TACHOV: Plzen, Bohemia Print

town image [February 2009]

Tachov is a city situated in the west part of the Czech Republic very close to the German border in the middle of a protected landscape area known as the Czech Forest. Mže River flows through the town and the entire Tachov region of Tachov  The area was inhabited by humans around 8,000-6,000 BCE. The first written document mentioning Tachov comes from 1115. Tachov has about 12,640 inhabitants and is divided into small neighborhoods like Biletín, Malý Rapotín, Mýto, Oldřichov, Světce, Velký Rapotín, and Vítkov. Although the district is mostly agricultural, Tachov has more engineering industry and machinery manufacturing like molds for plastic injection, ski poles, doors, windows, or many different components for car industry. Tachov is in a valley surrounded by a variety of landscapes, green forests, woods, hills and wide fields of yellow turnips. The Jewish cemetery was founded in 1615 near the Rapotín Street. The oldest extant gravestones come from the 17th century. Recently arrangements that should prevent another damaging of gravestones are done by the business STAKUS Tachov.  In the nearest neighborhood, "Mohyla” commemorates the death of 232 people, who were killed during the death marches, during the World War II. During the USSR occupation, the area was only partly repopulated, not only by Czechs and Slovaks, but also by people from Romania, Ukraine etc. Later on uranium was found attracting many adventurers to the area to work in the mines. The mines were closed when the Russians left. After the "Velvet Revolution" (1989), German companies started to operate factories to make use of the cheap labor. However, the Tachov area is still among the economically least developed Czech regions. Wikipedia [February 2009]


TACHOV (I):     US Commission No.CZCE000021
Alternate names: Tachov [Cz], Tachau [Ger], Reichental. Tachov is located in Bohemia, Tachov at 49°48' N, 12°38' E , 33 miles W of Plzeň (Pilsen), near German border, in Plzeň Region. The old cemetery is located 450 m ESE of town by the crossroad of the roads leading to Velky Rapotin and Trnova. Present town population is 5,000-25,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Mestsky Urad, odbor kultury, 347 01 Tachov.
  • Regional: Okresni urad, same as above.
  • Interested: Okresni Muzeum, trida Miru street 447, 347 01 Tachov.

Earliest known Jewish community was allegedly 13th century but recorded at beginning of 17th century. 1930 Jewish population was 179. Alleged 13th century birthplace of Rabbi Moses ben Hisdai, one of the authors of the prayer "Aveinu Malkenu"; birth-place of Wilhelm Stern (rabbi in Liverpool and in Copenhagen); birth place of Max Schornstein (Chief Rabbi of Copenhagen). The Jewish cemetery originated in beginning of 17th century with last known probably Conservative Jewish burial in 1933. Probably Studanka (German Schoenbrunn) and Tisova (German Tissa) (3 km and 6 km away) used this cemetery. Buried in the landmarked cemetery is Rabbi Nahum Sofer (died 1815). The flat isolated suburban site has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a broken masonry wall without gate. The approximate size of cemetery before WWII was 2536 sq. m and is now about 1800 sq. m.

100-500 stones, most in original location, date from 17th-20th century. The marble, granite and and mostly sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew and German inscriptions. Some have portraits on stones and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no known mass graves or structures. Plzen Jewish community owns the property now used for Jewish cemetery and industrial or commercial use. Adjacent properties are commercial or industrial, residential and roads. The boundaries are smaller than 1939 because of commercial or industrial development. Occasionally, organized Jewish tours or pilgrimage groups and local residents stop. Vandalism occurred prior to World War II (by Nazis in 1938), during World War II, and frequently 1945-1991. Local/municipal authorities mostly and individuals or groups of non-Jewish origin and Jewish groups within country did restoration in 1991 with occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals now. Very serious threat: uncontrolled access. Serious threat: pollution. Moderate threats: existing and proposed nearby development. Slight threat: weather erosion.

Vlastmila Hamackova, Zabelska 37, Jiri Fiedler, z"l completed survey on 29 Febr. 1992. Documentation: Gold: Die Juden u.Judengemeinden Bohemens..(1934); several publications about history of Tachov. There was no additional document. The site was not visited. Jewish Congregation Plzen was interviewed.
TACHOV (II):     US Commission No.CZCE000022

The new cemetery is located at 1500 m SE, near the road to Trnova. The landmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1933 with last known regular Conservative Jewish burial in 1938 and holds the biggest mass grave in Czechoslovakia: ashes of about 600 both Jewish and non-Jewish prisoners-victims of a railway transport from the Buchenwald concentration camp cremated at this cemetery in April 1945. About 200 prisoners were killed in Tachov; other graves are Soviet and Polish soldiers-prisoners of war. The flat isolated suburban-rural (agricultural) site has inscriptions in Czech, England and German. 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 1200 sq. m (.013 ha) ha.

Seven 20th century marble and granite finely smoothed and inscribed stones or multi-stone monuments have German and Czech inscriptions. The cemetery contains a pre-burial house with a chimney and special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims or both Jewish and non-Jewish victims of Nazis. The municipality owns the property used about 10% as Jewish cemetery, about 15% as mass grave with monument, and about 75% as municipal non-Jewish urn grove. Adjacent properties are agricultural. Frequently, organized Jewish group or individual tours or pilgrimage groups, private visitors and local residents stop. Vandalism occurred probably prior to World War II by Nazis in 1938 and during World War II. Local/municipal authorities, regional/national authorities and Jewish groups within country did restoration done after 1945 and 1989 (new monument of victims.) A regular caretaker is paid by a local contribution. Slight threat: vandalism.

Vlastmila Hamackova, Zabelska 37, Jiri Fiedler, z"l completed survey on 29 February 1992. Documentation: history of Tachov; histories of Nazi terror. No site visits or interviews occurred.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2009 01:37