CURRENT CZECH NAME: Všeruby
the Všeruby mountain pass, sometimes also called Kdyně pass, one kilometre
away from the Bavarian border.
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Long time ago, the little town of Všeruby (Neumark) was founded close by
the Všeruby mountain pass, sometimes also called Kdyně pass, one kilometre
away from the Bavarian border. Today1
it is a German town with a Czech minority of about 80 people. However,
before the thirty-year war the town was predominantly Czech, as were the
villages of Hájek, Brůdek and Studánky. During the thirty-year war the
Czech inhabitants were killed and soon after the area was settled by Germans
from neighbouring Bavaria, who have been there ever since.
The Všeruby pass was always a busy place, as it was the only route for
deputations to take on their way to Regensburg and Mainz when Bohemia belonged
to this bishopric. Czech nobility related to the noble family of Bogna
(who resided in the Burgstall am Hochbogn near the Czech border) also used
So it was at this crossing to Bavaria that sometime before 1382 a small
settlement Všeruby, later called Neurck vor dem Walde, or also Zum Böhmischen
Weyer (because of a big pond in the middle of the village) was founded.
František Palacký (a Czech historian of the 19th century) called the village
Nový trh (Newmarket).
On August 14th, 1040 the village of Brůdek saw a battle between the Bohemian
Duke Břetislav I and German Emperor Heinrich, which was won by the Bohemian
Duke. Palacký mentions in his book that the main German army proceeded
along the river Kouba through Osí (Eschelkamm) and Nový Trh (Všeruby) towards
Kdyně. His account describes the current locations at the time of writing
so it is not quite clear whether these villages were actually already there
in the 11th century.
However, Všeruby did exist in 1382, as in that year Všeruby, Brůdek and
Hájek jointly renovated the St. Wenceslas chapel commemorating the Brůdek
battle and expanded it.
In 1467 Všeruby and its surrounds suffered from the invasions of Bavarian
crusaders, which was repeated again in 1468.
In 1581 Všeruby were allocated to Jan Vilém of Rýzmberk, during the division
of Rýzmberk castle property. In 1586 Všeruby was bought by Jan of Videršperk,
but in 1626 the town was transferred to the property of the Kotz family
of Dobrš. This noble family had existed in Bohemia since 1377. The founder
of the family was Přibík Kocík of Dobrš, which is near Vimperk. In 1479
the family split into several branches. Its second one, the Bystřice branch,
is of particular importance to us, as their heirs became owners of Všeruby.
Diviš Jindřich Kotz of Dobrš was in the service of Emperor Ferdinand II,
who promoted him to the noble state and then in 1634 made him a duke.
Diviš’s second son Jan Václav
Kotz of Dobrš was married to Salomena of Příchovice and Všeruby belonged
to his estate.
In 1650 he sold Všeruby, joined the army and in 1652 he died. His brother
Maximilián Jiří bought Všeruby, but in 1656 died without heirs. He willed
Všeruby to his brother Diviš Albrecht, who died as the last member of the
Bystřice branch in 1665. After his death Všeruby estate was transferred
to Václav Vojtěch Kotz of Dobrš, from the Ohrazenice branch of the family.
In 1676 Všeruby was bought by Wolf Maximilán Lamingen of Albenreuth and
combined with the Kout estate. There it remained till the coup when it
Všeruby stayed part of the Lamingen estate till Lamingen’s death. His widow,
Polyxena of Lobkovice, sold the estate in 1697 to Baron Jindřich Stadion
of Wurtburg, whose family held it till 1908, when their last heir died.
It is only in the 17th century when we first hear about the Jewish settlement
on the estate.
In 1714 a so-called Judereduktions Kommission was established. Its purpose
was to control and limit Jewish population in Bohemia.
For that purpose a census of
all Jews had to be carried out on all estates. On October 12, 1720 according
to the Amstrelationen in Kout, the top administrator of the Kout estate
wrote to Baron Stadion in Baden: “A son of a Všeruby Jew came to see me
and without further ado asked me to give him permission to marry. The wedding
was scheduled for October 12, 1720. He also added that it is customary
in most of the Bohemian kingdom for the administrators and landowners of
the estates to be guests at the weddings. He expected me and my staff to
come to the wedding. I told him that he couldn't marry and settle on the
estate without your previous permission. I forbade him to settle on the
estate and gave him a copy of a letter for the town council in Všeruby
with your stamp“. The administrator then continues and asks the Baron for
further instructions how to proceed.
