Introduction and Jewish Life Liteň is a small town in Central Bohemia (Středočeský kraj), located about 27 km. southwest of Prague, and about 8 km. southeast of the district town of Beroun. Geographical coordinates are: Latitude: 49.9, Longitude: 14.15 49° 54′ 0″ North, 14° 9′ 0″ East. Documents for earliest Jewish settlers – probably from Medieval times - have not been preserved. According to Jiří Fiedler, four Jewish families are recorded in 1715, growing to 23 families in 1793. During this year there are documents attesting to the existence of a synagogue and a rabbi. Jewish family homes were dispersed throughout the town, unlike many other Bohemian villages and towns, possibly indicating acceptance, though by order of the Catholic Church, the synagogue had to be located about 230 meters from the local church. By 1849, Jews made up 12% of the total population of Liteň, a peak year for Jewish population (190-195 people). Thereafter numbers begin to dwindle, with only 13 Jews recorded in 1930. The remainder of the population were deported to concentration camps, beginning in 1942. Today there are about 1,000 inhabitants of Liteň, with no Jews or people claiming Jewish descent.
Synagogue The building that housed the synagogue, built in the 19th century, is located in the southern part of the main square, and services were held there until 1930. After World War II, it was used as a fire station, and was remodeled in 1956. Recent photographs show a plaque on the building.
Records Birth, marriage, and death records from 1781-1930 have been recorded on badatelna.cz. The earliest preserved document is the Beschneidungsbuch, beginning with the entry on Feb. 7, 1781. The script is relatively easy to read; the mohel had to have a steady hand!
Cemetery The Jewish cemetery was founded in 1680, through a grant from local nobility, and is located about 1 km. south-southwest of the Baroque château of Liteň. Jaroslav (Achab) Haidler has documented 522 graves there, the earliest dating from the 17th century, representing around 90 different surnames. Unfortunately, Mr. Haidler has posted no photos. Styles of stones and the taharah house vary, and include Romanesque, Baroque, and Classicist. As noted on Chewra.com, burials continued until about 1942. Liteň’s Jewish cemetery is protected as a cultural monument of the Czech Republic.
Heads of Households Heads of households listed in the 1793 census for Liteň are:
- Bondi, Marcus (see also "Bondy" for possible connections)
- Bulowa, Elias
- Bulowa, Israel (tenant - of Elias?)
- Bulowa, Marcus (see also "Markus" for possible connections)
- Bulowa, Samuel
- Boriges [Borges?], Aron
- Feischl, Joseph (born in Kollin, Schutz in Prague)
- Fischl, Jacob
- Fischl, Samuel
- Goralik, Salamon [sic] (tenant of Samuel Bulowa)
- Jonat, Leopold (see also "Jonas" for possible connections) (Schutz from Bratranitz, tenant of Isak Pollak)
- Karpeles, Rachel
- Levitus, Herrmann (see also "Lewitus" for possible connections)
- Passara, Nathan
- Pik, Marcus (see also "Markus" "Pick" for possible connections)
- Polak, Abraham (see also "Pollak" for possible connections)
- Pollak, Isak (see also "Polak" for possible connections)
- Reichmann, Jakob
- Richter, Marcus (see also "Markus" for possible connections)
- Schwarz, Adam
- Steckenus, Moises (see also "Stekenus" for possible connections)
- Veith, Lippmann (Schutz from Wowswet, a tenant of Marcus Richter)
Shoah Holocaust victims born in Liteň include Anna (Zeckendorf) Roubiček, along with their spouses and children, in many cases.
Liteň surnames that need to be linked:
Abeles, Borges/Porges/Poryes, Breslauer, Bunzlauer, Epstein, Fischel, Freund, Fürth, Guth, Lustig, Schnabel, Schwartz/Schwarz, Thein,
- Fiedler, Jiří. Jewish Sights of Bohemia and Moravia. Prague, Sefer, 1991.
- Haidler, Jaroslav (Achab): Chewra.com
- Synagogues: http://www.waymarking.com/cat/details.aspx?f=1&guid=671c9abb-9097-4a50-8756-2edb5e83a211