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ZAMBERK: Usti nad Orlici, Bohemia PDF Print E-mail

ceremonial hall with visible gravestones photo.  The synagogue was probably founded in 1700 with the last major repair in 1993-1995. The oldest preserved headstone in the cemetery dates from 1731. Mid-18th century tombstones with relief decoration differ from other Jewish cemeteries in the region due to their rustic ornamentation. Village of Kysperk used this cemetery. [February 2009]

Trade routes crossed the river, one for Klodzko to meet the Trstenická Route gave rise to Žamberk, a town at the foot of Orlické Hory, 465 m above sea level. 2005 population 6,200. The documentation of Žamberk dates from 1332 and 1408 in the magistrate office. The mansion and demesne changed hands until Baronet John Parish received it in as early as 1815 and lost it in 1948 with it returned in 1990. The mansion is a 1810-15 reconstruction with Baroque and Rococo elements surrounded by an English park. The mansion now occupied by a training institution is under repair. Masaryk Square, the town center, has a Town Hall, built 1812-15. The1700 Baroque plague post in the middle was erected to express gratitude foravoiding the plague in the town. Žamberk's town museum founded in 1911 shows Žamberk's history and traditiona; of arts and crafts. The early l8th century Jewish cemetery next to the museum had been the only burial place for Jews of the vast region. New entrance hall and a new section were added in 1932. Being rehabilitatted now, the plan is to establish a Jewish museum. St Wenceslas's Church is Žamberk's tallest building. Its oldest bell cast in 1574 was destroyed along with the others during an 1859 fire. Museum Address: Městské muzeum Žamberk, Československé armády 472, 564 01 Žamberk. Phone: +420 465 611 678, +420 603 534 574 [February 2009]

Torah: "Used during the 19th century in the synagogue at Zamberk ...on the Polish border. According to the Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust (2001), Zamberk was home to a Jewish community since at least the 17th century. Fires devastated the Jewish ghetto in 1810 and 1833; it is likely that the Torah scroll dates from after the second fire. The Jewish population of Zamberk diminished in size during the later 19th century; by 1930, only 31 Jews still lived there. The remaining Jews of Zamberk were deported by the Nazi government to the Theresienstadt ghetto in 1942, and were sent from there to death camps. Although the Torah scroll was stolen from Zamberk by the Nazis for their "Jewish Museum" in occupied Prague, it was one of 1,564 Czech Torah scrolls recovered after World War II by the Memorial Scrolls Trust. It was taken to London, where is was designated 'Number 915. Czech Memorial Scrolls. Westminster Synagogue 1964-5724'." [February 2009]

US Commission No. CZCE000417
Alternate German name: Senftenberg. Zamberk is located in Bohemia, Usti nad Orlici at 50°05′09″N 16°27′52″E , 24 km ESE of Hradec Kralove and 37 km WNW of Sumperk. Cemetery: 400 meters W of square via Ceckoslovenske Armady Street. Present town population is 5,000-25,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Mestsky Urad, 564 01 Zamberk 166; tel. 0446/2751; Mayor Miloslav Chvatil's home: Pricna 632; tel. 0446/2336 and office: 0446/2223.
  • Regional: Ms. Miroslava Cejpova, Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, 562 01 Usti nad Orlici; tel. 0465/2011. Jewish congregation: Ms. Jana Wolfova, Zidovska navozenska obec v Praze, Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-69-25. Petr Kovarik, Pamatkovy ustav vychodnich Cech, Koruna 54, 569 33 Trevarov; tel. 0462/941-42.
  • Interested: Jelica Stefkova, Mestske Muzeum, Ceskoslovenske armady 472, 564 01 Zamberk; tel. 0446/3078. Radek Biedla, Svaz ochrancu pamatek (Association for Defense of Monuments), Dlouhonovice 937, 564 01 Zamberk. Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34, and 231-07-85. Vlasta and Frantisek Pirek, Lukavska 795, 564 01 Zamberk.
  • Caretaker: Zdenek Strnad, 28.rijna 692, 564 01 Zamberk; tel. 0446/2603.


Earliest known Jewish community was allegedly 17th century, but recorded in first half of 18th century 17. 1930 population was 31. Scanty information about older history because archives of Jewish community burned in 1811. Peak Jewish population was mid-19th century with approximately 50 families. Later, Jews moved to big towns. Painter Max Horb (1882-1907), lived here. The landmarked Jewish cemetery originated in first half of 18th century with last known Conservative Jewish burial before ___. The isolated suburban hillside without sign has Jewish symbols on windows of ceremonial hall. 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 0.32 ha.

20-100 stones, most in original location, date from 1731-20th century. The marble, granite and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some have iron decorations or lettering and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no known mass graves or special sections but has a pre-burial house with a copper-covered dome. Praha Jewish community owns cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred during World War II, occasionally 1945-1991. Local non-Jewish residents and anonymous sponsor did work periodically after WWII and in 1991. Now, there is occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals and Praha Jewish congregation paid regular caretaker. Moderate threat: uncontrolled access, vegetation and vandalism. Slight threat: weather erosion and pollution.

Vlastmila Hamackova, Zabelska 37, 312 15 Plzen; tel. office 02/231-06-34 and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 and Engineer Majmir Maly, Ve Stresovickach 58, 169 00 Praha 6; tel. 02/35-57-69 completed survey on 24 August 1992. Documentation: censuses of 1723, 1849, and 1930; notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha; Hugo Gold: Die Juden und Judengemeinden Bohemens (1934); Jahrbuch fur die israelische Cultusgemeinden Bohemens (1894-95); and Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries of Bohemia and Moravia (1980). No site visits or interviews occurred.

UPDATE: October 23, 2006. 50 tombstones were overturned and some broken. The cemetery, no longer used for burials, was completely renovated in the 1990s. [February 2009]

Last Updated on Saturday, 28 February 2009 01:28
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