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[Page 699]

The History of the Jews in Vlašim

(Vlašim, Czech Republic – 49°42' 14°54')

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 religious community in Vlašim – a part of the Benešov political region near Prague – is more than 100 years old. In 1893 there were 210 Jews, in 1910 just 121, and by 1921 the number was reduced to 87. At that time the Jewish community merged with the Jewish communities in Trhový Štěpánov and Načeradec.

David Gratum (4 November 1830 – 28 September 1910) was Chairman of the community from 1892 to 1898 and contributed greatly to the development of its institutions. During his chairmanship, new statutes were established for the community.

Emanuel Kollinksy was an honored member of the community. He was also a member of the town council in Trhový Štěpánov and for a long time served on the board of the Savings Bank. During the war[1], he was involved in work on behalf of the refugees from Galicia. His sons were MUDr. Jindřich Kollinský, a medical doctor at Královské Vinohrady; Otto Kollinský, a wholesale merchant in Prague; and Lev Kollinský landowner; while his daughter was Mrs. Ella Hermanová of Kralupy.

Josef Kollinský was a founding member of the Chevra Kadisha in Vlašim. Born in 1851 in Pavlovice, he leased farms in Nespery until his death in 1911. He was on the board of the Jewish community without a break from 1899. He was very popular because of his rare character. His wife was Berta neé Rosenbaumová. His son Eng. Ervin Kollinský was the owner of a farm in Nespery. His daughter was Mrs. Anna Müllerová in Roudnice upon Labe, and his sons were Dr. Pavel Kollinský, a lawyer in Prague, and Zdeněk Kollinský, a farm owner in Nový Dvůr.

Other important members of the Jewish community were Šalamoun Poláček, Marek Kumermann, Filip Engländer, Heřman Reich (who served for many years as Chairman of the Jewish community and of the Chevra Kadisha), and Mrs. Emilie Glaserová (who served for many years as Chairwoman of the Association of Ladies and Girls in Vlašim).

In 1922, Oskar Grünhut was Chairman of the community. The following rabbis and teachers were active in Vlašim: Zikmund Pollak, Zikmund Kohn, Zikmund Fischer and Rabbi Viktor Taussig from Prague. There was a private German school with a single class in Vlašim from 1875 to 1897. The synagogue burned down in 1850, but by great effort was soon reconstructed. It was nicely painted and renovated in 1890. The cemetery was close to destruction, but through the efforts of Hynek Brod, Chairman of the Chevra Kadisha, it was renovated in 1890 and has been in good order since then.

The oldest Jewish religious community in the Vlašim region was in Trhový Štěpánov. According to Rabbi Taussig, the local Chevra Kadisha here was founded in 1438. The purchase contract for the cemetery plot dates from the same year. Some of the grave–stones in this cemetery are 300 years old. The Chairman of the Chevra Kadisha is Josef Dub. This community was merged with the community in Vlašim in 1925. Important members were: Josef Dub, Alois Dub and Mojžíš Ornstein. The women’s ritual bath and the Jewish school were closed down. Iltis and Jakub Kraus were teachers at the school.

The Jewish community in Načeradec was founded in 1850, and in 1919 it was merged with the community in Vlašim. A Jewish religious school was founded in 1855 and closed down in 1890. Important teachers were: Hynek Brod, Mojžíš Neumann and Heřman Neumann. According to investigation by Rabbi Viktor Taussig, the local cemetery is more than 500 years old and local tradition says that it was founded when the Jews were expelled from Prague[2]. The synagogue was established in 1880 and sold to a local citizen in 1929. The interior has been preserved, but demolition of the synagogue is under discussion. In this region there are Jewish cemeteries in: Vlašim, Mladá Vožice, Pravonín, and Čechtice.

Rabbi Eduard Lieben was active for some years in Načeradec. He came from an old and respected Prague family and was leader of the Jewish orphanage in Prague until his death in 1933.

The ritual bath in Načeradec was closed down years ago, but the Chevra Kadisha still exists in spite of the ever decreasing number of Jews.


  1. This is, of course, the first World War, during which many refugees sought to escape from the waves of fighting that beset Galicia (now an area straddling the borders of Poland and Ukraine, but in earlier times a kingdom in its own right and then – until 1918 – the most populous and northern region of the Austrian Empire). Return
  2. Although the Jews of Prague had many good and bad times, among the most significant expulsions were those by the Emperor Ferdinand I in 1543-45; again in 1559-1562; and then in December 1744 by the Empress Maria Theresa. This was the last such large scale expulsion until the Nazi occupation, which was followed by the transportation from Prague of more than 45,000 Jews to Terezin and other camps between 1941 and 1945. For a fuller history of the Jews of Prague, see: www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Prague. Return


Useful Links

Town description in Czech

Old and new photos from Jewish Vlašim

Dub family reunion in Trhový Štěpánov in Czech


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