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VLACHOVO BREZI: Prachatice, Bohemia PDF Print E-mail

Vlachovo Brezi CoA C... 28881 bytes A Jewish history of the towns in Prachatice District: In Prachatice district are three preserved Jewish cemeteries: Those in Čkyně and in Vlachovo Březí were repaired in 1980s and 1990s, the one in Dub still under repair. Also, 96 Jewish victims of the Nazis had a kosher burial in Volary. The beginning of the Jewish settlement in Čkyně dates from the 16th century when, under feudalism, Jews had no rights regarding residence. Their life was conditional on the whim of ruler, feudal nobles, church, the Christian population, and political circumstances. The small town Čkyně was a trade and market center of SE Volyně district in late 16th century where several Jewish families already lived. Only one family survived the Thirty´s War according to the Roll of Assesment of 1654: "two Jews on the Vysoký dvůr in Čkyně: Šťastný and Izák". In the years 1703 to 1728 the owner of Čkyně, Adam František Hrušovský z Hrušova, defended "his" Jews against the Volyně council. Theresian land-registry from the year 1748 indicates ten Jewish families, six of them dealt in wool, linen and feathers, two families in skin, one family in spirit and one Jew worked as a painter.August 16, 1825 administrator of authorities listed 151 Jews and 526 Christians. 34 jewish families (207 persons) in1840. After 1849, when the legislative segregation of Jewish population in Austria ended, moving of Jews to bigger towns started. In 1890, the synagogue in Čkyně was closed, 11 Jews lived there in 1930. From the Čkyně Jews comes a significant Czech lawyer professor, Alois Zucker, (1842-1906): Czech Univerzity in Prague, author of scientific work, dean of the Czech Lawyer Faculty,representative of the Reich Council in Vienna (1885-1901), and member of the Royal Czech Company of Theory and of the Czech Academy. The first postman in Čkyně was Josef Lederer (died in 1905, buried in the local jewish cemetery). In the Prachatice district were four synagogues that even before the Holocaust stopped funtioning: Čkyně, Vlachovo Březí and Dub before 1920 for lack of members. Those synagogues were sold to private buyers, who rebuilt them as residential buildings. The synagogue in Vimperk, built by the Vimperk Jewish Community in 1925 and consecrated on January 3, 1926, was torched on November 10, 1938 by the Nazis. Only the Čkyně synagogue has renovated so far. The synagogue (No. 105) stands not far from the center of the town toward the railway station and is the second one there. Jewish settlement dated from the late 16th century so the old synagogue stood within the former manor, so called "Vysoký dvůr", next to the out-buildings of the manormaybe from the 18th century. After 1827, the then owner of the Čkyně demesne (the doctor of law JUDr. Karel Claudi) settled with local jewish community to take over the building and replaced it with the new synagogue at his own expense in1828. All buildings of the former manor were pulled down in the mid-20th century for the local Standard Farming Cooperative and later blocks of flats. In the Memorial Book of the Čkyně Parochial Office (kept from 1786 in the parish ) in Latin the construction and opening of the new synagogue are described by church administrator František Stáně. The construction of the buildingbegan on April 14, 1828 and on September 26 was finished, one of the biggest and most beautiful synagogues of former "Prácheňský" district. Later the winter prayer room with heat was added to the new building on the west sideon the first floor and below  the sanctuary. Other rooms on the ground floor served originally as a Jewish school and rabbi's quarters. Research of Dr. Jan Muk from Prague and reconstruction architect František Petrlík from České Budějovice confirmed that. In 19th centuryí, the Čkyně Jewish community had a rabbi and cantor. Besides local Jews, those from the surroundings area were members. Regular services were held until 1895, then they were transfered to Vimperk, but rabbis still lived in Čkyně [after 1890, Jiří Bohumil Stranský, Mojžíš Reitler (1897) and Josef Bloch (from 1903).] For occasional services the synagogue  served until the end of the WWI, under Rabbi Julius Löwenbein in Vimperk, the new seat of the Jewish community. The Čkyně Jewish Community was abolished in 1890 with only 3 Jewish families (11 persons) remaining in Ckyne, while 20 Jewish families (60 persons) lived in Vimperk (including Boubská village).In 1922, the Vimperk Jewish Community sold the former Čkyně synagogue (using the proceeds for new Vimperk synagogue construction) to the Španingers, who then adapted the building for a family house and workshop. To the east part of the synagogue, where the main prayer room was the ground floor was a cabinet-maker´s workshop and the first floor residential. The west part of the synagogue with the winter prayer room has been preserved unchanged as a residence until1983. Other synagogues that survived the Crystal Night 1938, were mostly pulled down during the communism or rebuilt for other purposes. After the German occupation of Bohemia and Moravia, a few Jews from Vimperk found asylum in Čkyně, but with the Norimberk Race Rules, the Jewish population was deprived of civil and human rights, excluded from political, economic, cultural life, and property confiscated. Deportations to the camps in November 1942, mostly via Klatovy to Terezin, followed, with death was waiting for the great majority, 650 prisoners to Terezín on November 26, 1942 and Ce with 619 prisoners to Terezín on November 30, 1942. Both transports totalled 1,196 people dead and 72 were saved (1 prisoner was not included). 14 of 16 Čkyně citizens of Jewish origin died: 2 women in Terezín, 7 men and 5 women in Osvětim. 2 local stayed alive thanks to their mixed marriages (Karolina Španingerová and Jaroslav Lederer, now deceased). Dead also were the sister of Karolina Španingerová, Julie Červinková, and former Vimperk trader Isidor Schwager and his sons Rudolf and František. For all the victims from Čkyně and surroundings, the ceremonial hall is dedicated in the local Jewish cemetery, where their names are hewn into the stone for everlasting remembrance. The tablets also are devoted by Jan Podlešák M.A., the author of this text. [February 2009]


