30. Protivín

A small Jewish settlement in the town was documented from the early 17th century. There were 3 Jewish families living in town in 1653, at least 9 Jewish families in 1783, and 12 Jewish families in 1837. More Jews moved to the town aft er the mid-19th century, so the Jewish community was the strongest in the second half of the 19th century: in 1869 there were 95 Jews, in 1880 a total of 87 Jews (3.3% of all inhabitants), in 1910 there were 48 Jews, and in 1930 there were only 12 Jews (0.3% of the city’s population).

Jewish houses with a prayer room were centered from the 18th century at the latest east of the square on Blanická Street and stood at the end of the church before the bridge over the Blanice River. None of them have been preserved. The last prayer room was set up on the upper fl oor of a Jewish community house on the southern side of Blanická Street which was purchased by the Jewish community in 1889. The last service was evidently held here in 1923. In 1968 the house was demolished and the Hotel Blanice was built in its place.

The Jewish cemetery is located 1.3 km northeast of the square, at the foot of Holý vrch Hill near the road leading to the village of Bečelov. It was founded in 1878. A total of around 60 deceased were buried here from the time it was founded until the Second World War. In 1939, the cemetery was devastated, half of the tombstones were taken away, and all that remained of the morgue were the foundations. At present, there are, about 25 tombstones preserved from the time of the cemetery’s foundation over a cemetery area of 719 square meters. The cemetery is freely accessible.

Interesting: At the end of 1744, Empress Marie Theresa issued a decree which meant the expulsion of Jews from Bohemia. The fi rst Jews to be aff ected were in Prague’s Josefov, who had to leave the Jewish Town by the end of June 1745. Among them was the family of David Kuh, whose wife Taubele died in Protivín. Since there was no Jewish cemetery in Protivín at the time, she was buried at the Jewish cemetery in Dub near Prachatice.