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VELKE MEZIRICI: Zdar nad Sazavou, Moravia PDF Print E-mail

"Reconstruction was carried out in 1995 on the old synagogue Velke Mezirici (ca 1760). An exhibition on the history of the local Jewish community was installed in the gallery, while the main hall is to be used for prominent exhibitions held in collaboration with the local museum." Jewish Community of Brno owns, manages, and renovated the cemetery around 1997. Source and  photo of town's church and two synagogues [February 2009]

town image Situated below the original 12th century Gothic castle in a valley framed by Bohemian-Moravian Highlands hills at the confluence of the Oslava and Balinka rivers near Highway D1 with the Vysočina Bridge, the town's first written records are from the 12th century. The settlement obtained full town privileges in 1408 and town rights in 1417. The historic and landmarked town center has the castle, the Museum of Roads and Highways, the Gothic St. Nicolas Church, originally Gothic City Hall, Renaissance Lutheran grammar school, and partly preserved city walls with a gate. An independent Jewish community lived in the city since the seventeenth century has  two Jewish synagogues and a well-preserved Jewish cemetery with Baroque tombstones from the 17th century.[February 2009]

Czech Heritage Action Initiative (CHAI) is working on the restoration of Jewish cemeteries in the Czech Republic. CHAI is a non-profit organization led by Lisa Feder of Deerfield, IL that works with the Czech Federation of Jewish Communities. The Federation includes ten local Jewish communities in the Czech Republic. CHAI projects include the restoration of Jewish cemetery in Velké Mezíríci. [May 2010]

US Commission No. CZCE000202

Alternate names: Velké Meziříčí [Cz], Groß Meseritsch [Ger], Velké Mezeříčí, Gross-Meseritsch. Velke Mezirici is located in Morava-Zdar nad Sazavou at 49°21′13″N 16°0′48″E , is 50 km W of Brno. Cemetery: 0.3 km NE, Bezdekov Street. Present town population is 5,000-25,000 with than 10 Jews.

  • Town: Mayor Engineer Stanislav Krejci, Mestsky Urad, Radnicka 1/29, 594 13 Velke Mezirici; tel. 0619/2096.
  • Local: Engineer Pavel Stupka, Mestky urad-Referat Kultury, Radnicka 1/29, 594 13 Velke Mezirici; tel. 0619/2601.
  • Regional: Milena Odvarkova, Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, 591 00 Zdar n. S.; tel. 0616/2101.
  • Interested: Muzeum Velkomeziricska, dir. Bohuslav Mikulasek, zamek, 594 00 Welke Mezirici; tel. 0619/2206.
  • Key holder: Jindrich Lika, Postovni 16, 594 00 Velke Mezirici; tel. 0.

Earliest known Jewish community was 1518. 1930 Jewish population was 76. Pogrom occurred in 1848 with self-standing political community 1850-1919. Rabbi Efraim Cohen, Menachem Mendl Krochmal, Gerson Askenazi, Meir ben Jochanan, Josef Feilbogen lived here. The Jewish cemetery originated in 1560 with last known Conservative Jewish burial was before 1942. No other towns or villages used this landmarked cemetery (Nr. 4584 S.M.) The isolated urban hillside has a Czech sign or plaque mentioning the Jewish community. 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 0.4571 ha.

500-5000 stones, all in original location, date from 1677-20th century. The marble, granite and limestone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration or double tombstones have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some have traces of painting on their surfaces and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no special memorial monuments or known mass graves but has a pre-burial house with wall inscriptions. Brno Jewish community owns the Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are residential. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred occasionally, 1981-91. Local non-Jewish residents, local/municipal authorities, regional/national authorities and Jewish groups within country did work in 1985-1991. Brno Jewish congregation pays the regular caretaker. Moderate threat: weather erosion, pollution, vegetation and vandalism. Slight threat: uncontrolled access, existing and proposed nearby development.

Engineer arch. Jaroslav Klenovsky, Zebetinska 13, 623 00 Brno; tel. 0 completed survey on 1 March 1992. Documentation: Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries of Bohemia and Moravia (1980) and Hugo Gold: Die Juden und die Judengemeinden...Morava 1928). Other exisiting documentation was not used. No site visits or interviews occurred.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 May 2010 14:22
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