01. Babčice

According to written sources, Jews lived in Babčice from the middle of the 18th century at the latest. In the second half of the 18th century, they apparently lived in two houses: the Josephinian Cadaster indicates municipal building No. 2 and a winery at No. 3. In the registry of Jews from in 1783, it is written that two Jewish families lived here, while the registry from 1793 shows four families registered. In 1880 there were twenty Jews, in 1890 eight Jews, in 1910 four Jews, and later none. The Jewish community in Babčice was abolished on the basis of the Jewish Communities Act of 1890 and subsequently existed only as a religious association that was part of the Jewish community in Mladá Vožice.

The synagogue No. 14 in the eastern part of the town was probably built at the turn of the 1850’s and 1860’s (we do know that its predecessor was a prayer house documented in Babčice already at the end of the 18th century). It emerged as a replacement for the older burnt-out synagogue or prayer house. This new synagogue was already conceived as a multipurpose building. There were 76 seats in the prayer hall, but the building also (most likely) contained school classrooms, a teacher’s flat, a mikveh (ritual bath), and possibly a heat-ed winter prayer room. It served for religious purposes until the early 20th century. After the First World War, it was rebuilt into a residential home. The exterior of the synagogue has largely been preserved in its original form (both the mass of the building and the shape of some of the original windows have been preserved), but the interior has unfortunately been completely destroyed.

The cemetery is located 1 km north of the town at the edge of the forest. It was established in the first half of the 19th century at the latest, presumedly around 1840. On an area of 731 square meters there are about 130 tombstones, while the oldest comes from in 1841 and the youngest are from the 1920-30’s. In 1862, Rabbi Markus Blann from Košetice was buried here. He was a student of the provincial Rabbi Nehemias Trebitsch (1779-1842) in Mikulov. His tombstone bears the inscription: “... he was one of the great singers of the synagogue.” The cemetery is freely accessible.

Interesting: The tombstone of Zalman Schick from 1845 is notable. It is decorated with the motif of the Cave of the Patriarchs near Hebron, which Abraham bought in order to bury Sarah. He himself was later buried in this cave as were his descendants, Isaac and Jacob, with their wives Rebeca and Leah.