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Called "The Gate to Jeseník mountains", Šumperk was founded by German colonists in 1269. The German name Schönberg means "beautiful hill" and the name Šumperk is a Czech garble of the original German name. Located on a trade route, the town profited from the copper mines. Šumperk was a possession of the Moravian margrave until the 15th century. Petr ze Žerotína bought the town and built a monumental curtain wall. The town became very rich in the 16th century from the production of top-quality cloth, the best known in western Europe. The town bought itself and became a royal city, meaning only the king was the owner without any nobility. The town was substantially damaged in the Thirty Years' War because it was in the Protestant alliance. Šumperk thus became a possession of Lichtenstein. A lhuge fire in 1669 destroyed 244 houses.The end of 17th century witch trials caused 48 men and women to be burnt as witches.In 1930 Šumperk had about 12,000 citizens, of whom one quarter were Czechs and the rest Germans. In 1938, after the Munich Agreement, Šumperk was occupied by the Wehrmacht and most Czech citizens were expelled to the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. As the war ended the town was liberated by the Russian Red Army and all of Germans were expelled to Germany. During the Prague Spring, the area was occupied by the Polish army on 21 August 1968. The Polish army was replaced by the Red Army on 3rd October 1968. Jan Zajíc and Jan Palach both protested the occupation by self-immolation. The Red Army moved out in 1991 after the Velvet Revolution. Wikipedia - see town photos [February 2009]


The Jewish community in 0lomouc manages and repairs the cemetery.  An exhibition devoted to the history of the local Jewish community and burial customs was installed in 1997. photo of pre-burial house/ceremonial hall, p 70. The remains of a cemetery from 1911 with a ceremonial hall adapted to a house. Neighbors Who Disappeared project about Sumperk with photos: Jews lived in Šumperk until 1585 when the citizens of Šumperk, with the approval of Emperor Rudolf II, expelled them. Jewish settlement of Šumperk increased rapidly after the mid-1800s. They got a plot of land for a Jewish cemetery to avoid transport of their deceased to Úsov or Loštice. Approval for the cemetery came on September  21, 1910. The Holocaust caused the end of the Jewish community in Šumperk. In spite of this Mr Šimůnek, who lives here with all his family, has been tending it for more than forty years. The fate of the few survivors can be found at the website. [February 2009]


US Commission No. CZCE000178

Alternate name: Maehrisch-Schoenberg in German. Sumperk is located in Morava-Sumperk at 49°57′55″N 16°58′15″E , 50 km NW from Olomouc. Cemetery: 3 km SW, Zabrezska-Str. Present town population is 25,000-100,000 with than 10 Jews.

  • Town: magistrate Ctirad Medlik, Mestsky Urad, 787 01 Sumperk; tel. 0649/3601.
  • Regional: Dr. Eduard Madera, Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, ul. E. Benese, 787 01 Sumperk; tel. 0649/3441.
  • Interested: Okresni Vlastivedne Muzeum, Dir. Dr. Milos Melzer, sady 1.maje, 787 01 Sumperk; tel. 0649/4070.
  • Caretaker with key: Antonin Simunek, Zabrezska 76, 787 01 Sumperk; tel. 0.

Earliest known Jewish community was 1531. 1930 Jewish population was 199. Jews were banished in 1584 and granted residence in 1848 to establish Jewish community in 1870. Rabbi Dr. Joseph Hoff lived here in 20th century. The Jewish cemetery originated in 1911 with last known Conservative Jewish burial in 1939. No other towns or villages used this unlandmarked cemetery. The suburban flat isolated site has inscriptions on pre-burial house. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a continuous masonry wall and locking gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is about 60x50 m ha.

20-100 stones, all in original location, are marble and granite flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones or obelisks with German and Czech inscriptions. Some have bronze decorations or lettering. The cemetery has special section for refugees and a pre-burial house, but no special memorial monuments or known mass graves. Olomouc Jewish community owns the Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are commercial or industrial and agricultural. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred 1945-1981. Local non-Jewish residents and Jewish groups within country did restoration in 1980s. There is regular unpaid caretaker. Slight threat: pollution, vegetation, vandalism, and existing and proposed nearby development.

Engineer Architect Jaroslav Klenovsky, Zebetinska 13, 623 00 Brno; tel. 0 completed survey on March 1, 1992. Documentation: Gold, Herman. Other exisiting documentation was not used. No site visits or interviews occurred.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2009 23:22
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