HERMANUV MESTEC: Chrudrim, Pardubice Region, Bohemia Print

Heřmanův Městec [Czech] Hermanmiestetz, Hermannstädt(e)l)[Germ]. 49°56′51″N 15°40′5″E.

website in Czech with photo: landmarked. "The cemetery is located 400 meters NE of the square in the NE part of town along the street Havlicek. According to oral tradition, it was founded before 1430 and documented in the 16th century. Enlarged at least five times, last in 1838, the final size reached 3972 m2. 21 long uneven rows of  1,077 gravestones, the oldest legible from 1647. Local gravestones, an excellent example of the development of gravestones in Jewish cemeteries, are a typical example of asymmetric stele (at least 48) and rich symbols. Noteworthy is an ornately decorated 1844 tomb, covered with tin roof. The carved tomb of Abraham Weiss, founder of the synagogue in Prelouc. The monumental tomb of the Baier family 19th century tomb, located in the SE part of the cemetery. There are two buildings - a cemetery manager and 1838 mortuary No. 668 from with a Holocaust plaque and the hearse, originally from the Jewish cemetery in Hořice v Podkrkonoší [Horschitz or Město Hořice ].  Interestingly the northern wall of the cemetery is still passable.Ongoing maintenance cemetery: In 2006 the restoration of dozens of historic tombstones from the 17th - 19 century began, the epitaphs are damaged due time." [September 2011]

Jewish history on Wikipedia.

photo of cemetery p 69 Source, cemetery photos and cemetery photo [February 2009]

[UPDATE] Photos by Charles Burns [November 2017]

Jews settled in Hermanuv Mestec at the end of the 15th century. Ten families are mentioned in a 1570 document. Cḥevra kaddisha existed from 1643 with an enlargement of the cemetery recorded in 1667. In 1686. the local lord invited Jews to settle in houses formerly belonging to Christians who had died of the plague. In the 17th century, a new ghetto was founded in the NW of the town center (now Havlíčkova Street). Some of the original 51 houses are preserved, although altered. The synagogue was built in the middle of the quarter in the Romanesque style according to the design of architect F. Schmoranz in 1870 on the site of an older synagogue. The women's gallery on the first floor can be entered via a covered bridge from the neighbouring yeshiva. The cemetery, 300m away on the same street, may have been built in the 16th century. The oldest gravestone dates back to 1647. At the end of the 19th century, several Jewish firms manufactured shoes. Noteworthy rabbis included Moses Simḥah Bumsla (d. 1724) and Moses Bloch (1855–63). Sixty-three Jewish families lived in Hermanuv Mestec in 1724. Jewish population: 492 Jews in 1826, 721 in 1859, and 434 (9.3% of the total population) in 1880, and in 1893 the community of 1,085 included Jews in 40 surrounding villages. The community declined to 87 in 1921 and 54 (9.3%) in 1930. In 1942, the Jews were deported to Auschwitz via Theresienstadt . Synagogue belongings were sent to the Central Jewish Museum in Prague. [February 2009]


town web site: In 1990 the historical city center  was proclaimed an urban memorial zone. In November 2001, the former synagogue was opened after a long reconstruction and now serves cultural purposes. The original building dated back to the 18th century. The 19th century neo-Romantic changes  added by architect Fr. Schmoranz are gone and restored to its former appearance. The1862 Jewish school reconstructed together with the synagogue houses Gallery Cyrany with continual expositions of East Bohemian artists from 20th century. [February 2009]


Folkmann, in: H. Gold (ed.) Die Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (1934), 170–3; Selbstwehr, no. 52 (Dec. 27, 1912), 7–8.


US Commission No. CZCE0000335

Alternate names: Heřmanŭv Městec [Cz], Hermannstädtel [Ger], Hermanmiestetz, Heřmanměstetz. Hermanuv Mestec is located in the Bohemia, Chrudim region at 49°57' N, 15°40' E , about  54 miles E of Praha (Prague), 8 miles SW of Pardubice (Pardubitz), in E Bohemia and in Sudetenland before WWII. The cemetery is located 450 meters NE of the main square, on Havlickova Street (leading to Klesice). Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with fewer than 10 Jews (descendants of mixed marriages only.)

  • Town: Mestsky Urad, 538 03 Hermanuv Mestec; tel. 0455/953-00.
  • Regional: (1) Okresni Urad, Referat Kultury, (Director: mgr. Vera Brunclikova), Pardubicka ulice, 537 01 Chrudim; tel. 0455/2451; (2) Zidovska Nabozenska Obec v Praze, Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-69-25; and (3) Pamatkovy ustav vychodnich Cech, zamek, 530 02 Paradubice.
  • Interested: (1) Okresni Muzeum, Resselovo Namesti, 537 01 Chrudim; tel. 0455/2434; (2) Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34 or 231-07-85; (3) local historian: Engineer Jaromir Kabelac, Rozsypalova 463, 538 03 Hermanuv Mestec; tel. 0455/952-42; (4) Cenek Svoboda, Foretova 546, 538 03 Hermanuv Mestec; and (5) Mr. Mares, Jiraskova 211, 538 03 Hermanuv Mestec; tel. 0455/954-93. J. Kabekac, C. Svoboda and Mr. Mares are members of the Society of Care for Jewish Culture in Hermanuv Mestec.
  • Caretaker: Mestsky Urad (town official in Hermanuv Mestec).

A minyan was recorded as early as 1570. There was [allegedly] a Jewish street with a prayer house in the early 17th century. Jewish population: 721 (in 1859), 60 (in 1939), 54 (in 1930)  Peak Jewish population was in the mid-19th century of over 800 persons. The Jewish cemetery originated in the first half of the 17th century (allegedly 16th century). Rabbis and founders of the local industry are buried in the Conservative cemetery with last known Jewish burial probably 1940. Landmark: a landmark/monument, but no details. A sign/plaque in Hebrew mentioning the Jewish community marks the isolated flat urban site. Reached off a public road, access is open with permission via a continuous masonry wall with locking gate. The size of cemetery before WWII and now is 0.404 ha.

500 to 1000 gravestones, most in original location with less than 25% toppled or broken, date from 1647-20th century. Stones removed from the cemetery were incorporated into roads or structures. The marble, granite and sandstone, flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones, multi-stone monuments or ark-shaped tombs have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some tombstones have iron decorations/lettering and/or metal fences around graves. Within the limits of the cemetery are a pre-burial house with wall inscriptions and a gravedigger's house. Praha Jewish community owns the property used as a Jewish cemetery only. Adjacent properties are residential. Frequently, private visitors stop. Local non-Jewish residents and local/municipal authorities re-erected stones, cleared vegetation, and fixed walls from 1945-1992. The cemetery is now occasionally cleared or cleaned by authorities. Vandalism threatens. A slight threat is incompatible nearby development. Vegetation overgrowth is a seasonal problem preventing access.

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 completed survey on August 22, 1992. Documentation: (1) census records of 1570, 1849, 1930; cadastre of 1839 and 1855; (2) Die Juden und Judengemeinden Bohemens, 1934; (3) notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha; (4) Jaromir Kabalac: "Zide a zidovske pamatky v Hermanove Mestci", manuscript 1990; and (5) letters of J. Kabelac, 1983. Hamackova visited site in 1991.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 November 2017 01:43