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Jewish families from Dvůr Králové nad Labem (Königinhof), Bohemia, Czech Republic

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This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families from Dvůr Králové nad Labem (Königinhof) in Bohemia, Czech Republic.

https://dbs.anumuseum.org.il/skn/en/c6/e246650/Place/Dvur_Kralove_n...

Your Selected Item:1 \ 2PlaceאAאAאAWould you like to help us improving the content? Send us your suggestionsThe Jewish Community of Dvur Kralove nad LabemDvur Kralove nad Labem

German: Koeniginhof an der Elbe

A town in the Hradec Kralove Region, in the Labe (Elbe) river valley, Eastern Bohemia, Czech Republic

Until 1918 the region was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; after World War I and until 1933 it was part of the Republic of Czechoslovakia.

The Torah scroll from Dvur Kralove, which had been sent from the community to the Central Jewish Museum in Prague during World War II, was acquired by Temple Sholom of Cedar Grove, NJ, in 1975 where it has remained since. In 2008 Temple Sholom and Dvur Kralove worked together to erect the Monument to the Murdered Jewish Citizens of Dvur Kralove nad Labem where the town's synagogue once stood.

One of the town's best-known attractions in Dvur Kralove is the zoo, which was originally part of a private park owned by Jewish factory owner Richard Neumann. The Nazis seized his land, the Soviets subsequently nationalized it, and the zoo was opened to the public in 1946.

The area where the Jewish cemetery was once located was destroyed during 1959-1960. The tombstones were removed, and the walls and buildings were demolished. The site is currently a park containing fragments of tombstones, as well as a memorial stone.

HISTORY

As a royal town, Dvur Kralove took advantage of its right to forbid Jewish settlement within its borders ("Privilegium de non Tolerandis Judaeis"). Jews are first mentioned in the town in 1838, and free Jewish settlement within Dvur Kralove became possible only after Austro-Hungarian Jewry was emancipated in 1848 and residence restrictions were lifted. The first Jews who came to live in Dvur Kralove were from the neighboring towns of Velka and Horice, where Jews had been living since the 17th century.

A Jewish community, consisting of 11 men and 12 women, was organized in 1873 as a cultural society. They dedicated a prayer room in a rented house, where they also opened a school and hired a teacher. A cemetery was founded in 1883; until then, the Jews of Dvur Kralove were buried in Velka or Horice. The synagogue was established in 1891.

The first Jews to arrive in Dvur Kralove were merchants who were permitted to sell salt and tobacco. Later the Jews developed a local textile industry, and many became involved in the production, dying, and printing of cloth. By 1861 two Jews had set up a small factory for processing wool, which eventually grew and employed 150 workers. Jews also established small workshops for making jewelry and polishing pearls.

The Jewish community was also well-integrated into the social and cultural life of the town. Three of the teachers in the municipal high school were Jewish. Dr. Ernest Back and the manufacturer Otto Schlein supported municipal institutions for children and youth. Otto Mayer was the chairman of the Democratic German Culture Party.

The Jewish population increased rapidly at the end of the 19th century. The population peaked in 1910, with 232 people (2.2% of the total population).

Rabbis of the community included Rabbi Emanuel Polak (1898-1923), Rabbi Dr. Gustav Ziecher (1924-1928), Rabbi Dr. Moritz Mandel (1929-1934), and Rabbi Dr. Emil Friedman (1934-1939). The leaders of the community included Dr. Ernest Back, Ludwig Krug, Rudolf Kohn, and Walter Pick.

After World War I the community's population declined significantly, a result of both emigration and assimilation. In 1927 there were only 6 school-age children in the community.

While many of the Jews in Dvur Kralove were proponents of German culture, some grew up with Czech culture; after the establishment of the Republic of Czechoslovakia in 1918, more Jews declared themselves as Czech Nationals. A Jewish manufacturer who supported the Czechs formed a welfare organization and donated money in order to repair the high school. In 1930 the municipality erected a statue in honor of the Jewish sculptor and art professor Otto Gutfreund, a native of the town.

Additionally, during the interwar period the community became proponents of Jewish nationalism. Before the 15th Zionist Congress the Jews of Dvur Kralove purchased membership and voting rights. For the 1930 census 35 of the 182 Jews (19.3%) declared their nationality as Jewish.

In 1939, of the 106 Jews working in the town, 24 were homeowners. Among those who declared their profession, twenty-one worked as merchants, 14 as craftsmen, 14 as clearks, 7 as managers in banks and factories, 7 as engineers and technicians, 4 as physicians, 3 as lawyers, and one as a teacher.

THE HOLOCAUST

Following the Munich Agreement of 1938 the Republic of Czechoslovakia was dissolved. The Sudeten region was annexed to Germany, and some Jews escaping from the area arrived in Dvur Kralove.

In March of 1939 the regions of Bohemia and Moravia became part of the protectorate of the Third Reich, beginning a period of discrimination and violence against the Jews of the region.

Ninety-two Jews from Dvur Kralove were deported on December 17, 1942 via the city of Hradec Kralove, to the Terezin (Theresienstadt) Ghetto. The rest of the Jews were deported shortly thereafter. From Terezin they were sent to concentration and death camps, mainly in Poland, where most were killed. Before the deportations, 110 ritual objects belonging to the community of Dvur Kralove, including a Torah scroll, were transferred to the Jewish Museum in Prague.

Jews did not return to Dvur Kralove after the war. The synagogue, which was not destroyed during the war, was used as an archive before being demolished in 1966 by Soviet authorities to make room for a highway. The cemetery was also destroyed in 1959. For a long time the only remaining trace of Jewish life in the town was a memorial plaque at the local high school for the teachers who died between 1938 and 1945.