Die Juden von Saaz

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Town Žatec /Saaz

International Jewish Cemetery Project

International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies

Zatec town –Bohemia

 A synagogue from 1872Zatec-logo is today used as a storage place. synagogue photos. The Jewish Cemetery currently is administered by the Teplice Jewish Community. An agreement was reached with Saaz (Zatec) Association (Förderverein Saaz e. V. ) to collaborate on the Zatec Jewish cemetery renovation project beginning of 2004.  cemetery photos

An old town in the Ústí nad Labem Region with a population of 19,813 (2006), the earliest historical reference to Sacz is in the Latin chronicle of Thietmar of Merseburg of 1004. During the 11th century it belonged to theplace Vršovci, a powerful Czech aristocratic family. A coat-of-arms was given to the inhabitants by Vladislav II for their courage during the storming of Milan and the place is mentioned as a royal town under Otakar II. From the outbreak of the Hussite Wars to the Thirty Years‘ War, the town was Hussite (Protestant), but after the Battle of White Mountain (1620) the greater part of the Czech inhabitants left the town, which remained German and Roman Catholic until 1945, when the Germans were expelled. Žatec lies on the Ohře River (Eger), which is spanned here by a suspension bridge, 210 ft. long, which is the oldest of its kind in Bohemia, having been constructed in 1826. It possesses several ancient churches, of which one is said to date from 1206, and a town hall built in 1559. Saaz became famous for an an over-700-year-long tradition of growing noble Hops used by several breweries. Žatec produces its own beer and hosts ‚Dočesná‘, its (hops related) harvest festival every year on the town square.

Synagoge AltEarliest known Jewish community was Jewish congregation was in 1864. Jewish population: 1,262 (in 1890) and 760 in 1930. Nazis expelled Jews in 1938. In 1948, local airport sent warplanes and other weapons to Israel. Otto Stein: orientalist (1893-after 1940) and Karel Reiner: composer (1910-1979) lived here. The unlandmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1859 with last known Conservative or Orthodox Jewish burial in 1976. Buried in the cemetery is an unnamed but  well-known composer murdered here during the 1945 death march. The flat suburban site, separate but near cemeteries, has no sign or marker. Reached by crossing concierge’s private garden, access is open with permission via continuous masonry wall and locking gate. The approximate size of cemetery before WWII was 3500 sq. m.and is now 3200 sq. m.

1-20 stones date from second half of 19th century. The granite and sandstone finely smoothed and inscribed stones or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. The ceSynagoga to daymetery contains no known mass graves but has a pre-burial house with wall inscriptions and a wall. Usti nad Labem Jewish community owns the Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are recreational and residential. The boundaries are smaller than 1939 because of housing development. Rarely, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred prior to World War II by Nazis, during World War II and occasionally, 1981-91. Local non-Jewish residents and Jewish groups within country did work between 1975 and 1991. Jewish congregation of Usti nad Labem pays the regular caretaker by personal use of original sexton’s house. Moderate threat: uncontrolled access, pollution and existing nearby development. Slight threat: weather erosion and vegetation.

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