HRANICE (Ger. Maehrisch-Weisskirchen; Heb. רייניץ, הרייניץ), town in Moravia, Czech Republic. According to tradition Jews settled there between 1475 and 1553, but the first documentary mention dates from 1644. Among the Jewish settlers were refugees from the *Chmielnicki massacres (1648) and cattle dealers who passed through the town on their way to the Moravian markets. The number of Jewish families permitted to reside in the town by the *Familiants Law was 120; 115 families lived there in 1753. From 659 persons in 1830, the community grew to 802 in 1857, but then declined to 582 in 1869, 522 in 1880, and 462 in 1900. The greater number of Jews lived in the Christian part of the town. After 1848 the Jewish community was constituted as one of the *politische Gemeinden. In 1930 the community numbered 192 persons (1.8% of the total population). Those still remaining in 1942 were deported to Nazi extermination camps. Fourteen Jews returned to the town after World War II. A religious congregation was revived but did not remain active. Its prayer room was in use until 1969. Synagogue appurtenances were sent to the Central Jewish Museum in Prague. The synagogue, built in 1863–64, served from 1943 as the municipal museum. Julius Freud, the brother of Sigmund Freud, is buried in the local cemetery. Natives of Hranice included the German apostate writer, J.J. David; the Jewish scholar, Isaac Hirsch *Weiss; the editor of the Jewish Encyclopedia, Isidore *Singer; and the advocate of Reform, Aaron *Chorin. The community gave its name to the Reinitz families.
Rabbinowicz-Wachstein, in: H. Gold (ed.), Juden und Judengemeinden Maehrens (1929), 381–5; I.H. Weiss, Zikhronotai (1895), 13–18 and passim.
[Meir Lamed /
Yeshayahu Jelinek (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.