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[Pages 274-276]

The History of the Jews in Koloveč and in the Surrounding Area

(Czech Republic – 49°29' 13°07')

by Director Fratišek Houra, Kdyně

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

Edited in English by Rob Pearman/UK

Koloveč is a small and ancient South Bohemian town in the Šumava National Park in the district of Domažlice. It was probably originally the property of the Bishop of Prague. At the end of the 12th century, the Bishop (who was also Duke Jindřich /Heinric) gave the estate at Koloveč to the monastery at Doxany, which held it until the beginning of the 15th century. In the register of the monastery, Koloveč is described as a small 'township' and is mentioned there as early as 1226. In 1336, Koloveč was taken over by Jaroslav from Skotče.

In 1420, Koloveč came into secular ownership and a fortified defensive stronghold in the village was home to an appointed official. This stronghold was located at the place where the town church stands today. As recently as the beginning of 19th century, it was still possible to see its arches and moat.

In this stronghold lived Nevlas from Kněžice and Pavel from Vartenberg. Later it was occupied by Linhar from Gutenstein and, in 1488, by Dobeš from Týnec.

In 1491, Koloveč was in the possession of Jan from Roupov, who also had a castle at Roupov. When the estate of Roupov was divided, Koloveč became the property of the brothers Jan and Hynek from Roupov. In 1580, Jindřich the Edler Žákavec from Žákave bought one half of the manor. Then in 1589, he bought the second half, together with the villages of Srbice, Těšovice, Zichov and Močerady. All the villages were united with Srbice into one single estate.

After the Žákavečes, Koloveč became the property of the Counts Bubnové, and from 1711 it was owned by the Counts Černín from Chudenice.

In 1729, Koloveč was destroyed by fire, and in this fire the township's statutes were also destroyed.

Before the Battle of White Mountain on 8 November 1620 near Prague, the church in Koloveč was Protestant. In 1571, the pastor Václav Trumbola from Týnec wrote that it 'would be better if the churches in Kdyně, Úboč, Přimda and Koloveč had been removed from the hands of heretics in order to avoid this evil'.

In 1652, the clerical administration was transferred to Koloveč and the township, together with the villages of Úboč and Lštění, were administered by one priest as there was a shortage of priests and of inhabitants.

The later Counts of Roupov did not live in the stronghold at Koloveč, as it had already been destroyed by that time. They lived in the castle at Roupov. The Žákaveces and Bubens had a fine renaissance castle in Srbice, where they lived until 1711.

In 1652, there is mention of one school in Koloveč with one class. The municipality of Koloveč did not have the right to use capital punishment, although the register of 1713 describes a place where the gallows stood. In the south of the town was a place for the burning of female witches.

The name of Koloveč apparently derives from buildings on poles (kůl) as the area contains a lot of marshland and bogs. This term is also found today in local names such as Bahenka, Behenky and Záblatí (synonyms of marsh or moors)

The coat of arms of Koloveč is a golden wheel with 6 spikes in a blue field.

In 1890, Koloveč had 206 houses and 1,337 citizens of Czech nationality. According to the census of 1930, it had 1,319 citizens and 261 houses.

The first evidence of Jews in Koloveč is from approximately 1800. According to church records, the Jew Salomon Schwarzkopf together with his wife Anna, the daughter of Michal Ofner from Kanice, lived there under the protection of the Manor of Bystřice Their first child Josef was born in the year 1800. They had further children: Abraham, Jacob, Marie, Ester, Samuel, Ezekial, Lenora, Elisabeth and Heřman. The witnesses at circumcision were Izak Hutter from Kanice, Izak Mandelbaum from Chudenice, Samson Roth from Osvračin, and Volf Hutter from Kanice. The circumcision was carried out by Josef Bacharach from Osvračin.

In the year 1830, the family of Josef Schwarz, son of Salomon Schwarz and married to Rose, the daughter of Abraham Hutter from Hradiště, lived in Koloveč. Their children were: Anna, Abraham, Volf and Izak, the first one being born in 1821 and the last in 1838. Circumcision in this family was carried out by Izak Lövy from Nahošice.

Around 1850, the slaughterer Herman Schwarz with his wife Rose, née Klinger from Hrádek at Sušice, lived in Koloveč. Their children were Samuel and Anna.

There is also the family of the merchant Herman Bloch and his wife Katharina née Kierschner. Their children were Adam and Josef. A third child died two days after birth.

