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[Pages 584-586]

The History of the Jews in Čeradice at Žatec (Tscheraditz bei Saaz)

(Tscheraditz bei Saaz, Czech Republic – 50°17' 13°28')

Compiled by František L. Kopecký from Čeradice Translated from the original Czech by Jan O. Hellmann/DK.

Edited in English by Rob Pearman/UK

Jews were probably invited to Čeradice by the manor in široké Třebčice of which Čeradice was a part. They built their street below the large estate. It was a straight street with houses that were very low[1]. Even today, the street is called “Judenkille”[2].

I discovered that Jews lived for certain in houses no. 27, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 52, 54, 55 and 56. At the end of the street, they built a not very impressive synagogue proof of their poor conditions. In this synagogue, which had no house number, there too were the living quarters of the cantor. Cantor Joachim Popper was also the ritual slaughter.

Among the familiants, I mention the following:

In 1844, there is reference to Moritz Abeles from no. 47. The numbers by the names indicate the house numbers.

In the beginning, the Jews carried out small business activities, mainly peddling. Later they also became wholesalers.

I now show the Jewish professions in the period 1839-1859:

Peddlers:

Craftsmen: Mořic Singer was acting as rabbi and lived at no. 56 in the period 1839-1859.

The cemetery was abolished in 1875 and is now situated approximately 1 km from the village. It is located in a beautiful valley in the Liboč creek and is surrounded by fruit trees and tall poplars. There is no better place in Čeradice. The cemetery is a square with an area of approximately 100 square meters and is surrounded by a low white wall.

In my opinion, the cemetery is not even 200 years old. It was abolished in 1875 because in that year the local Jewish community was dissolved and merged into the Žatec community as it had so few members. The same happened to the community in Libočany.

People from other communities were also buried in the cemetery they were brought from Libočany, Nové Sedlo, Železná at Měcholupy (though in Měcholupy they have their own cemetery), Hořetice and even from Žatec (until they got their own cemetery). And so it was a cemetery for the region.

Apart from the synagogue and the cemetery, there are no reminders of the Jews in Čeradice. Although the street name “Judenkille” also reminds us about the Jews.

When the Jews were granted equality with others in 1848, their standard of living improved. They began to move to Žatec, which is approximately 4 km away. They sent their children to study there. They were no longer satisfied with the German two-class school in Čeradice.

They began to deal in hops and secured high positions in Žatec. Many Žatec lawyers and physicians originated in Čeradice though I am not saying that all of them did.

Today just one Jewish family lives in Čeradice, the family of Jakub Stein, who moved here from Mněštěš at Roudnice in 1923, where he leased some land[7]. During the land reform, the estates were distributed as plots and Mr. Stein bought an area of 181 ½ hectares in Čeradice which was part of the manor owned by the Černín family[8].

Mr. Stein, this estate owner, was the first Czech landowner in Čeradice. His arrival strengthened the Czech element in Čeradice. Together with his employees he founded a local section of Sokol and founded the Czech school, whose benefactor and supporter he remains to this day.


Footnotes

  1. ‘low’: the original text suggests that you would need to bend your head to enter these houses as they were ‘close to the ground’. Return
  2. ‘Judenkille’: the Czech slang version of Kehilah could be written as ‘Kille’ Return
  3. ‘manorial Jew’: this means that he is ‘owned’ by the lord of the manor and works for him. Return
  4. (?): the question mark is in the original text. Return
  5. ‘small holder’: this term seeks to convey the fact that he owns a small house with a plot of land, on which he grows some fruit or hay, and keeps a goat or sheep. Return
  6. ‘firewater’or hooch is the worst kind of home-made liquor. Return
  7. ‘land’: the Czech term means literally ‘estates’. Return
  8. ‘family Cernin’: this was an important and wealthy family. In the 17th century, the then-Count Cernin built what is now the Cernin Palace, within the area of the Hradčany Castle that towers above Prague. After a checkered history, it became the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the new country in 1920; during the occupation it was used as the headquarters of the Nazi Reich Protector (1939-44); it then reverted to being home to the Foreign Ministry. In the year of the communist coup (1948), the democratic Minister Jan Masaryk, son of the first Czechoslovakian president Tomas Masaryk, was found dead below the tall windows of the Cernin Palace where he lived and worked. The communists claimed it as suicide or accident, but the people knew that he had been murdered. Return
Links
Čeeradice town history (in Czech):
http://www.ceradice.cz/vismo/dokumenty2.asp?u=1962&id_org=1962&id=12867&p1=213
Some photos from Čeradice before and after restoration:
http://www.ceradice.cz/vismo/galerie2.asp?u=1962&id_org=1962&id_galerie=1167&p1=1983

 

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