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Jewish Families from Kosova Hora, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic

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Earliest known Kosova-hora Jewish community was 1674. In 1930 Jewish population was 32 persons. Jews moved to big towns in second half of the 19th century. Friedrich Adler (1857-1938) poet, playright, and translator lived here.

This new project is for the Jewish families from Kosova Hora. My grandfather was born there and lived with his family.

I don't know what to write about this village, so I would like to get help to writing the front page.

Thank you. Nitay Yehezkely

Polacek Family

  1. Julius Polacek
  2. Karl Polacek
  3. Emil Polacek
  4. Olga Polacekova

KOSOVA HORA: Pribram, Bohemia

Kosova Hora, until 1921 Kosová Hora, (German: Amschelberg) is a village and municipality in Příbram District in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic.

The landmarked cemetery was allegedly established in 1580 with last known Conservative or Reform burial about 1940. Vrchotovy Janovice (8 km away), Trebnice (8 km away), and Sedlcany (3 km away) used this cemetery from the 19th century. The flat rural (agricultural) site has no sign. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open with permission via a continuous masonry wall and locking gate. Size of cemetery before and after WWII: 3468 sq. m.

From 37 Jewish families living in 23 houses in the 18th century, by 1870 the number of Jews grew to 400, about one-third of the total population of the town. In 1848 and 1849 a widespread political reform brought greater civil rights and political freedom for the Czech people and the Jews.

Jews of Moravia and Bohemia became more involved in the secular life of the country, attended secular schools of higher education leading to famous Jewish writers and scholars of this era,including Franz Kafka, Max Brod, Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler and Darius Milhaud. Along with greater political freedom came more opportunity and mobility.

Jews moved away from the small towns and villages larger cities so that the population of Kosova Hora  dwindled until in 1893 the Kosova Hora Jewish congregation was abolished and joined another congregation in the nearby town of Sedlcˇany, about three kilometers away. Their Torah was moved to Sedlcany.

Current Contact Information 

Alternate names (German): Amschelberg. Town is in Bohemia-Pribram at 49°39' N, 14°29' E , 35 km E of Pribaum and In central Bohemia, 30 miles S of Praha. Cemetery 400 meters SSE of town. Present population is 1000-5000 with currently no Jews.

  • Town: Mayor Mr. Nemecek, Obecni urad, 262 91 Kosova Hora; tel. 0304/22815.

  • Regional: Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, Engineer Ms. Touzimska, 261 01 Pribram; tel. 0306/511 and Pamatkovy ustav pro stredni Cechy, Ms. Arch. Vyletova, Valdstejnske namesti 1, 118 00 Praha 1; tel. 853-57-46.
  • 1. Okresni Muzeum, namesti H. Klicky 293, 261 02 Pribaum; tel. 47-34 and
  • 2. Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/2310634.
  • Caretaker with key: Jan Tatyrek, 262 91 Kosova Hora cp. 144.

Jewish Cemetery

100-500 gravestones, all in original location with less than 25% toppled or broken, date from 1780-20th century. The cemetery is divided into special section for women. The marble, granite, and sandstone are flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones, or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German, and/or Czech inscriptions. Some have metal fences around graves.

The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims but no known mass graves. Within the limits of the cemetery are a pre-burial house and a gravedigger's house ruin.

The Jewish community owns the property used for Jewish cemetery only. Properties adjacent are agricultural. Occasionally, private visitors and local residents stop.

Vandalism occurred from 1945 to now. Jewish groups within country re-erected stones, patched broken stones, cleaned stones, cleared vegetation, and fixed wall and gate in 1991-1992. Current care: regular caretaker paid by the Jewish congregation. Security (uncontrolled access) and vandalism are moderate threats. Weather erosion is a slight threat. Vegetation overgrowth seasonally prevents access.

  • Engineer Mojmir Maly, Ve Stresovickach 58, 169 00 Praha 6; tel. 35-57-69 completed survey on 15 May 1992. Documentation:
  • 1. Hugo Gold: Die Juden and Judengemeinden Bohemens (1934);

History

In the first half of the 19th Century --about the time that the Scroll was written-- a Census showed that there were 37 Jewish families in Amschelberg, living in 23 houses. By 1870 the number of Jews in Amschelberg had grown to 400 people and they comprised about one-third of the total population of the town...The people of Kosova Hora lived more or less peacefully for nearly 100 years. Children grew up, raised families and then passed on. Some moved away to the big cities and others stayed in the area.

There were greater opportunities for Jews to attend secular schools and many young people went to the universities and entered the professions. Some remained steeped in the Orthodox religious traditions and customs of their ancestors, others became assimilated into the secular social, economic and political lives of the country. Along with greater political freedom came more opportunity and geographic mobility.

For some years the Jewish population of the town increased and then after a while people moved on to other settlements or big cities, to Prague or to the New World in America. Jews moved away from the small towns and villages to Prague and other larger cities in greater numbers.

Over the next thirty years the population of Kosova Hora began to dwindle and by 1893 there were very few people who came to services at the synagogue and the Kosova Hora Jewish congregation was finally abolished. Instead, the congregants joined another congregation in the nearby town of Sedlcˇany, which was only about three kilometers away.

Holocaust

In 1939 the Jews who were living in Kosova Hora and the surrounding region were rounded up by the Nazi soldiers and were sent to Terezin, a concentration camp north of Prague. A few survived in Terezin for the war years, but most who were sent there were transported to Nazi death camps where most of them perished."