We also find there the merchant Herman Raušer with his wife Cecilie née Goldscheider from Šlovice. Their children were Emilie/Emily and Pavlina/Paulina

A further family is Jachim Weil with his wife Barbara née Fantl from Dlouhá Ves. Their children were Klára and Pavla. Weil was a merchant

In 1861 the records show the merchant Samuel Hutter with his wife Rosalie née Löwith from Puzlitz. In this family just one child is noted: Jonathan Hutter, born in 1861.

In 1830, the wedding of Josef Schwarz from Koloveč with Rose Hutter from Kanice is recorded.

In 1849, the wedding of Šalamoun Fischl, a textile merchant from Merklin and Anna Schwarz from Koloveč is recorded.

Between 1811 and 1856, eight people died in Koloveč. They were Rebecca Schwarzkopf, aged 67; Ezekiel Schwarzkopf, aged 4 ½ ; Abraham Schwarzkopf, aged 27; Ðalamoun Schwarzkopf, aged 74; Anna Schwarz, aged 72; Josef Bloch, aged 1 month; Isák Löwy, aged 52; and Abraham Bloch, aged 2 days.

According to other records up to 1891, 85 people died in Koloveč and in the surrounding area. Between 1839 and 1895, 217 children were born, and in the period from 1850 to 1895 there were 29 weddings. The records provide a register of deaths, births and weddings in Koloveč, Radonice, Kanice, Úboče, Lštění, Všepadla and Hradiště.

In the 1860s, Jakub Eckstein was living in Koloveč. He was a merchant and he had three children. Also living there were: Volf Schwarz, a merchant with six children; Jachim Mestik with one child; the merchant Isak Hutter with five children; Šalamoun Hahn, a merchant with four children; the merchant Ignác Hutter with one child; the merchant Šimon Hutter with six children; the merchant Šimon Schwarz with four children; the merchant Karel Glaser with one child. He is shown as the owner of a match factory. Around 1890, Jindřich Frank with four children, and also the teacher Leopold Schleisner were living in Koloveč.

A prayer house was established in Koloveč approximately 50 years ago [Editor: i.e. in about 1880]. The previous prayer house was in Kanice, where the following Jews lived: from 1844, Samuel Hutter with seven children; Jakub Fleischel with three children; Samuel Sommer with two children; Samuel Sonnenschein with six children; Heřman Löwith; Samuel Kohn; Daniel Kohn; Heřman Kohn with four children; Heřman Körper; and also Abraham Sonnenschein, Philip Hutter and Adam Hutter.

The prayer house in Kanice was also frequented by Jews from Úboč: Emanuel Hahn (since 1846) who had 10 children; Jonáš Hahn, a merchant, who had four children; Eliáš Hahn, who had three children; the merchant Mojžíš Hahn, who had seven children; Heřman Hahn and Alexander Bloch.

From Všepadla, the prayer house was frequented by the Jewish merchant Isak Hahn with six children, and Hašl Bloch.

From Lštění, the prayer house was frequented by the merchant David Eckstein with eight children, Jakub Eckstein, Isak Liebermann and the glazier Ferdinand Bart. Jakub Eckstein later moved home to Koloveč, where he was the supervisor in the match factory that was founded by his brother Bernard Eckstein. The match factory was one of the first in the region. Eckstein later founded further match factories in Nahošice at Bližejov, Domažlice, Spálené Poříčí and Pilsen. In Pilsen there is still a street named after this factory - - Sirková ulice (Match Street) - near the Hotel Lipsko

The prayer house in Kanice was also frequented by Josef Hutter, Samuel Hutter and Leopold Kapper from Hradiště.

There was a large Jewish settlement in Radonice, where there was a prayer house and a Jewish school. Around 1839, the travelling representative Abraham Hauser lived there with four children, Jakub Hauser with eight children, the slaughterer Isak Stein with six children, Josef Hauser with two children, Alexander Hauser with six children, Jachim Stein with 10 children, Marek Stein with two children, the teacher Josef Krauskopf, and the travelling representative Mojžíč Gibián with eight children. Around 1880, the glazier Adolf Heller as well as Eliaš Stein and Adam Hutter lived in Radonice. In the 1860s, Abraham Zucker and the teacher Heřman Austerlitz lived there. The majority of these Jews were travelling merchants.