map and photos: "The small town Vlachovo Březí lies about 4 km north-west of the town Husinec on Libotyňský Potok (Libotyně Stream).  The hamlet called Březí originated in 1274 ... under the ownership of the Lords of Březí. Later the village became property of the Lords of Malovice and...named Vlachovo Březí ("Vlach's Březí") after a member of the family at the beginning of the 15th century. In 1868 Vlachovo Březí got the statute of the town from the ruler. The former fortress, which burnt down in 1468, stood above the town square; it was rebuilt during the Renaissance period into a chateau. In 1620 it burnt again. Its present look comes from the first half of the 17th century. Baroque Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin was built in the place of the original Romanesque sacral building. A lot of houses have been preserved from the flowering of the rural architecture. Their Baroque gables were formed by Jakub Bursa. Chapel of the Holy Ghost can be found on the hill with a calvary above the mansion. It was built in the 18th century; the Stations of the Cross come from 1853. On the northern outskirts of the town, not far from the Chapel of the Holy Ghost, is the Jewish cemetery from the beginning of the 18th century. The poet and revivalist Jan Vlastislav Plánek was born here." [February 2009] NEARBY:

Mářský Vrch hill

ruins of the castle Helfenburk

village Záblatí

small town Čkyně

town Husinec

Husinec Dam


US Commission No. CZCE000054

Alternate name: Wallisch-Birken and Wallischbirken in German. Vlachovo Brezi is located in Bohemia-Prachatice at 49º05 13º58, 7 km NNW of Prachatice and 37 km WNW of Ceske Budejovice. Cemetery: 350 meters N of the square. Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Obecni urad, 384 22 Vlachovo Brezi; tel. 0338/842-11 or 842-06; home of Mayor Frantisek Klimes is Komenskeho 203, 384 22 Vlachovo Brezi; tel. 0338/843-42.
  • Regional: Ms. Sarka Fidlerova, Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, 383 01 Prachatice; tel. 0338/223-61 or 228-61. Jewish congregation: Ms. Jana Wolfova, ZNO, Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-69-25. Engineer Marie Bartyzalova, Pamatkovy ustav jiznich Cech, namesti Premysla Otakara 34, 370 21 Ceske Budejovice; tel. 038/237-92.
  • Interested: Okresni Muzeum, Horni 13, 383 01 Prachatice; tel. 0338/216-52. Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34 and 231-07-85. PhDr. Jan Podlesak, Jihoceska Universitz Pedagogicka Fakulta, Bezdrevska 1021/8, 370 11 Ceske Budejovice; tel. 038/371-42.
  • Caretaker: Vera Langova, Prazska 318, 384 22 Vlachovo Brezi.

Earliest known Jewish community was 1717. 1930 Jewish population was 7. Jewish congregation probably existed in late 17th century. Peak Jewish population was in mid-19th century with 25 families. Later, Jews moved to big towns. Last rabbi left 1907; congregation disbanded in 1924. The landmarked Jewish cemetery originated probably about 1700 with last known Conservative Jewish burial before 1943 but legible 1932. Rabbis are buried in the isolated suburban hillside has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a broken masonry wall and non-locking gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is 0.1378 ha.

100-500 stones, all in original location, date from 1729-20th 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 obelisks have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some have iron decorations or lettering and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Jewish soldiers, pre-burial house, and ruin of mortuary but no special sections or known mass graves. Praha Jewish community owns cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural and residential. Occasionally, private visitors and local residents stop. Vandalism occurred prior to World War II, occasionally 1945-1991 vandalized after WWII. Local non-Jewish residents, individuals or groups of non-Jewish origin, local/municipal authorities and regional/national authorities cleaned in 1987-1991 [litter]. Praha Jewish congregation pays the regular caretaker. Slight threat: uncontrolled access, vandalism, and existing and proposed nearby development.
PhDr. Jan Podlesak, Bezdrevsk 1021/8, 370 11 Ceske Budejovice; tel. office: 038/371-41 and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 completed survey on 3 August 1992. Documentation: archives of PhDr. J. Podlesak; Jan Podlesak: Zidovske hrbitovy na prachatickem okrese in Vyber z praci clenu Historickeho klubu pri Jihoceskem Muzeum 1984, no. 1; Hugo Gold: Die Juden und Judengemeinden Bohemens 1934); Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia (1980); 1965 notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha; Antonin Horsky: A na hrbitove pasti dobytek in Dnesek, 1948, p. 633-5; 1982 letter of former Conservator of Monuments Miroslav Rehka, Vlachovo Brezi No. 379. No site visits or interviews occurred.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 February 2009 17:33
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