After his unpleasant and unsuccessful meeting with the Kout administrator,
the Všeruby Jew, whose name is not specified, went to complain at the Regional
office in Klatovy. From a subsequent letter of the Kout administrator it
is clear that he was not successful in his complaint and that he left for
the neighbouring estate of Bystřice.
At the beginning of the 18th century there were six Jewish families living
in Všeruby. The Jewish census of 1722 determined
that at least one Jewish family had been living in Všeruby for more than
100 years. Other families had been living there for around 30 years.
on the link to read the Census
However, in 1722 the landowners instructed the town council to try to buy
Abraham Markus out and settle the house by a Christian. They also encouraged
the town council to settle Všeruby with Christians, not Jews, in future.
The landowner probably intended to sell the house but was not successful,
according to a record: “Abraham bought the house dilapidated from a person
deep in debt. The owner of the house kept the fields and built himself
another house. Abraham had to pay him, on top of the selling price, additional
10 guilders and 50 logs of wood. We cannot find anyone who would be willing
to pay even half of the asking price. The house is too big for a merchant,
and it is not suitable for an inn, as there is no yard or stables. Abraham
originally owned another house in Kout, and another house was sold to a
Christian in Všeruby. Therefore the number of Jews will not be increased.
Abraham’s ancestors have lived in Všeruby for over 100 years.“
In 1736 a new regulation stipulated that the number of Jews should be kept
constant and every attempt should be made to lower their numbers.
An important decision by the
Czech Council in 1650 stipulated that only Jews who had been living in
Bohemia before 1620 were allowed to stay. This decision badly affected
the Jews and therefore they tried to gather evidence that they had been
living in Všeruby for a long time, so that they can use it as arguments
against their enemy, the head administrator of the Kout estate. For this
purpose the Všeruby Jews approached the town council who gave them a letter
confirming that they had been living in Všeruby since time immortal. This
happened without the knowledge of the Kout administration. With this letter
Jews applied directly to Gubernatorial office in Prague for the permission
to stay in Všeruby, based on the 1650 ruling. The Gubernatorial office
forwarded their application to the Regional office in Klatovy who gave
the Jews the right to stay in Všeruby. When the Kout administrator learned
of this development, he was furious. He went to Všeruby, deposed the mayor
and coerced the rest of the town council to revoke their permission and
sent it off to Klatovy.
He was not very successful, because in 1723 an imperial edict of Karel
VI granted Jews some relief and allowed them to participate in his coronation
On March 12, 1726 the Kout administrator wrote to Baron Stadion indicating
that he succeeded in selling a Jewish house to a Christian for 100 guilders
and evicting the Jews. The Jews appealed the eviction at the Regional office
in Klatovy and were successful. The administrator went to Pilsen to seek
support for his actions shortly afterwards. From his conversation with
the Regional director he understood that he did not have the support of
the Regional office. He was told not to take any actions against the Jews,
at least not till a decision was reached in Prague, which might mean new
taxation regulations for the Jews.
In 1727 Abraham Markus’s widow moved from Kout to Všeruby. In 1736 the
same six families who were there in 1722, still lived there. This shows
that despite the persecution they persevered.
A 1760 document indicates that there were Jewish grain merchants in Všeruby.
At that time the wars of Marie Therese and Prussian king Frederick II over
Silesia were raging. The population had to supply the armies with staples,
mainly grain and fodder.
On January 5, 1760 the Kout
estate was ordered to provide four sheaves of oats and 26 pounds of flour
for each person living on the estate. The Kout landowner was unable to
supply so much so quickly and he had to ask the Jewish grain merchant in
Všeruby for help. The Jewish merchant promised to supply everything in
three weeks and on top of the order promised an additional 10 tonnes of
hay. This shows that when in need even the Jew can be asked for help.