The prayer house in Koloveč, which was established at a later date, was in house number 72, which the Jews bought from Václav Bozděch and called it “at Valečkas”. The house was bought by members of the community and the cost was shared according to each member's ability to pay.

The prayer house in Koloveč still exists today [Editor: i.e. in the 1930s]. It is a small, nicely arranged room, where there is an altar and benches, with a door connecting to a smaller room for the women.

The Jewish cemetery for Jews from Koloveč was in Puclice and is said to have been founded 150 years ago. Before that time, they used the cemetery in Poběžovice (Ronšperg).

The following have contributed greatly to the livestock business in Koloveč: Volfgang (also known as Bolfík) Schwarz dealing with horses; Abraham Schwarz also dealing with horses; and Šimon Schwarz dealing with cattle.

Hynek (also known as Nácek) Hutter had a general store and later became the owner of a factory. Also living in Koloveč was MUDr Samuel Hahn, who was also a doctor in the military service. His son Arnold Hahn had three doctor titles – MUDr, PhDr and Doctor of Chemistry. He is a well known journalist and lives in Berlin.

The lawyer JUDr Eduard Schwarz lives in Prague. He was first assistant to Dr. Al Rašín, the Minister of Finance and also advised other important Czech statesmen. He is the owner of a large law firm and originates from Koloveč.

MUDr Jindřich Hahn originated from Všepadla and was the son of Tomáš Hahn. He was active as medical doctor in Pilsen and died in 1927

JUDr Max Hutter, a lawyer in Pilsen, is the son of Hynek/Isac Hutter from Koloveč. He is a member of many Jewish philanthropic organizations.

Today the following Jewish families live in Koloveč:

Vojtěch Hutter is the owner of a factory producing brushes. His family has four members.

Anna Schwarz, the widow of a cattle merchant, has a drapery shop. Her family has five members.

Gustav Schwarz is the owner of a brick factory and also a cattle merchant.

MUDr František Mautner is the regional doctor in Koloveč.

Oto Weisl is director of the brush factory in Koloveč.

The following live in the area surrounding Koloveč:

Janna Lüfschitz, the owner of a large estate in Nové Dvory. Her family has four members.

Josef Freund, a drapery merchant and owner of a general store lives in Chudenice. His family has three members.

Arnold Hahn is a merchant in Chudenice. Isak Hahn is house owner in Černíkov. Eman Hahn is cattle merchant in Úboč. Josef Fleish was formerly a merchant and tanner in Hradiště.

Further, according to Jewish registers from 1896, the following lived in Koloveč: Jindřich Frank with his wife Marie née Hutter; the accountant Karel Glücklauf with his wife Bertha née Löwy; the stock keeper Jindřich Klein with his wife Elsa née Vogel; the merchant Vilibald Schwartz with his wife Emma née Epstein; and the merchant Jindřich Lederer with his wife Berta née Steiner.

The representative of the Jewish community of Koloveč in Kdyně was previously the factory owner Vojtěch Hutter.

In the Koloveč prayer house Josef Fleischl from Hradiště had the function of Cantor. For High Holidays a Cantor from Prague was usually invited.

Except for Dr. Mautner, who lives in a rented house, all the Jews in Koloveč are living in their own homes.

The following teachers are found in the records:

Bruml, who moved to Stráže at Tachov; Šalamoun Fisch, who went to Pilsen; Swarzkopf who emigrated to America; Fürth, who moved to Sušice; Leopold Schleisner, who went to Protivín; Marodi, who left for Batelov; Kurzweil, who went to Solnohrad; Kurländer, who returned to his native Hungary; Šalamoun Fantl, who went to Vodòany; and Bernard Österreicher, who went to Libešice at Žatec

The following participated in the World War:

Eman Hahn son of Eliáš Hahn from Úboč was at the front throughout the war. He was injured and captured by the Russians. He eventually came home some time after 1918 via Vladivostok.

Rudolf Schwarz from Koloveč went into military service in Hungary, became ill, returned home and died.

Julius Hutter, son of Hynek/Isac Hutter from Koloveč, was in military service throughout the war.

Oto Hutter, son of Šimon Hutter from Koloveč, was captured by the Russians and later returned home in good health.

Oto Weisl should have returned home at the beginning of the war after one year's voluntary service, but he had to remain in the army for 6 ½ years and was on all the fronts.

