SAFOV: Znojmo, Moravia Print

town image. postcard, and cemetery photo and photos of former synagogue and cemetery. Just south of the town of Znojmo on the border with Austria and 101.4 miles SE of Prague: In a region destroyed by the Swedes in 1645, the feudal landowner granted asylum to eighty-five refugee Jewish families expelled in 1670 from the Lower Austrian towns of  Weitersfeld and Pulkau to settled in what became the Judengasse or in the market square north of the church and by the "Petrientor". Purportedly, these refugees, who barely escaped with their lives, brought their torah with them. Until 1938, that Torah inscribed "weit im felde" (Weitersfeld) remained in the Schaffa synagogue. In 1734, when  Countess Maria Anna von Althau commissioned a new church, she ordered relocation of all Jews residing north of the church into the ghetto. In 1778, the Jews were granted permission to enlarge the cemetery. In 1770, a new synagogue was completed. The cemetery was enlarged in 1778. Following the 1781 Edict of Tolerance enabling Jews to establish their own schools, a new Jewish school, established in 1800, hired L. Lederer from Trebic as its first teacher. Johann Bauer, a teacher from the local school, was hired in 1805 for two hours a day at the Jewish school for 80 guilders annually. Until 1869, both the Christian and Jewish schools were supervised by local parish priests. A fire on June 13, 1822 destroyed the entire ghetto except for one house and forty-five houses in the Christian community also. The majority of the 120 new Jewish homes were single-story. The Jewish community continued under the protection of the feudal landowner until 1848 and were allowed to organize their own community council that remained in existence until 1919.  Also, permission was granted in 1848 for fifteen Jewish dwellings to be erected within the Christian community as well as in several neighboring communities. The council chambers erected in 1869 showed their relative freedom as well as the school. The 1800 school with only a single grade, by 1848 increased to two grades, and with passage of the compulsory education act in 1869, a third. The Jewish community dominated Znojmo regional trade including places( in Austria) like Hollabrunn, Krems, Zwettle, Zlabings, and Jamnitz through the sale of cloth, woolens, linens, and leather, sheep's wool, flax, furs, skins, antlers, and bristles.In 1870 the Franz-Josef Railroad and two years later the northwestern line opened and both bypassed Schaffa, making the closest stations at Hozeldorf and Schonwald, each about fourteen kilometers away.  Relocation of commerce and industry away from Schaffa began the decline of this Jewish community's economic security. Many former Jewish homes were sold to Christian laborers. Although In 1790, 556 Jews and 540 Christians lived in Schaffa and in 1837, 633 Jews and 610 Christians, by 1900 only 374 Jews and 602 Christians remained, then 150 Jews and 588 Christians in 1910, and finally 65 Jews and 707 Christians in 1930. In 1938, when the village of Schaffa was annexed to the German Reich, twenty-five households with a total of 52 Jews still remained in Schaffa.  About one third emigrated abroad, while the others were deported in 1939. Without anti-Jewish bias, the German-speaking inhabitants of Schaffa welcomed the Reich to rid themselves of Czech domination. A group from Langau, Austria (directly across the unguarded border from Safov and Langau priest, Father Andreas, who maintains a house in Safov as a school, twice have cleared the cemetery. Father Andreas wrote a book (in German) about the town with research at the Wiesenthal Center in Vienna. In 1992, few traces of the former synagogue remained. Source: [February 2009]


US Commission No.CZCE000170

Alternate names: Šafov [Cz], Schaffa, Shaffa [Ger], Šatov, Schaffa . Safov is located in Morava-Znojmo at 48°52' N, 15°44' E , 85 km SW of Brno. Cemetery: 0.3 km NW. Present town population is under 1,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Mayor Michal Charvat, Obecni urad, 671 06 Safov; tel. 0624/97827.
  • Regional: PhDr. Jan Cech, Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, 669 01 Znojmo; tel. 0624/4201.
  • Interested: Jihomoravska Muzeum, dir. PhDr. Petr Suler, ulica Premyslovcu 2, 669 01 Znojmo; tel. 0624/4961.

Earliest known Jewish community was 1670. 1930 Jewish population was 76 and 52 Jews in 1938. The Jewish cemetery originated in 17th century with partially transferred Jewish quarter in 1734. Self-standing political community was 1867-1919. Ludwig Winder (1889-1946, writer) lived here. Buried in the cemetery is Rabbi Naftali Benet with last known Conservative Jewish burial before 1942. No other towns or villages used this landmarked cemetery: Nr. 6762 S.M. The isolated suburban hillside 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 0.5013 ha.

500-5000 stones, all in original location, date from 1720-20th century. The marble, granite and limestone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones or flat stones with carved relief decoration have Hebrew and German inscriptions. Some have traces of painting on their surfaces. The cemetery contains no special memorial monuments, known mass graves, or structures. Brno Jewish community owns the Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred occasionally, 1981-91. Individuals or groups of non-Jewish origin did restoration in 1990-1. Now, there is occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals. Serious threat: vandalism. Moderate threat: uncontrolled access, pollution and vegetation. Slight threat: weather erosion and existing nearby development.

Engineer-Arch Jaroslav Klenovsky, Zebetinska 13, 623 00 Brno; tel. 0 completed survey on 1 March 1992. Documentation: Hugo Gold: Die Juden und Judengemeinden Bohemens (1934); Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries of Bohemia and Moravia (1980). Other exisiting documentation was not used. No site visits or interviews occurred.

[UPDATE] Vandalism of Jewish Cemetery [October 2015]

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 October 2015 18:03