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Alternate names: Poběžovice [Cz], Ronsperg [Ger], Ronšperk. See photo of cemetery. Cemetery, former synagogue, and mikvah exist.  [February 2009]



US Commission No. CZCE000378

Alternate name: Ronsberg in German and Ronsperk in Hungarian. Pobezovice is located in Bohemia at 49°31' N, 12°48' E , 11 km NW of Dozmalice and 30 miles WSW of Plzeň (Pilsen). Cemetery: 850 m NW of square. Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Metsky urad, 345 22 Pobezovice; tel. 0188/972-81 or 972-82.
  • Regional: Okresny urad, Referat Kultury, namesty Pyoniru 228, 344 01 Dozmalice; tel. 0189/4770 and Zidovska Nabozenska Obec, Smetanovy sady 5, 301 37 Plzen tel. 019/357-49; and Pamatkovy ustav, Dominikanska 4/6, 301 00 Plzen tel. 019/76-78 or 358-71.
  • Interested: Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1 tel. 02/231-06-34 or 231-07-85; and Zdenek Prochazka, Vodni 18, 344 01 Domalice; tel. 0189/2332.

Earliest known Jewish community was probably 16th century (allegedly older). 1930 Jewish population was 41. Peak Jewish population was first half of 19th century with (30 families permitted, over 200 people), [240 (in 1875)]. Famous yeshiva existed until 1859 (alumni: rabbis in Montefiore, Prague, etc). Mikveh (ritual bath) was famous place of pilgrimage for both Eastern European and American Hassidim until WW2. Seat of county rabbis in 19th and 20th centuries. Jews moved to big towns. Nazis pulled down synagogue and demolished cemetery. Famous ritual bath was covered by concrete plate after WW2. Isaac Meyer Wise (1819-1900), founder of reform Judaism in USA, lived here as melamed in 1842-43. Allegedly Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1699-1760), founder of Hassidic movement, used local ritual bath many times in 1744. The Jewish cemetery originated before 1614 with last known Orthodox or Conservative Jewish burial before 1939. Meclov (German: Metzling), 6km away, used this unlandmarked cemetery. The flat isolated rural (agricultural) site has no sign or marker. Reached by crossing private property fields, access is open to all via a continuous masonry wall and non-locking gate.

20-100 stones, none in original location, date from 1634-20th century. The sandstone flat shaped tombstones have Hebrew and German inscriptions. The cemetery contains no known mass graves or structures. Probably Plzen Jewish community owns site used for Jewish cemetery and "jungle". Adjacent properties are agricultural. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred probably prior to World War II (1938 by Nazis), during World War II and 1945-1981 with no maintenance. Very serious threat: pollution. Moderate threat: weather erosion, existing and proposed nearby development.

Dr. Peter Braun, Komenskeho 43, 323 13 Plzen; tel. 019/52-15-58; and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha; tel. 02/55-3340; and Rudolf Lowy, Jesenicka 33, 323 13 Plzen; tel. 019/52-0684 completed survey on 1 September 1992. Documentation: Census 1650, 1724, 1830, 1930; Die Juden und Judengemeinden Bohemens (1934); Karl Liebscher: Der politische Amstbezirk Bischofteinitz (1913)); Jaroslav Schiebl: article in journal Plzensko, 1928, pg 118; Jan Herman: "Jewish Cemeteries of Bohemia and Moravia" (1980); and Zdenek Prochazka: Mesto Pobezovice (1991). Other documentation was inaccessible. No site visits or interviews occurred.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2009 14:19
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