Part of this shipment was delivered to Lovosice, and part directly to the
army at Horšovský Týn. After that the situation at Kout estate calmed down
and the Jews were not persecuted as much as before.
As a result, in 1815 there were so many Jews in Všeruby that the landowners
had to build a school for them. The former prayer house was selected as
the location. This is where the synagogue is at present. The prayer house
was a two-story building. It was a wooden building and by 1815 the wood
was mostly rotten. The building had to be totally renovated and was then
used as the school and prayer room.
The landowners provided the wood for free; the Jewish community supplied
the rest. However, the landowners ordered that the building would be in
their ownership and that their crest must be displayed on the building
at the second floor level. The Jewish community was then required to pay
rent of 25 guilders annually. The teacher, who lived in the building, was
not allowed to have boarders at his apartment. In case the building ceased
to serve as school and prayer room, the landowners would be at liberty
to take the building back and use it as they wished.
regulations meant that new Jewish records had to be gathered. According
to these records, Všeruby and Trhanov (Neumark and Chodenschloss) were
in the same jurisdiction. (Click
here to see the list of Všeruby
Jewish families in 1837)
were supervised by the Catholic priests. In 1855 they were signed by Rector
Alois Jiří Marx and in 1856 by the well-known Dean of Domažlice (Taus)
here to see the list of Všeruby
Jewish families in the 1860s )
In 1877 Všeruby’s Judaic religion teacher was Abraham Bloch. In 1887 the
teacher was Ullmann, in 1888 Bloch and in 1890 Lustick. It is worth mentioning
the financial contribution the teachers received from the Kout estate:
in 1846 it was 12 guilders, in 1850 11 guilders, in 1855 10.20 guilders,
and after the regulation in 1855 after 1860 only 9.38 guilders. Between
1890 and 1896 the teacher was Adolf Löwy, 1897-1904 Bernard Österreicher,
in 1907 Bondy.
In 1871 the teacher’s salary was 210 guilders. The following citizens contributed
to the salary: M.B. Klauber 40 guilders, Jan Klauber 38 guilders, Heřman
Fleischl 32.40 guilders, Moric Kohner 27 guilders, Eliáš Kohner 21.60 guilders,
Hutter’s heirs 19 guilders, Marek Klauber 17 guilders and David Klauber
15 guilders. The contributions were collected monthly, in instalments ranging
from 3.18 to 1.25 guilders.
In the same year Ignác A. Lederer was Všeruby’s private religion teacher.
The local school board complained about him teaching children privately,
which law # 9175 of February 9, 1871 prohibited and they demanded that
he be prevented from continuing to teach.
Between 1836 and 1893, 136 Jewish children were
born in Všeruby and their births recorded in the birth records. At the
same time 82 deaths were recorded. The deceased were buried in cemeteries
in Nýrsko, Janovice, Ronšperk, and after 1842 at the newly established
cemetery in Loučim.
There were 21 recorded marriages
in Všeruby and Trhanov during the same period. (Click
here for a list of Jewish
families living in Trhanov at
The proof of just how difficult life was for the Jews is shown in a marriage
contract dated 1848. This document was kindly lent to me by Gustav Hoitasch,
a merchant from Všeruby. I quote from the document: “This is the Agreement
to Marry dated April 10, 1848, number 235. Addressed to Mr. Josef Löwenthal,
son of Antonín Löwenthal from Loučím. Based on the Gubernatorial Edict
of December 10, 1847 number 74.519 and the royal regulation 3332 of March
20, 1848. Permission is hereby given to Josef Löwenthal, first-born son
of Antonín Löwenthal, the owner of Běhařovice farm, to marry (Ehehimmel)
Marie Perelesová, daughter of the Jew Leopold Pereles of Trhanov, who is
protected by the Kout estate. It is required, as a condition of the permission,
that the groom provides 70 guilders and collects another 230 guilders from
the bride’s family (total of 300 guilders). This sum will be paid and the
following three years taxes on this amount will also be collected. This
is delivered to the supplicant. Signed by the mayor of Běhařovice, sealed
with Běhařovice seal, which contains the Hohenzollern family seal.”
