Austria - Czech



OTHER NAMES/SPELLINGS:  Ostroh Uhersky, Uhersky Ostroh, Ungarisch-Ostra, Ungarisch-Ostroh

LOCATION:  Ostroh is a small town in Moravia, located at 48.59 longitude and 17.23 latitude, 75 km E of Brno, 9 km ENE of Bzenec (seeMap - by Mapquest, then click on your browser's "Back" button to return to this page).

HISTORY:  The earliest known Jewish community in this town dates from 1592.  In 1635 there were 22 Jewish houses.  In 1671 there were 16 Jewish houses with more than 30 Jewish families, including Isak Schulklopper, Salamon Lateiner, Israel Isak, Mandl, Salamon Chaska, Benesch, Friedrich Kojeteiner, Schmidl, Jekl Fleischhacker, Salamon Mojses, Rabiner, Mojses Stanjetz, Jakob Gutman, Israel Strimpfstricker, and Loebl Isak.  From 1798-1848 there were 89 Jewish families.  In 1848 the community numbered 478 members, but dropped to 220 after the First World War.  The Jewish population was 70 in 1930.  The present town population is 5,000 - 25,000 with fewer than 10 Jews.
                      Noteworthy historical events involving or affecting the Jewish community were the separation of a Jewish quarter in 1727 and the existence of a self-standing political community from 1890-1920.  The old Jewish cemetery was established in 17th century, with the last known Jewish burial in 1862.  The Jewish congregation was Conservative. 

GENEALOGICAL RESOURCES:  Birth, Death and Marriage record books for Ostroh may be located at the Czech State Archives in Prague, Statni istredni archiv, tr. Milady Horokove 133, CZ-166 21 Praha 6, Czech Republic, tel/fax: +42 (2) 333-20274.  Search JewishGen/Internet resources for Ostroh

                     According to the entry in the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Cemetery Project database, Chaim Weizmann, president of the State of Israel, once lived in Ostroh. 
                     The following rabbis worked in Ostroh: Salomo Mose (1592); David b. Samuel Halevy (1659); Mose b. Hakadosch Elchanan from Fuerth (1655); Jesaja b. Sabatai Scheftel (1659); Joel b. Samuel from Krakau (1668); Mhrr Pinchas (after 1700); Mhrr Salomo (before 1719); Kolonimos b. mhrr Baruch (from 1720); Loeb Steiniz (d. 1760); Mhrr Pinchas b. mhrr Aaron (1766); Jakob Hirsch b. Mose Loeb (Biach) Feilbogen (1790-1853); Mose Loeb b. mhrr JA ha-Kohen Mueller (d. 1853); Dr. Joel Mueller; Dr. S. Wolfsohn; (1876-1878); Dr. Israel Taglicht (1883-1893); Dr. Emanuel Lenke; Dr. D. Herzog (1897-1900); Dr. Simon Friedmann; Dr. Michael Halberstamm (from 1919). 
                     Other notables include: Mordechai b. Schalom (community elder and author of the statutes of the chevra kadisha in 1650); Schalom b. Jecheskel (landowner 1668); Mandl Salamon Steinitzer (land deputy 1732); Michl b. R. Sch. David (judge); Mose Singer (judge 1835); Mandl Duschak (judge 1858); Loeb Winter (judge 1860); Jesajas Braun (judge 1864); Sal. Kihn (judge 1876); Salamon Winter (judge 1880-1888); Jonatan Lamberg (judge); Max Kihn (judge 1898); Dr. Eduard Stern (judge 1902); Jehuda Diamand (judge 1903); Sigmund Klein (judge 1909); Loeb Nussbaum; Samuel Kornblueh; Sal. Sommer; Jakob Hahn; Jakob Strauss; Jechiel Gruenbaum. 
                     Rabbi Dr. Moritz Grünwald was born 29 March 1853 in Ostroh.  He studied at the Universities of Vienna and Leipzig.  He founded the Jüdische Centralblatt in Belovar.  In 1883 he became rabbi of Pisek and later Jungbunzlau.  He was the chief rabbi of Sofia from 1893 until his death in London on 10 June 1895.
                     The great-great- grandson of Amalie Reif (b. Ostroh), E. Randol Schoenberg, is a frequent contributor to Jewishgen's Austria-Czech SIG and the submitter of this page.
                     Tom Beer has submitted an interesting story about his great-grandfather, Adolf Beer (b. Ostroh).


