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Jewish Families from Osek (Wossek), Czech Republic

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This is a sub-project to describe the small town of Osek (Wossek) in Bohemia and connect individuals who came from there with others who also came the same home town. It is part of the Jewish Communities of Bohemia and Moravia umbrella project.

There are several towns with the name Osek. The town that this project refers to is located near Rokycany, nearby Becov. This town is 4 miles north of Rockycany and 8 miles east of Pilsen. In this region are also located nearby the towns of Hresislav, Drazkov, Radnice, and Busivice. To the south, 40 miles away is the town of Klatovy. Today these towns are near the far western suburbs of Prague.

Anthony Northey wrote a book "The Kafka Relatives" which mentions the town and some of the people who lived there. There is a reprint by Yale University Publications.

Osek records are available in the www.badatelna.eu collection.

Osek has a current website with photos of the town and the former Jewish Cemetery here: http://www.obecosek.cz/fotografie/osek-a-okoli/?pageshowing=2

Link to the article copied from here: http://www.iajgsjewishcemeteryproject.org/czech-republic/osek.html

OSEK: Rokycany, Boehmia PDF Print E-mail Osek, (German: Wosek) is a village in the Rokycany District of the Plzeň Region of Western Bohemia situated 3 km north of the town of Rokycany. The village stretches in north-south direction along the road from Rokycany to Břasy. Other minor roads divert from it in the territory of Osek , namely a road to Litohlavy, a road to Volduchy and a road to Bušovice. The terrain of Osek and its environs is rather flat forming a forestless plateau bordered by massif Radeč (718 m.) in the northeast and the valley of the Klabava river in the south with the regional center of Rokycany. ... In the southern section of Osek a hill called Kamýk (420 m.) rises. On the top of Kamýk, the ruins are standing of 18th century manor house. Ca. 2 km northwest of Osek a village of Vitinka is located. This formerly independent community has been merged with Osek. Vitinka consists of several clusters of separate settlements scattered across the area nortwest of Osek. There are Vitinka proper, Hudlice, Nový Dvůr and Kolna settlements. Osek was mentioned first in 1240 in a document issued by the king Václav I. ... Village was dominated by small gothic castle (later in 16th century rebuilt). .... Beside farming village specialized in iron ore mining and iron production. This local industry utilized energy from the system of artificial lakes in Osek's proximity and charcoal from nearby forests. Iron ore mining continued until 1850. In 19th a 20th centuries Osek remained mostly agricultural community. The village of Vitinka was founded around the year of 1697. It used to be traditionally a part of Osek. In 1924 an independent community of Vitinka was created, however in 1980 Vitinka merged with Osek again.Wikipedia [February 2009] Cemetery: Address is Osek 18 , 33821 Osek u Rokycan , Obecní úřad. infocenter@mmp.plzen-city.cz (IC Plzeň The cemetery was founded probably in 18th century. The oldest gravestone is from 1804. The last funeral took place there in the first quarter of 20th century. All of the gravestones have been knocked over. Synagogue. [February 2009]


US Commission No. CZCE000284 Alternate name: Wossek in German; Vosek in Hungarian. Osek (near Rokycany) is located in Bohemia, Rokycany at 49÷46 13÷36, 3 km N of Rokycany; 16 km E of Plzen. Cemetery: 800 m SSW of the chateau, on northern slope of the knoll called Kamyk. Present town population is under 1,000 with no Jews. Town: Obecni urad, 338 21 Osek u Rokycan; tel. 0181/3309; Mayor: Jaroslav Benetka, home: No. 245. Regional: Okresni Urad, Referat Kultury, (Inspector of Conservation: Ms. Jana Struncova), Jiraskova 68, 337 01 Rokycany; tel. 0181/2251 or 2341 and Zidovska Nabozenska Obec, Smetanovy sady 5, 301 37 Plzen; tel. 019/357-49 and Pamatkovy ustav, Dominikanska 4/6, 301 00 Plzen; tel. 019/376-78 or 358-71. Interested: Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34, 231-07-85 and Okresni Muzeum, Urbanovo namesti 141 337 01 Rokycany; tel. 0181/2160 and Frantisek Bohuslav, 338 21 Osek u Rokycan 54. Earliest known Jewish community was 18th century with 0 Jewish population in 1930. Nobleman Waldstein (Wallenstein) was ordered to build a street for local Jews. 7 families were permitted in first half of the 19th century (and more families lived in surrounding villages). Jews moved to both Rokycany and other towns after about 1870. Independent congregation disbanded in 1872 when last Jewish family left Osek in 1920s. Birthplace of Simon Wedeles-Wels (1853-1922), author of famous local memoirs "U Bernatu" and ancestors of Josip Stadler (1843-1918), first Catholic archbishop of Sarajevo (Bosnia), lived in Osek. The Jewish cemetery originated in 18th century. Buried in the unlandmarked cemetery are ancestors of J. Stadler with last known Conservative Jewish burial in first quarter of 20th century. Rokycany (before 1890s), 3 km away, used site. The wooded flat isolated site has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via no wall or traces of low wall and no gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is 0.1151 ha. 20-100 stones, most in original location, date from probably 18th century but legible: 1804-20th century. The marble, granite and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some have metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no known mass graves or structures. Plzen Jewish community owns the Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are recreational and residential. Occasionally, organized individual tours and private visitors stop; many tourists visit nearby ruin. Vandalism occurred probably prior to World War II, during World War II, occasionally 1945-1991 with no maintenance. Moderate threat: weather erosion, pollution and vandalism. Dr. Peter Braun, Komenskeho 43, 323 13 Plzen; tel. 019/52-15-58 and Rudolf Loewy, Jesenicka 33, 323 23 Plzen; tel. 019/52-06-84 and Jiri Fiedler, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/55-33-40 on 3 November 1992. Documentation: Census 1830, 1850,1921,1930; Die Juden und Judengemeinden Bohmenes. (1934); Jan Herman: Jewish Cemeteries. (1980); notes of research made by Statni Zidovske Muzeum praha (1955). The site was not visited. F. Bohuslav and Mayor J Benetka both were interviewed in 1992. Last Updated on Sunday, 22 February 2009 05:45