This document shows how difficult it was to
obtain the marriage permission and how much money was required to receive
the permission. This is why we often find records of Jewish children born
out of wedlock. In reality they were children born to Jewish parents who
could not afford to buy the marriage permission but were married according
to Jewish law.
(Click here for a list of families
living in Všeruby after 1890)
In 1930 there were only four Jewish families left in Všeruby. They were
the families of Gustav Hoitasch, a merchant from number 7, with four family
members, Jindřich Lederer, a merchant, with four family members, the Schwarz
family with three members and Hutter family with three members. Today there
are only fourteen Jewish souls living in Všeruby.
The older people report that the Jews in Všeruby were mainly wholesale
merchants, dealing in feathers, wool, game and other articles.
The following people fought
in the Great War: Dr. Siegfried Hoitasch as a battalion doctor for four
years, merchant Gustav Hoitasch for three and half years, Max Pollak three
years and Jindřich Lederer for approximately a year and a half.
The Jewish merchants were particularly influential in developing the feather
trade. This trade was carried out mainly in Nýrsko, Dlažov and Všeruby.
Annually around 1000 metric tonnes were produced and shipped to Germany,
Switzerland, Holland and France. Older people report that this trade has
had at least hundred years tradition in the region. The wholesale merchants
bought the feathers, stored it in warehouses, sorted it and then sold to
individual merchants or travelling salesmen. Bigger cities in Europe, such
as Hamburg, Kassel, Berlin, Frankfurt am M., Munich, Koblenz and Köln,
had resident merchants from this area who sold the goods.
Geese were another profitable trade item. In the fall, large numbers of
geese were herded into Bavaria and shipped to Munich.
Also profitable was the trade in game. Game, pheasants, hares and partridges
were being bought in the Všeruby area and shipped to Bavaria, Saxony and
to other countries. The business was particularly good during a hard winter,
as the goods did not spoil.
The Všeruby Jews were also instrumental in providing means of living to
local villagers by commissioning the production of matchboxes. These days
matchboxes are made in factories but then families in at least ten villages
around Všeruby were producing matchboxes at home. The production was organized
specifically by Mr. Hoitasch and Mrs. Klauberová, who established an entire
business in the area. The production was simple (we are talking about the
old fashioned matchboxes for matches with phosphorus heads, which are not
being manufactured any more). Boiled wood was planed into thin slices;
rectangles were cut and glued together with cheese and quicklime glue,
and then let to dry in a wooden fork. The lids were cut with a sharp knife
and then glued onto boxes. In one minute, an experienced worker could glue
together 100 boxes. The pay was 50 kreutzers for thousand boxes. One family
could make between two and three thousand boxes a day. In a year, the ten
villages produced over 30 million boxes, which brought almost 15 thousand
guilders to the residents.
The Všeruby Jews were also instrumental in Kdyně cattle fairs, which used
to be very well known in the district. The cattle were brought here from
all over the district and then sold in huge numbers to Bavaria, Saxony,
Würtenberg, and even across the border to France. There were a lot of Jewish
cattle merchants in Všeruby and Kdyně.
NOTABLE RESIDENTS AND DESCENDANTS:
First of all we have to mention Jiří Leopold Weisel. He is one of the oldest
writers from our district. Weisel was born in 1804 in Přeštice and his
original name was Jachim Löbl Weisel. His father's name was Šimon Weisel;
his mother was Marie, née Haberkornová. His father was a travelling cloth
salesman. Weisel spent his youth in Přeštice. Later he moved to Prague
to study. At that time he lived in the Prague Jewish Ghetto, which he liked
very much and was inspired by it in his later works.
Weisel did not publish his works in their entirety; rather he published
them in calendars or magazines. This meant that he receded into oblivion
soon. Only later Josef Blau from Nýrsko published Weisel's biography and
Weisel's work in Beiträge zur sudetendeutschen Volkskunde, volume XVII.
That book is the source for this account of Weisel's life. In 1926 it was
published under the name Georg Leopold Weisel, Aus dem Neumarker Landestor.
