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Jewish Families from Bernartice (Bernarditz) near Pisek, Bohemia, Czech Republic

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  • Sofie Fischl (1862 - d.)
    Birth: HBMa 51 BERNARTICE (o. Tachov) N 1826, 1838, 1846-1865 (i) Folio 34 (122) Image 36/49 Marriage 1884: TACHOV 2054 O 1867-1894 (i v letech 1867-1874 pro každý rok) (image 30)
  • Ing. Joseph / Josef Kohn (1860 - d.)
    Birth record: BERNARTICE (o. Písek) 48 Z 1854-1873 (i) N 1838-1870 (i) O 1849-1868 (i) (13/23)Marriage record: PLZEŇ (o. Plzeň-město) 1551 O 1874-1910 (i v letech 1908-1910 pro každý rok)(82/304) Bi...
  • Theresia Seewald (c.1814 - c.1883)
  • Adam Seewald (c.1780 - c.1868)
  • Marie Hofmann / Hoffmann (1836 - d.)
    Birth record: STÁDLEC (o. Tábor) 1923 N 1793-1839 (24/28)

This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families from the town of Bernartice (Bernarditz) near Pisek, Bohemia, Czech Republic.

Bernartice is name of several locations in the Czech Republic; Reference Wikipedia:

Bernartice (Benešov District), a village in Central Bohemian Region, Bernartice (Jeseník District), a village in Olomouc Region, Bernartice (Písek District), a village in South Bohemian Region, Bernartice (Trutnov District), a village in Hradec Králové Region, and Bernartice nad Odrou, a village in Moravian-Silesian Region (Nový Jičín District).

This Project is for Bernartice, a market town in Písek District in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. The municipality as of July 25, 2008 had a population of 1286. The first written mention of the village is from 1248 CE.

During World War II the village was threatened by the arrival of the Nazis which would have given the village the similar of fate a nearby village Lidice where it was burned down. With the help of nearby locals 23 people were killed and five were sent to concentration camps.

From JewishGen Jewish sites of Bohemia Yizkor: The History of the Jews in Bernartice, Veselíčko and Zběšičky (Bernartice, Czech Republic – 49°37' 14°38') Elaborated by Ladislav Kluzák, expert teacher in Bernartice. Translated from the original Czech by Jan O. Hellmann/DK. Edited in English by Rob Pearman.

                                                                                Bernartice. "Previously called ‘Bernardice’, this township is situated on the east and left shore of the Borovany stream and where the Písek–Tábor national[1] road crosses roads to Bechyně, Milevsko and Týn nad Vltavou.

Although the region of South Bohemia slopes down to the north, as indicated by the presence of the Vltava river[2], the Bernartice area slopes towards the south. As a result, the Bernartice climate is warmer and more fertile than the rest of the Tábor region. This was discovered by former prehistoric nomads who settled here very early, as is shown by the many necropolises to be found in the forests.

We know nothing about the origin and foundation of Bernartice. The township today has 216 houses and 1,093 inhabitants, most of whom work in agriculture. Previously there was a strong industry turning objects out of wood[3], but this is currently[4] in decline because there is no longer a market for it.

Jews moved to Bernartice from the surrounding villages, mainly from Zběšičky (previously called Malé Zběšičky) and from Veselíčko, where there were large Jewish communities living in ghettos. There was no Jewish ghetto in Bernartice. The first Jews settled in Bernartice after the year 1700. These were just a few families, although there were many Jews in the surrounding villages. We know nothing about those first Jewish settlers.

That there had previously been no Jews in Bernartice is shown by the fact that there was no synagogue or Jewish cemetery. Until a synagogue was built in Veselíčko, the Bernartice Jews attended the synagogue in Zběšičky. Similarly, the Jewish children from Bernartice also frequented the Jewish school there. Approximately 80 years[5] ago the Bernartice and Veselíčko Jews built a synagogue in Veselíčko, close to the regional road to Milevsko. A Jewish school was also opened at this temple, and was attended by Jewish children from Bernartice until 1885, in which year a Jewish school was established in Bernartice. By building the Veselíčko synagogue, Veselíčko and Bernartice Jews formed a Jewish community that was independent from Zběšičky; only the burial brotherhood continued to be shared between the two. The only Jewish cemetery was in Zběšičky and it was used by the Jews from Bernartice and the surrounding area. Most Jews settled in Bernartice after the year 1850, and they came primarily from Zběšičky. In 1885, the Bernartice Jews founded a Jewish school, which functioned until 1900 when it was closed down and the Jewish children then attended the Czech primary school[6].

In the Jewish school, students were taught German, Hebrew and religion. The language used in the school was German; the teacher could not even speak Czech and pupils leaving the school were better at speaking German than Czech. This remained the case even when they attended the Czech school daily and the Jewish German school only in the afternoon until late evening. However, they attended the Jewish school more regularly and the classes were small – some 20 pupils – while in the Czech school there were up to 100 pupils in each class. The linguistic results were therefore much better at the Jewish school[7]. The school teacher was also the synagogue servant, cantor and ritual butcher.

The Jews played no role in the town's public life, and only in later years were some occasionally to be found on the municipality council. In this period, some of them grew in reputation and esteem, and people from a wide area came to them for advice. We do not know much about their spiritual life, as there was little reverence for intellectual matters at that time. The fight for daily bread in this poor South Bohemian region required each family to work hard.

The Jews lived in peace with their gentile neighbors, and this friendly relationship continues today.

There is no evidence of any oppression from the manorial side.

The main Jewish activity in the period from 1708 until 1848 was peddling. Even peddling was forbidden to Jews until 1708, and agriculture and handicraft remained forbidden until 1848. Only after 1848 did Jews in Bernartice begin to work as slaughterers, bakers, innkeepers and tailors. They were also tobacconists and some were farmers. Also the merchants and craftsmen often had small fields, which were not sufficient for their large families. Some others had shops selling dry goods or textiles.

The oldest Jewish families in Bernartice were the Kohn, Fink and Mautner families. They lived there for many years, but today have all moved out.

Currently there are just three Jewish families in Bernartice. Both Rudolf Weigl, a merchant, and Bohumír Rubín, also a merchant, live in their own houses and farms. Regina Hofmannová, the widow of a butcher who fell in the (First) World War, also lives in her own house.

These are the last Jews in Bernartice, and it will not be long before they also move out, although it is possible that Mr. Bohumír Rubín may remain."

From the International Jewish Cemetery Project, accessed January 5, 2020:

BERNARTITZ in German) also used the cemetery at Zbesicky and used the cemetery at Straz

Photo and maps: "The small town lies about 9 km south of the town of Milevsko. First mentioned at the end of the 13th century and owned by Bernard of Bernartice after 1650 was a Jesuit seat. The Gothic St. Martin's Church was built on the foundations of the original Romanesque church (second half of the 14th century) and reconstructed in the Baroque style in the 16th century. The Baroque St. Florian's Chapel on the square originates from the first half of the 18th century. The Holocaust/WWII monument stands on the small hill called "Na Posvátném" (the Holy Hill). [February 2009]