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Jewish Families from Vsetín, Czech Republic

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This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families from the town of Vsetín, Czech Republic.

Jewish community was founded in 1888. The area around Vsetín, called Vsetínsko, is spread out on the foothills of the Vsetín, Hostýn and Vizovice Hills around the Bečva River with the remains of log houses. Vsetínsko is home to many graphics and plastics artists. Wallachian song and dance groups for many decades have kept traditional folk culture alive. Uninhabited for thousands of years due to its hilly landscape, deep forest valleys, and forceful streams. Traces of settlement from primeval times in Vsetín and the surrounding area are almost negligible. The first historic record mentioning Vsetín are documents dated 1297-1308 about the beginning of settlement. Records from 1297 mention the Vsetín region only as an area by the Bečva river, the 1308 document describes it as a little town named Setteinz with a church, a mill and Freudsberg Castle and colonization in the valley around Rokytnice. The Templar Knights owned Vsetín (Setteinz) at that time and rented it to Vok of Kravaře in 1308. The name Wssetin appeared in documents from 1396 while Vsetín appears as late as 1505. Vsetín was successively held by noble families, mainly of Cimburk Saint Jura and Pezinek, Kunštát, Šelmberk, followed by nobility of Pernštejn. The colonization in the 13th and 14th centuries leadfarm land at the expense of forests. During the same period, goat dairy-farming spread from the south, along the Carpathian mountains, as the Vlach (Romanian) migration reached its peak. Though the Vlachs became linguistically assimilated, this migration contributed to the traditional culture and the historic name of the region, "Wallachia". Before the first half of 19th century, Vsetín and the surrounding area, influenced by the Industrial Revolution, used the vast stock of wood in the surrounding beech and fir forests for a sugar factory, a steam saw mill, a factory producing matches and a glass works founded in 1868. In the late 19th century, Vsetín became an important center of bent-wood furniture in the factories of Jacub and Josef Kohn and the famedThonet Brothers, the top companies of the world for this kind of furniture.In 1885 the town was linked to an inland railway system, followed by the construction of schools, a hospital, a town power plant, water mains and other public facilities. In 1909 Vsetín became a district town and its economic boomed. The furniture industry declined during the 1930s resulting in a high level of unemployment . In 1937, a new factory called Zbrojovka helped end the problem. Vsetín was known for its production of electric engines in the Josef Sousedík factory. During World War II, the number of inhabitants doubled, mainly due to military production, reaching 14,000. New inhabitants were mainly employees from Zbrojovka who came from Brno. During the war, several resistance groups were established, out of which J.Sousedík was one of most significant. Its members initiated collaboration with the Clay group connected with the exiled government in London and later with the 1st Czechoslovak Partisan Brigade of Jan Žižka which crossed the Moravian border at times of the Slovakian National Uprising. Vsetín was liberated on May 4, 1945 by forces of the 1st Czechoslovak Army.

US Commission No. CZCE000207 Alternate German name: Wsetin. Vsetin is located in Morava-Vsetin at 49º20 18º00, 65 km S of Ostrava. Cemetery: 0.3 km W. Present town population is 25,000-100,000 with than 10 Jews. Town: Mayor ing. Jaromir Kudlik, Mestsky Urad, Sverov, 755 24 Vsetin; tel. 0657/3790. Local: mgr. Radomir Juricka, Mestsky Urad-Referat Kultury, Svarov, 755 24 Vsetin; tel. 0657/3056. Regional: Engineer Pavlina Pospisilova, Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, 755 00 Vsetin; tel. 0657/4001. Interested: Okresni Vlastivedne Muzeum, dir. Aloisie Rambosskova, Horni namesti 2, 755 00 Vsetin; tel. 0657/2713. Dr. Ladislav Baletka, Okresni archiv, Horni namesti 1, 755 00 Vsetin; tel. 0657/2460. Key holder: Cirkev cs. husttska, Vlasta Fridrichova, Stepanska 20, 755 01 Vsetin; tel. 0657/4493. Earliest known Jewish community was 18th century. 1930 Jewish population was 101. Jews were banished in 1823 but granted residence in 1848. Writer Erich Kulka-Schoen, born 1911, lived here. The Jewish cemetery originated in 1888 with last known Conservative Jewish burial in 1988. No other towns or villages used this unlandmarked cemetery.