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Jewish Families from Beroun, Bohemia

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Introduction and Jewish Life The district town of Beroun (German, Beraun), is located at 49°57' N, 14°05' E, 19 miles WSW of Prague, in central Bohemia (Středočeský kraj). First called na Brodě (by the ford), the town received international prestige when Emperor Charles IV dubbed it “Verona mea,” hence the current name. Ancient city gates and local pottery remain as tourist attractions, in the modern city of about 18k. According to the 2009 report from the International Jewish Cemetery Project, The first Jewish family arrived in Beroun in 1678 with the Jews engaging mostly in commerce, tanning, and butchery. Among the tanners was a Jew called Mates Fišer. Mates Fišer's wife received permission to open a store where she sold Netherlands linen. The Fišers were baptized after some time, presumably to facilitate assimilation into the community at large, and died in an epidemic of plague that touched Beroun a few years later. Six Jewish families arrived in Beroun in 1849, one year after the Familiant law was abolished. The Jewish population of regional Beroun was documented at 402 in 1910, and at 290 to 331 in 1921, with fewer than ten Jews living there today. For a new translation by Jan Hellmann, edited by Rob Pearman, of Hugo Gold's work on Beroun, see http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/bohemia/boh029.html

Synagogue Around 1852, the Jewish community built the synagogue with a cheder, located at today's No. 77; it was in use until 1939. Eighty pupils attended it in 1870. The rabbi of Beroun since 1927 (Moric Müller, Ph.D.) served other villages in Beroun’s district, such as Liteň and Mořina.

Records Badatelna.cz has digitized birth, marriage and death records from 1874-1944, which include indices.

Cemetery Beroun’s Jewish cemetery was founded in 1886, and a Chevra Kadisha established. Described as a typical 19th-century urban Jewish cemetery, it contains 120 gravestones, dated through the 20th century. Burial records have unfortunately not yet been documented on Achab Haidler’s Chewra.com; some cemetery images can be found at http://www.zidovskehrbitovy.cz/index.php?id_cat=20&+new=2933.

The cemetery is located on the western outskirts of the city in Pod Homolka at an elementary school, 1.5 km from Hus Square. The cemetery is surrounded by a continuous masonry wall and a locked gate. Access is available with permission of the caretaker. It is now owned by the Prague Jewish community; the last-documented local caretaker was Stanislav Vacek, tr. Miru 1158, 266 01 Beroun. Other contacts are Rudolf Kučera, tr. Miru 1144, and Jan Jireš, tr. Miru 1218. Since the 1950’s, local gardeners grow strawberries and fruit trees on the cemetery site. Some restoration and reconstruction work has been undertaken. No recent vandalism has been reported.

Shoah Profiles will be added to this space as information from YadVashem and holocaust.cz is researched.

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