CEMETERIES: There are two Jewish cemeteries in Ostroh.  The older cemetery location is urban, on flat land, separate but near other cemeteries, and not identified by any sign or marker.  It is reached by turning directly off a public road.  It is open to all.  The cemetery is surrounded by no wall or fence and there is no gate.  The approximate size of cemetery before WWII and now is 0.1277 hectares.  The cemetery contains no special memorial monuments. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. Within the limits of the cemetery there are no structures.  The municipality is the present owner of the cemetery property, which is now utilized for recreation (park, playground, sports field).  Adjacent properties are commercial or industrial.  The cemetery boundaries have not changed since 1939.  Private visitors come rarely to the cemetery.   The cemetery was vandalized during World War II and between 1945 and 1981.  No maintenance has been done.  Now there is occasional clearing or cleaning by authorities. There is a slight threat posed by pollution and proposed nearby development. 
                         The new cemetery is located at 1.5 km to the E, Veselska-Str.  This Jewish cemetery was established in 1862.  The last known Jewish burials were in the 1950s and 1960s.  The cemetery location is urban, on flat land, separate, but near other cemeteries, and not identified by any sign or marker.  It is reached by crossing the public property of the town cemetery.  It is open to all.  A continuous masonry wall surrounds the cemetery.  There is a gate that does not lock.   The approximate size of the cemetery is now 0.2777 hectares; before WWII it was about 0.47 hectares.  There are 100-500 stones.  The cemetery has no special sections.   The tombstones and memorial markers are made of marble, granite and sandstone.  The tombstones vary among flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration and obelisks.  The cemetery has tombstones with bronze decorations or lettering and metal fences around graves.  Inscriptions on tombstones are in Hebrew, German and Czech.  The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims.  There are no known mass graves. Within the limits of the cemetery are no structures.   The present owner of the cemetery property is the local Jewish community of Brno.   The adjacent properties are other cemeteries.  The current Jewish cemetery boundaries are smaller now than in 1939 because of the town cemetery.  Private visitors come occasionally to the cemetery.  The cemetery has been vandalized occasionally, mostly between 1981-91.  No maintenance has been done.  Local/municipal authorities and Jewish groups from within the country did restoration work, finally completed in 1991.  Now there is occasional clearing or cleaning by authorities. There is a moderate threat posed by pollution, vegetation and vandalism; and slight threats are posed by uncontrolled access, weather erosion, and existing and proposed nearby development.
                        These surveys were completed on 1.3.1992 by Ing. Arch. Jaroslav Klenovsky, Zebetinska 13, 623 00 Brno. 



CONTACTS:  Town officials: Magistrate Jiri Chmelar, Mestsky urad Hradistska 305, 687 24 uhersky Ostroh, tel. 0632/91116. Regional officials: PhDr. Jana Spathova, Okresni urad, Referat Kultury, 686 01 Uherske Hradiste, tel. 0632/432. Interested parties: Slovacke muzeum, dir. PhDr. Ivo Frolec, Smetanovy sady, 686 01 Uherske Hradiste, tel. 0632/2262. Other sources: Bohumil Gelbkopf, Rybare 198, 687 24 Uhersky Ostroh, Tel. 0. 

SOURCES:  Gedenkbuch der Untergegangenen Judengemeinden Mährens, Hugo Gold ed. (1974), pp.. 116-117; Die Juden und JudengemeindenMährens in Vergangenheit unde Gegenwart, Hugo Gold ed. (1929), pp: 563-570 (pictures); Jiri Fiedler, Jewish Sights of Bohemia and Moravia (1991), pp. 53-54; International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Cemetery Project, Czech Republic, Ostroh

SUBMITTER:   E. Randol Schoenberg, 3436 Mandeville Canyon Road, Los Angeles, California 90049-1020 USA.  Tel: 1-310-472-3122 (h), 1-213-473-2045 (w).  Fax: 1-213-473-2222.  Email:  Web Page:

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