19. Mirotice

The Jewish settlement in the town is documented from the first half of the 16th century, with a Jewish community being here from the 17th century. In 1724, there lived 20 Jewish families here, and in the first half of the 19th century there were 13 Jewish families inhabiting 11 houses. In 1880, there were 81 Jews living in Mirotice, 50 Jews in 1900, and 14 Jews in 1930.

Probably from the end of the 17th century or the beginning of the 18th century, most Jewish houses were concentrated in two small Jewish settlements. The southern settlement was severely damaged by an American air raid in 1945 and demolished, then later the northern settlement was completely destroyed. The Baroque synagogue from 1763 was also destroyed during the American air raid on 29 April 1945.

The Jewish cemetery was probably founded before 1648, four hundred meters north of the square, on the hill over Neradovská Street. The oldest preserved tombstone dates from 1647. It bears the inscription: “Here rests Mrs. Hendl, daughter of Mr. Läml of Sedlice, died on 8 Tevet 5407” The original cemetery occupied only about a quarter of the current area (southwest part); it was gradually expanded to its present size in 1740 and 1805. The cemetery covers an area of 3,417 square meters and holds 400 preserved tombstones from the time of the foundation of the cemetery until 1946, including a number of extremely valuable Baroque pieces. The Jews of Písek were also buried here until the establishment of their own cemetery in 1876. The passage mortuary (where a unique municipal coffin is still preserved) was built at the beginning of the 20th century. On its right side on the slope, you can still see the Kohen Gate. The last funeral took place here in 1946. The cemetery is freely accessible.

Interesting: The cemetery is also the burial place of the Rabbi Šimon Kafka of Milčice, the ancestor of the world-famous writer Franz Kafka, as well as the mayor of the town of Písek JUDr. Israel Kohn. The mother and grandmother of Zdenka Fantlová, author of wartime memoirs published under the title “Father Said that Calm is Power”.