PRAHA 5-SMICHOV: Praha, Bohemia Print

Old Cemetery US Commission No. CZCE000387

Alternate name: Smichow in German. Praha 5-Smichov is located in Bohemia-Praha at 50.03' 14°24', 4 km SSW of center of Prague, in "U stareho židovského hřbitova" Street. The cemetery dates from second half of 18th century and was used until 1921.

  • Town: Obvodni urad, Referat Kultury, Mayor: Engineer arch. Petr Syrovy, nam.14. rijna 9, 150 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/540651 or 546461.
  • Regional: Jewish congregation: Prazska ZNO Ms. Jana Wolfova, Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-18664 and Przske stredisko, pamatkove pece, Male namesti 13, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/2368344 or 52.
  • Interested: Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1 tel. 02/231-06-34 or 341-07-85 and Archiv hl. m. Prahy Director: Ph.Dr. Jiri Kudela, Husova 20, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/228852.

Earliest known Jewish community was 1788 [? in Smichov?]. 1930 Jewish population was 1,538 Jews in Smichov, 35,425 Jews in all Praha. Population increased in Smichov since 18th century. Birthplace of MUDr. Siegfried Kapper 1821-1879, poet and founding father of Czech-Jewish movement. Physicist Albert Einstein 1879-1955 lived there in 1910-1911. The landmarked Jewish cemetery originated probably in 1788 with last known probably Conservative Jewish burial in 1921. Kosire, 2 km away, and Roztoky (German: Rostok), 12 km away, used this site.The isolated urban hillside crown of a hill has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road to a short forest pathway, access is open to all via a broken masonry wall and non-locking gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is 0.3613 ha.

100-500 stones date from last quarter of 18th-20th century. The marble, granite, limestone and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones, multi-stone monuments or columns have Hebrew and German inscriptions. Some have metal fences around graves. Within the limits of the site is the destroyed gravedigger's house. Praha Jewish community owns Jewish cemetery. Properties adjacent are recreational municipal grove, agricultural gardens, and residences. The cemetery Occasionally, private visitors and local residents stop. Vandalism occurred frequently 1945-1991. Individuals or groups of non-Jewish origin, local/municipal authorities, Jewish individuals and groups within country did restoration in 1980-81. There is no maintenance. Serious threat: uncontrolled access, pollution and vandalism. Moderate threat: vegetation. Slight threat: weather erosion and existing nearby development.

Ladislav Mertl, Mgr. of Geography, Kubanske namesti 1322/17, Praha 10-Vrsovice; tel. 02/743213 and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/553340 completed survey on August 1992. Documentation exists but was inaccessible. The site was not visited. People at the town archives; consultations in 1982-1988 were interviewed.

PRAHA 5-SMICHOV - New Cemetery US Commission No. CZCE000388

The new cemetery is located at 4 km SW of center of Praha, in Peroutkova Street. The cemetery dates from 1903 and still sporadically used.

  • Caretaker with key: Mr. Sedlacek, Peroutkova 2482, 150 00 Praha 5-Smichov.

In situ are tombs of Porges von Portheim family (founders of Smichov textile industry) and urn of Rudolf Fuchs (1890-1942), German poet and translator of Czech poetry with last known Jewish burial in 1973 but deposition of urns continues today. Conservative or Progressive/Reform Jews used this unlandmarked cemetery as did Roztoky (Ger: Rostok) 12 km away. The urban site on a slight slope, separate but near cemeteries, has no sign, but has Jewish symbols on the iron gate in the shape of a menorah, Czech sign or plaque.Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open 7 AM-6 PM. A continuous masonry wall with a locking gate surrounds the cemetery. The approximate size of cemetery before WWII was 0.8404 ha s and now is approximately 0.6 ha.

100-500 stones, most in original locations, date from 20th century. The granite, sandstone and iron rough stones or boulders, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, multi-stone monuments or obelisks (angular-shaped columns) have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some have bronze decorations or lettering and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery has no special sections but has special memorial monuments to the founding and founders of cemetery and a gravedigger's (caretaker's) house. Praha Jewish community owns the site used for Jewish cemetery and caretaker's garden. Properties adjacent are agricultural private gardens, municipal cemetery, and modern Adventists church. The boundaries are smaller than 1939 because of building of Adventist church after 1980. Frequently, organized Jewish tours or pilgrimage groups, private visitors, and local residents stop. This cemetery was not vandalized. Jewish groups within country do restoration continuously but a new northern wall and gate was built after 1980. Praha Jewish congregation pays the regular caretaker.

Ladislav Mertl, mgr of geography, Kubanske nam/ 1322/17, Praha 10-Vrsovice; tel. 02/743213; and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/553340 completed survey in August 1992. Documentation: Jahrbuch fur die israelische Cultusgemeinden Bohemens (1893-94). Other documentation was inaccessible. The site was not visited. Mr. Sedlacek & his wife were interviewed in 1990 and 1992.

Last Updated on Sunday, 30 August 2009 14:49