Weisel's life can be divided into two main parts -- his first 36 years
during which he was a relative unknown and the next 36 years, when he worked
as a doctor and obstetrician in Všeruby. Here he met Anna, the daughter
of customs official Karel Pavlovský, and fell in love with her. He took
a big step, quite unheard of at that time, and converted to the Catholic
faith to please his bride. He was baptized on November 27, 1843 in the
St. Anne church in Tannaberg by Vicar Jan Faster. Following that he used
the name Jiří Leopold Weisel.
His first works appeared in
1836. In that year he published a novella My First Practice in "Bohemia"
journal. Collected works Panorama des Universum contain his Stories of
Prague Jews. He also contributed to Pascheles's Sippurim between 1846 and
1858 and published Jewish Stories, Fairy Tales and Chronicles. In 1844
he published Schnorrer or Jewish Peddlars, and in 1845 Jezibot or Jewish
University. In 1850 he published a bigger work How Do the Prague Jews Live?
Here he describes Jewish merchants, tradesmen, liberal artists, scientists,
servants, bureaucrats and the work of various charitable institutions,
inns and public kitchens.
His works often touch on the topic of love between a Jew and a Christian.
In the legend Rabbi Ammen Weisel puts a terrible curse on a convert, even
though he was one such himself. In his works Graveyards and Loisa's Cure
he voices his disagreement with a marriage between a Jew and a Christian.
It is therefore safe to conclude that he probably was not very happy in
his own marriage. In 1850 a daughter Marie Magdalena was born, later two
more children Anna and Karel.
His manuscripts revealed other works, not previously published. These include
Rabbi Jontev Purim, a 1844 article Suspicion, and Yayin Kiddush (or False
Accusation) in 1858, where Weisel describes a ritual murder. Despite the
fact that he had been baptized, Weisel remained faithful to the faith of
As a medical doctor Weisel was widely known and respected. He was often
called to Bavaria, although he was not allowed to go there. Weisel found
life in blinkered Všeruby difficult and stifling.
In 1848 the Czech writer Božena Němcová arrived in Všeruby. She moved into
the house next to Weisel's and they became acquainted. Němcová strongly
influenced his political and literary progress. Weisel was however jealous
of Němcová's literary successes and openly criticized her. Němcová introduced
Weisel to the Choden people and their struggles. In 1848 Weisel wrote the
Choden Process, published in Volume XV of Panorama. In 1873 he published
excerpts from the Choden Process in Politika under the title Forgotten
Tales. This, his last work, inspired Alois Jirásek to write his well-known
The stormy year of 1848 revealed Weisel as an ardent supporter of freedom
of nations. While Němcová's husband was active in the anti-dynastic movement,
Weisel was more active educationally. He wrote numerous articles for the
papers and educated people on various topical issues. He also wrote about
his medical experiences, about smugglers and about poachers in the area.
It is interesting to note that when the first railway in our district was
being built from Prague to Domažlice, Weisel was against it and predicted
it would be short-lived. During the war of France and Germany in 1870-71
he sided with the Germans but warned them that one day soon they too will
get their just desserts for their pride.
Weisel was acquainted with the writers Josef Randa, Max Schmidt and Hippolyt
Randa. The latter described Weisel as a prolific and talented writer. Alois
Jirásek also spoke favourably about Weisel, as did Jindřich Šimon Baar.
Weisel's works contain an educational aspect. He urges people to be moral,
speaks against superstitions, and while describing customs of both Czechs
and Germans, he views them both equally. Weisel did not look for company.
He was a loner and remained loyal to his principles for his entire life.
He died on March 31, 1873, of
the first illness that ever struck him. He was being cared for by his relative,
Dr. Josef Weisl from Kdyně. Weisel was 69 years old when he died.
At times he wrote under pseudonyms -- Lesiv, W….l, G.L.W., M.B.K., Asmodi
The other well-known Jew from Všeruby was Ing. Antonín Rudolf Fleischl,
a building inspector. He was born in 1862 in Všeruby, studied in Pilsen,
and later continued at the German Technical Institute in Prague, where
he earned an engineering degree. He founded a building company in Lvov,
where he built military barracks, military laundry, as well as other important
government buildings. He died on April 8, 1821 in Vienna, and is buried
at the central cemetery there.
