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, Lučina 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 Huť) 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
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]
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
|Last Updated on Sunday, 22 February 2009 14:28|