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[Page 698]

The History of the Jews in Třeboň (Wittingau)

(Třeboň, Czech Republic – 49°00' 14°46')

Compiled by Jaroslav Polák–Rokycana, Prague

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

Edited in English by Dan & Rob Pearman/UK

The Jewish community in Třeboň (German ‘Wittingau’) brings together the communities in Třeboň, Suchdol upon Lužnice, Chlum, Nová Ves, České Velenice, Rapčach, Klikov and Lomnice upon Lužnice.

The following is a list of the Chairmen of the Jewish community in Třeboň:

Samuel Kreidl (1872–1891), under whose leadership the community flourished and who founded a fine synagogue;

Samuel Ornstein (1892–1895);
Michael Metzl (1896–1900), who founded the cemetery and played an important role in the administration of the community;
Mořic Schwarz (1901–1911), who worked altruistically for the interest of Jews across the country and was a bountiful supporter of the poor;
Ludvík Metzl (from 1911), who also served as recorder from 1909, with the loyal assistance of Bertold Kohn.

There was once a Jewish school in Třeboň, but this was closed down 20 years ago for reasons of nationalism[1]. The following teachers and rabbis were active at this school and also in the prayer room. (As well as the synagogue, there is also a winter prayer room in the boardroom):

Mořic Fischer, 6 years;
Mojžíš Blann, 12 years;
Josef Bloch, 3 years;
Efraim Löwy, 2 years;
Desidér Fischer, 3 years;
Vilém Presser, 4 years;
Natan Guttmann, 4 years.

Since 1919, the Jewish community has not had the financial means to hire its own rabbi because of a reduced revenue from the religious tax[2].

Until 1894 the Jewish records were kept at the local rectory[3]; since 1894 the Jewish community has its own records. There are no older documents in the archive of the Jewish community that could be used for a description of the community's history. Ph.Dr. Markus, the archivist of the landowner, Adolf Schwarzenberg, is preparing to publish a large scholarly thesis based on the still–to–be–investigated local archive[4].

The decline of the Třeboň Jewish community is witnessed by the fact that in 1910 there were 63 Jews here, while in 1921 there were just 29 Jews, mainly of Czech nationality.

Footnotes

  1. As is recorded in several other chapters from Hugo Gold's book, there was frequently a tug–of–war between those who favored teaching in German and those who wanted it to be in Czech. Some schools were converted from ‘private’ into ‘state’ schools. It was determined by a decree of Josef II, Holy Roman Emperor and ruler of the Hapsburg lands from 1780–1790, that all Jewish schools had to use the German language. With increasing nationalism and ‘enlightenment’ at the end of the 19th century, the Czech language was becoming more prevalent. Jewish schools taught in German and were often closed for this reason. Return
  2. The religious tax was a tax paid to the Jewish community which provided funds to pay for the upkeep of the synagogue, cemetery, rabbi etc. Return
  3. It was traditional for Jewish records to be kept by the local church and therefore stored in the rectory, as the church acted as the official custodian of all births, marriages and deaths. Return
  4. It is not known whether this scholarly work was ever published. In view of the imminence of the Nazi occupation and destruction of so many communities, it may have been lost or blocked. Return

 

Useful Links

Short history of Třeboň in Czech
http://www.mesto–trebon.cz/cz/historie–mesta–a–pamatky/historie.html

Description of synagogue in Třeboň in Czech
http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synagoga_v_T%C5%99eboni

Short description of Jewish cemetery in Třeboň in Czech
http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%BDidovsk%C3%BD_h%C5%99bitov_v_T%C5%99eboni

Pictures from the Jewish cemetery in Třeboň in English
http://www.tripadvisor.dk/Attraction_Review–g277812–d2651579–Reviews–Jewish_Cemetery–Trebon_South_Bohemian_Region_Bohemia.html

Photos


Ludvík Metzl
 

Mořic Schwarz
 

Michael Metzl
 

Synagogue exterior
 

Synagogue interior
 

Bertold Kohn

 

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