On July 10, 1852 a huge fire in Všeruby destroyed the Catholic church,
rectory, the school, and 34 houses. Also destroyed were the Jewish prayer
house and school. The Všeruby birth, marriage and death records were also
destroyed. After that the Jewish community worked hard on building
a new synagogue.
The chairman of the Jewish community at that time was M.B. Klauber. New
stock certificates valued at ten guilders were issued and thus financed
the new building. The certificates were printed in a nice frame and the
text said: “The undersigned chairman of the community guarantees the full
repayment of the stock to the bearer one month after each draw. Between
1870 and 1890 five stocks will be drawn each year. Signed by the chairman”.
The Jewish community solicited funds for the renovations everywhere. The
assistance came from all over the country. Tagesbote aus Böhmen on September
18, 1868 reported the following contributions: 3 guilders from Nahošice,
11 guilders from Česká Lípa, 6 guilders from Jičín, 12 guilders from Lochovice,
3 guilders from Kundratice, 10 guilders from Nový Bydžov, 10 guilders from
Světlá, 15 guilders from Drosau, 4 guilders from Míškovec, 10 guilders
from Pilsen, 17 guilders from Humpolec, 6 kreutzers from Vodnany, and 5
guilders from Metzling. Individuals also contributed generously. Baron
A. Rothschild from Frankfurt am Main contributed 100 guilders, Neuburg
Eckstein from Nahošice 2 guilders, Ludvík Kohner from Pest 3 guilders,
Jindřich Kohner from Pest 150 guilders, heirs of Adolf Kohner from Pest
50 guilders, Jindřich Kohner’s son-in-law from Pest 20 guilders, J.M. Janowitzer
from Vienna 10 guilders, Albert Janowitzer from Vienna 10 guilders, Löwith
3 guilders, Jakub Janovský from Brno 3 guilders, Pereles and Pollak from
Prague 30 guilders, David Fleischl from Pest 20 guilders, Moric Kohner
from Leipzig 60 tollars, Marie Klaubrová from Domažlice 2 guilders, Fürst
brothers from Strakonice 40 guilders, Ferdinand Kohn from Pilsen 2 guilders,
Leopold Engelmann 2 ducats, Leopold Janovský from Prague one ducat, Berta
and Žofie Pollak 20 guilders, Karolina Klaubrová from Všeruby 10 guilders.
Others contributed in kind: Bedřich Stadion from Kout donated 5000 bricks,
farmer Ondřej Riederer from Ploes two truckloads of wood and planks, Mr.
and Mrs. Pollak from Prague donated eight gold-plated candlesticks, Terezie
Thiebenová from Domažlice donated two candlesticks, Sara Fleischlová from
Leipzig donated the Torah screen and cover, and Marie Schwartzkopfová from
Sušice donated another Torah cover.
The synagogue was built by Vilém Klauber, a building engineer from Vienna,
Lemberger, a sculptor from Všeruby, V. Wimmer, an artist/painter from Domažlice,
Weber, a carpenter from Všeruby and Braun, the master brick layer from
The following were present at the ceremonial opening of the synagogue:
Regional chief from Domažlice Mr. Fileky, Catholic priests from Všeruby,
officials from the Bavarian and Austrian financial guards, customs officials,
fire fighters from Všeruby and area, townsfolk of Všeruby and residents
of surrounding villages. Today, after 60 years, the synagogue stands abandoned.
CEMETERIES: The deceased were
buried in cemeteries in Nýrsko, Janovice, Ronšperk, and after 1842 at the
newly established cemetery in Loučim.
SOURCES: History of Jews in
Všeruby (Neumark), by František Houra, director in Kdyně.
From Die Juden und Judengemeinden Böhmens in Vergangheit und Gegenwart.
Publ. Hugo Gold, 1934. Translated by Rita McLeod.
Josef Blau: Georg Leopold
Weisel, Aus dem Neumarker Landestor.
Emil Tšída: Jews in the Kout
Volume XV, p. 481
Notes of Mr. Gustav Hoitasch
Všeruby and Trhanov Registries
of Births, Marriages and Deaths
Vaněk-Hostaš. List of sites
in the Domažlice region
SUBMITTER: Vera Finberg
This article was written and published in 1934. (Back
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