JUDr Robert Frank from Koloveč entered the army at the age of 18 and became an officer. After the war he came home from Italian capture in good health.

Karel Frank from Koloveč, head clerk of the Regional Bank in Nachod, was at the front throughout the war as an officer in the Dragoons and returned in good health.

During the War, 70 refugees from Halič (Galicia) were living in Koloveč. They came in very poor condition from quarantine in Uherské Hradiště and they were lodged in the match factory of the Hutter Company. An epidemic of smallpox very soon broke out among them, and they were kept apart from other people. They had a doctor to take care of them. One nine year old boy died and is buried in the Catholic cemetery in Koloveč. The refugees were from small villages in Halič (Galicia).

Hynek (also known as Isak) Hutter, son of Adam Hutter from Kanice, was very important in the industrial development of Koloveč. The match factory of Bernard Eckstein was located in the town, but it quickly got into difficulty. Hutter took it over and continued the operation for some time. Later, together with his son-in-law Jindřich Frank, he began to produce brushes and brooms. Previously, this business was the company of M. Černy, but this factory closed down in 1890. Hutter bought it, extended production and installed modern machinery. Today, the company is one of the largest in the Republic. It provides full time work for more than 120 employees. Today the factory is controlled by Vojtěch Hutter, to the great benefit of our poor region.

Koloveč does not belong to the Chewra Kadisha, but there is connection to the Chewra Kadisha in Staňkov. There are no other Jewish Societies in Koloveč.

Many years ago, there was a Jewish school in Koloveč, but it was closed in 1912. The last teacher is recorded to have been Bernard Österreicher. The school was in one room within the prayer house. At the most, it had 15 pupils. However, as Jews moved to larger cities, the number of pupils fell to between three and four, and the school was closed down.

Under the Decree of the Ministry for Religion and Schools of 1st July 1895 number 25.211 based on the law of 21st March 1890 number 57 concerning new regions, the Jewish community of Koloveč and the surrounding area came under the Jewish Community in Kdyně. In 1894, Volfgang Schwarz was elected as the synagogue guardian for Koloveč; in 1897, Šimon Hutter was elected as representative for Koloveč. On 26th June 1914, new elections were held and the following were elected: Rudolf Schwarz from Koloveč and Josef Fischl from Hradiště. Šimon Schwartz from Koloveč was elected as auditor.

At the latest elections in 1923, Vojtěch Hutter was elected as synagogue guardian and Rudolf Schwartz as representative.

The documents concerning the amalgamation of the Kdyně and Klatovy Communities were signed for Koloveč by Rudolf Schwartz.

Here are some stories about the lives of Jews in the Koloveč area.

Josef Fleisch born in Hradiště in 1848 tells the following:

Jindřich Sonnenschein (also known as “the happy pauper”) lived in Koloveč. He was married and had 'only' eight children. He was a very nice and very strong man. He often made impressive artistic pieces for the local inns. Later he emigrated with his family to America. His wife Bábrle baked buns and sold them in the village. Bábrle née Lorie originated from Puclice. The family was very poor but full of humour, and they participated in the arrangements of dances in Koloveč and the surrounding area.

The well known family of the wealthy brothers Philip and Šimon Hutter lived in Kanice. They had a drapery shop, a distillery and they were involved in dealing with cattle. They travelled to all the markets across a wide area with their coachman Seplik from Hradiště.

In the poorhouse lived a very poor woman who earned her bread by helping Jews on Saturdays. Her name was Chumela, but she was called Šamista, because of her help on the Shabbat. She also took care of the prayer house and loved to light and to extinguish the candles and to clean the candelabras. The Jewish families liked her very much and, especially on Saturdays, she had a lot of food, because she received coffee and cakes. Then on Jewish New Year she received from the families clothing and money. Sometimes she received so many clothes that she did not know what to wear.

The “happy pauper” Jindřich Sonneschein from Kanice had a brother, who was not quite normal in the head. He was called Bolfík. He went around the village barefoot or in knitted socks in both winter and summer. He was a nice boy, but his head was confused. The boys in the village called him “tomfool”

Sources:

Pastoral registers from Koloveč 1808
Jewish registers in Kdyně
Reports of factory owner Vojtěch Hutter in Koloveč
Report from Jewish Community in Kdyně
Bedřich Holub, historian from Koloveč.
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