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The History of the Jews in Mirovice and Mirotice

(Mirovice, Czech Republic – 49°31' 14°02')
(Mirotice, Czech Republic – 49°26' 14°02')

Compiled by Jaroslav Pola´k-Rokycana, Prague

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

Edited in English by Rob Pearman/UK



In earlier times, Mirovice was a flourishing rural Jewish community. Today, the abandoned synagogue is a unique building that is destined to die. The internal arrangement is very beautiful. The lectern is not on the east side, but in the middle of the prayer hall. The women's part is in a neighbouring room that is linked to the men's area by an arched window. Only on High Holydays is it possible to raise a minyan[1].

The chairman of this community is Wilhelm Fantl, a merchant from Čimelice[2]. The record keeper is Bedøich Steiner, a merchant from Mirovice. The community's cemetery is in the nearby village of Myslín, nicely situated on the east side of a hill and surrounded by a massive wall. The oldest grave stones are perhaps from the 16th century, but they are buried by high grass and bushes. There are still occasional burials in the upper part of the cemetery for those who have died in the nearby villages.



Wilhelm Fantl
from Èimelice
Ed. Kohn
from Mirovice



The Jewish community of Mirotice is 250 years old. The oldest legible grave stone is marked with number úå = 470 = 1647[3]. The inscription is simple. “Here rests Mrs. Hendl, daughter of Mr. Läml from Sedlice. She died on 8th Tebet 5407”[4]. The Lämls are a well known family from Prague.

The Jewish community does not possess the oldest document concerning the purchase of a plot of land for the cemetery. The only document that has been preserved is a further contract issued by Jan Winkler, a citizen of Mirovice, in which he confirms the sale of land for the indicated price of 340 guilders. The Jewish community commits themselves to pay 40 pennies[5] to the town of Mirovice for the burial of each adult and 20 pennies for each child. For the burial of persons from out-of-town, a charge of 48 pennies is to be paid. The Jews have the right to build a wall around the cemetery and the purchase is to be recorded in the land registration book.


Löbl Kafka – written in the Czech records as “Kawka” - was the son of Markus Kafka (in Hebrew אטיד) and he gave great service to the town of Písek in 1621. This resulted in the fact that Jews previously from Boleslav[6] became protected Jews in the town of Písek. The Steward at that time was J. M. Angermann. He made a record of this on 6 April 1691 and it was confirmed by the Royal Steward of the Prachyò region, Zikmund Ludvík Traumansdorf. This record confirms that the “Jew Löbl Kafka” went to Augermann and informed him discreetly that he had heard about a planned rebellion among the soldiers. The rebellion could therefore be prevented and some of the plotters were hanged. For this demonstrable loyalty Kafka and his future family became protected Jews in Písek.

With regards to the Jewish history of Mirotice, mention should also be made of the case between the Jew Mandl Pržckel from Vodòany and the knight František Wolf from Bĕšín (1648). This knight imprisoned the Jew Mandl but released him again “because, in this restless time and during a period of military activity, justice cannot be done”. The process dragged on for several years and finally the Jew was found innocent “as he spoke truly”.


Rabbi's house and Cheder


In 1661 there was one Jewish house in Mirovice.

Jews were present in Kestřany and Kožele[7] from 1648-1670, and this proves that Jews lived in the Písek and Práchyò region from earlier times. In spite of the fact that Jews were not liked, we can see from the town records that the citizens of Písek were concerned that even Jews should be treated justly and should be able to carry out their business in peace.



Jewish school and Temple/Synagogue


All the information included in this article was provided by the former chairman of the Jewish community of Mirotice, Dr. M. Grünwald. The oldest Jewish family in Mirotice is that of Leopold Bloch. The Mirotice community is in reality the maternal community of the Písek community, as almost all Písek Jews found their final resting place in the Mirovice cemetery.

It has not been possible to read the grave stones owing to their eroded condition.


Jewish cemetery in Mirotice in Czech with photos: http://smetanova.lhota1.sweb.cz/mirjewc.html
History of Mirotice in English: http://smetanova.lhota1.sweb.cz/miroticengl.html
Photos from Jewish cemetery in Mirovice: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Jewish_cemetery_in_Mirovice
Short history of Mirovice in Czech: http://www.mirovice-mesto.cz/mirovice-dalsi-zajimavosti/d-6275/p1=27152
A plaque in the castle at Mirotice indicates that General Vlasov, the Russian army leader who defected to fight alongside the German army after his capture by them in 1942, was executed by the Red Army in this town after the liberation. Other sources claim that he was executed in Moscow in 1946, having been handed over to the Soviet government, together with many other Russian collaborators, by the American and British authorities.


  1. Minyan: the quorum of 10 men required for prayers. Return
  2. Both Mirovice (German: Mirowitz) and Mirotice (German: Mirotitz) are towns in the region; Èimelice is a village in the Pisek district, located on the road that connects South Bohemia with the Czech capital Prague (the route is known as “Strakonická” after the town of Strakonice). Return
  3. The Hebrew inscription is for the year 470 (modern era 1647). Return
  4. Tebet or Tevet is the fourth month of the Jewish calendar. Return
  5. Pennies are usually coins of the smallest value. In central Europe they relate to the German pfennig. Return
  6. There are two towns bearing this name: Stará ('Old) Boleslav on the Elbe River and Mladá ('New') Boleslav on the Jizera River. Both are north of Prague, whereas Mirovice and Mirotice are to the south. It is not clear which is relevant here, although the 'new' town, albeit founded in the 10th century, was an important Jewish centre in the 17th and 18th centuries and in the 19th century was called 'Jerusalem on Jizera'. King Boleslav 1 (“The Cruel”) was the brother and successor to King Wenceslas 1, later the patron saint of Czechoslovakia, whom he is said to have murdered in 935 at Stará Boleslav. Return
  7. Kestřany and Kožele are villages in the Písek district. Return


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