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[Pages 29-30]

The History of the Jews in Beroun,
Hostomice and the surrounding area
(Beraun, Hostomitz und Umgebung)

(Czech Republic – 49°58' 14°4')

Compilation by Jaroslav Polák-Rokycan, Prague

Translated from the original Czech by Jan O. Hellmann/DK

Edited in English by Rob Pearman/UK

In the Beroun region in 1921, there was a total of 290 Jews (0.8 %)[1]; in the Hořovice region, 215 were counted (0.6 %); and in all the administrative districts, the total was 505 (0.7 %). In 1910, there were 402 Jews in the entire Beroun area (1.1 %); 279 (0.7%) in the Hořovice area; and a total of 681 (0.9%). Between these two dates, the total number of Jews fell by 112 in the Beroun area and by 64 in the Hořovice area – in all, 176.

 

Former synagogue in Hostomice

 

There are religious Israelite communities as follows:
In Beroun, where Hugo Roubíček from Beroun is the mayor
In Liteň, where Bohumil Roubíček from Liteň is the mayor
In Hořovice, where the mayor is Josef Abeles from Tlustice
In Hostomice, where the mayor is Moric Novák from Hostomice.

The only rabbi is in Beroun. This is Doctor of Philosophy Moric Müller, and he also teaches the Israelite religion.

In Hořovice, a travelling rabbi (J. Flaschner from Strakonice) teaches religion.

There are synagogues in Beroun, Liteň, Hořovice and Beštín, and a prayer room in Hostomice. The synagogue in Všeradice is no longer in use. There are empty[2] synagogues in Mořina, Tetín (this was the oldest synagogue in the Beroun area), Vysoký Újezd, Lochovice (this was the oldest in the Hořovice area), and in Praskolesy.

In each Jewish community, a Chevra Kadisha takes care of the Jewish cemeteries, which are to be found in Beroun, Liteň, Mořina, Běštín, and Praskolesy. The Jewish cemetery in Liteň goes back to the year 1680.

In the past, the township of Liteň and its citizens received some privileges, one of which was the right to establish a Jewish cemetery in 1680 for the Jews from Liteň and the surrounding area. This right was granted by Kuňata Jaroslav, Count of Buben and Litice:

“I, Kuňata Jaroslav, Count of Buben and Lyttitz, Březnov, Skašov, Liteň, Srbce and Lštině, His Imperial Mercy, Councilor of the Great Court, Chamber Assessor, announce with this decree to all persons who read or hear it, that the Jew Adam Polák, living in the Manor of Liteň, together with others, namely Eliáš Gezl Lochovský, Abraham Vosovský, Wolf Zbraslavský, Jelínek Všeradický, Marek Tmáňský, Alexander Starohuťský, Jelínek Novohuťský and Marek Praskoleský, declare that they are all residents of the Brdy area[3], and that people are dying, especially in the time of the plague in the year 1680, and should this continue to happen they do not have a cemetery in which to bury their dead. They therefore applied to be assigned a plot for their burials within the Manor of Liteň.

Being moved by their supplication, I could not fail to hear their plea and decided to order my trustee Ondřej Ledvina Lochovský of this Manor to assign a plot of 1 x 2 provazec[4] as a place for burial. This plot is located above the township of Liteň on the right side of the road that leads to the pond above škrandel΄s meadow. This plot is for Adam Polák and all the other Jews that signed the petition and for their descendents. This will enable them to bury their dead both in times of plague and otherwise. This allocation is for all eternity.

 

The cemetery in Beštín (old section)

 

For this mercy and for the plot, they paid me 40 guilders[5] on the Day of St. Havel[6]. In future, they will pay 20 crowns for each body that is buried - whether a child, servant, or their own daughter or son. For adult men and housewives, they will pay me 45 crowns. Payment will always be made before the burial takes place. In the event that others[7] should be buried in the plot, then the amount to be paid is one guilder for each child and eight guilders for each adult. Should anyone be buried without the payment being made, then a penalty of 10 Meissen threescore[8] shall apply. They are free to place a fence around the allocated plot. This I confirm on my own behalf and on behalf of all of my heirs and future generations.”

In the following townships, the Jews constitute more than 2% of the total population: Tmáň 2.3%, Vysoký Újezd 2.1%, Vinařice 2.1%, čenkov 2.3%, Hostomice 2.1%.

Between 1% and 2 %: Běleč 1.8, Bykoš 1.8, Málkov 1.8, Srbsko 1.7, Svinaře 1.7, Bubovice 1.6, Jarov 1.5, Poučník 1.5, Skuhrov 1.3, Beroun 1.2, Suchomasty-Borek 1.2, Trubín 1.1, Liteň 1.0, Tlustice 1.8, Všeradice 1.7, Vižina 1.5, Hořovice 1.2 and Osov 1.2.

