cemetery is now about 30x120-meters. The cemetery has special urn-grove, transferred from Mor. Ostr. 100-500 20th century marble and granite tombstones are finely smoothed and inscribed stones, multi-stone monuments and horizontally set stones have Sephardic [sic?] and 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 but no known mass graves. Within the limits of the site is a pre-burial house with a tahara, a catafalque and wall inscriptions. Ostrava Jewish community owns the Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are cemetery. Frequently, private visitors and local residents stop. This cemetery was not vandalized. Jewish groups within the country did the restoration annually. Ostrava Jewish congregation pays the regular caretaker. Slight threat: weather erosion, pollution and vandalism. See Ostrava (Michalkovice) for survey information.

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 February 2009 14:28
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