(Protivín, Czech Republic 49°12' 14°13')
Compiled by specialist subject teacher František Krhoun, Protivín.
Translated from the original Czech by Jan O. Hellmann/DK
Edited in English by Dan & Rob Pearman/UK
According to its owner, the merchant Felix Richter, the oldest Jewish house in Protivín is probably house no. 111 in Blanická Street.
Mr. Richter is of the opinion that the house had a connection with the Jewish community in Protivín. According to him, the Richter family was apparently one of the ‘Schutzjuden’ (the families under the protection of the manorial authority). There were only a few such families, and only the oldest son in the family had the right to marry.
There was no synagogue in Protivín just a wooden prayer house. After this burned down in 1857, the Jews leased a room for praying in the house of Mr. Zelenka today this is no. 22. In 1889 or 1890, they bought house no. 113 in Blanická Street from the heirs of Salomon Ignác (Jonáš) Weil and adapted it for use as a prayer house. The cost is not known. It has not been in use since 1923; instead the prayer house in Vodňany is used.
There were no rabbis in Protivín, just teachers who also led the prayers, sung and carried out ritual slaughtering.
Until 1878, when the Jewish cemetery in Protivín was founded, Protivín Jews were buried in the Jewish cemetery at Pražák, near Vodňany.
On 13 April 1879, the Chevra Kadisha was established in Protivín. The founding 19 members were:
Salomon Jonáš Weil
Dr. Karel Löwenstein
Pepi (Josefa) Steinerová
In 1879 Emanuel Kohn was the chairman, while Wilhelm Klauber and Jakob Wagner were the assistants. Today (1932) Alfred Weil is the chairman.
The Jewish school in Protivín used to be at the old prayer house, which burned down in 1857. After that it was in the house of Mr. Zelenka at no. 22 on the square. From around 1889 the school was in house no. 113 Blanická Street, which is also where the prayer room was. There is still a classroom in the house, but it has not been in use for a long time; the schooling stopped some years before the war and the children of Protivin Jews now attend the public school. One of the most fondly remembered teachers at the Jewish school is Emanuel Traub who was a very good singer with a fine tenor voice. He lived here for a long time. After him came Schleisner, then some others, then Weis and finally Neu. After the last of these, there were probably no others. Some members of the Richter and Bloch families attended the private Jewish school in Dub at Vodňany, which was attended by Jewish children from all over the Vodňany area.
The majority of Jews in Protivín were poor. They were mainly small merchants, some were butchers and one was a glazier. According to the estimate of one of the oldest citizens, they did not own more than 100,000 guilders between them.
The relatively richest one was Vilém Platovský, a merchant of drapery goods. Around 1890, he founded the ‘Premo’ factory in Protivín, producing metal buttons. The factory was in the house of Mr. Böhm, on the square. Before the war a new building was constructed for it at the train station. Mr. Platovský sold the factory after the war.
An important person today is engineer František Holub, chief clerk at the Mine and Iron Works Company in Prague.
In 1870, the Jewish community had the following members:
Salomon Weil, senior
Salomon Weil, junior
the widow of Leopold Wagner
Leopold Mautner from nearby Myšenec
Ehrlich from nearby Skály
Leopold Fröhlich from nearby Heřmaň
Blumová, a widow from nearby Maletice
L. Koschitschek from Žďár at Protivín
Jewish families in Protivín in 1932 were:
Richard Weil, grain merchant and owner of house no. 34 Masaryk Square, Protivín
Lotty Weilová, his mother
Ida Weilová, his sister;
Felix Richter, merchant with a general store at no. 111 Blanická Street, in Protivín.
Lidka Richterová, his wife
Jiří Richter, their son;
Alfred Weil, merchant with a general store at no. 112 Blanická Street, in Protivín.
Olga Weilová, his wife
Hanička (Hana) Weilová, their daughter;
Jindřich Spiegel, merchant with a general store on Blanická Street, in Protivín.
Spieglová, his sister.
Jewish merchants and industrialists:
This information is based on conserved documents in the possession of Mr. Felix Richter, merchant in Protivín, and on his memory. A few details are based on information from Mr. František Janoušek, belt maker in Protivín.
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