In the remaining townships, the Jewish population is below 1 %: Hýskov-Stará Huť, Králův Dvůr, Loděnice, Mořina, Počaply, Sv. Jan pod Skalou, Tetín, Hlásná Třebáň, Bezdědice, Běštín, Běřín, Drozdov, Chodouň, Jince, Libomyšlo, Lochovice, Nesvačily, Neumětely, Podluhy, Praskolesy, Radouš, Zdice, and Žebrák.

 

 
 
Rudolf Matzka   Leopold Bulowa   Jindrich Steindler
 
 
 
Rb. Josef Singer   Rb. B. Wedeles   Moric Novak

 

Tetín Approximately a quarter of an hour from Beroun stands Tetín – one of the oldest Czech townships. The fortress and the township date from the time of the first Přemysls[9]. According to legend, the name comes from Teta, one of the daughters of Krok, the forefather of the Czechs, and the sister of Libuše[10]. Jews have lived here from ancient times and there has also been a Jewish community here with all its institutions, i.e. with a synagogue, ritual bath, cemetery and community house, in which there has been a German religious school for a long time.

In 1872, the community was abandoned and the community house and synagogue were bought by Jan Vojáček, the Squire[11] and Member of Parliament. The inventory of the synagogue was moved to the synagogue in Beroun. Member of Parliament Vojáček did not allow the synagogue to be used for worldly purposes, and even used part of the community house for welfare, allowing a poor Jewish widow whom he supported all her life to live there until her death.

 

Footnotes
  1. The number of Jews is shown as a percentage of the total population. Return
  2. empty: it is not absolutely clear whether this means ‘derelict’ (i.e. in ruins) or still standing but ‘empty’. For certain, these synagogues are no longer in use by this time. Return
  3. Brdy: a group of hills around Beroun. Return
  4. provazec: an old Czech measure. 1 x 2 provazec is equal to 30.75 x 61.5 metres. Return
  5. guilders: or gulden – originally a golden coin. Return
  6. the Day of St Havel: each day of the year except national holidays had its own name. The original list was the Roman Catholic calendar of saints. In earlier times, a child could only be named after the day on which it was born. But today, if they keep any of this tradition at all, people tend to celebrate a name day (svátek) as a reason for a party or to give a present to a loved one. The day of Havel is 16 October. Return
  7. others: this means anyone that is not named in the list of those who signed the request. Return
  8. 10 Meissen threescore: Meissen is the town in Saxony famous for its porcelain. In those days, some towns (eg Meissen) were given the right to mint their own coins – a right which was very important in an age when no-one could be sure what a coin was worth unless it had some official entity (such as a town) behind it. Although no coinage value is indicated here, Wilhelm von Rosenberg (see Translations: Roudnice nad Labem) is said to have left a debt of ‘one million threescore of Meissen groschen’ – a thick silver coin (English: groat). Threescore equals 60. Return
  9. the time of the first Přemysls: the Přemysls (Czech: Přemyslovci) were a Bohemian royal dynasty which reigned in Bohemia and Moravia from 9th century to 1306). St Wenceslas (King Wenceslaus (c 907 – 935) - later immortalized as ‘Good King Wenceslas’ and whose name and statue adorn Wenceslas Square in Prague) was one of this dynasty. Return
  10. Teta, one of the daughters of Krok …and the sister of Libuše: According to Czech legend, Teta was one of the three daughters of the mythical Czech ruler Krok. She was a magician or priestess; Kazi was a healer; Libuše was the youngest but wisest of the three. The legend continues that Libuše founded the city of Prague and, by her marriage to Přemysl the Ploughman, began the Přemysl dynasty. Krok is supposed to have brought the Czechs to Bohemia from what is today Bulgaria (in a similar way that Moses brought the Jews out of Egypt to the Promised Land). Return
  11. Squire: gentleman, landed gentry, even a Justice of the Peace. Return

 

Links
Beroun – town information (in English): http://www.mesto-beroun.cz/en/
Student work about Jews in the Beroun area (in Czech): http://www.zmizeli-sousede.cz/pracestudentu/pisemne/prace11.htm
Some photos from the Jewish cemetery in Beroun: http://pamatky.kehilaprag.cz/hledani/beroun
Jewish cemetery in Beroun: http://www.zidovskehrbitovy.cz/index.php?id_cat=20&+new=2933
Hostomice – short history of the town (in Czech): http://www.hostomice.cz/index.php?page=historie
Liteň – short description of the town (in Czech): http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lite%C5%88
Jewish cemetery in Liteň (in Czech): http://www.atlasceska.cz/stredocesky-kraj/zidovsky-hrbitov-liten/
Synagogue in Liteň (in Czech): http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synagoga_v_Litni
Hořovice – town description (in Czech): http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho%C5%99ovice
Shoa victims from Hořovice (in Czech): http://www.mesto-horovice.eu/mesto/pamatky-a-historie/horovicti-zide/
Běštín – short history of the town (in Czech): http://www.obecbestin.cz/historie.htm
Věštín – the Jewish cemetery (in Czech): http://www.prostor-ad.cz/pruvodce/okolobrd/bestin/hrbitov.htm

 

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