ROUDNICE NAD LABEM


ROUDNICE NAD LABEM (Ger. Raudnitz an der Elbe), town in N. Central Bohemia, Czech Republic. The pogrom of 1541 is the earliest record of Jewish settlement in Roudnice. Twenty-three families lived there in 1570; 14 families in 1592. In 1595 the Jews were granted a charter and owned 16 houses. Thus the town belonged to the four oldest Jewish communities in Bohemia, known as Carvin. In 1610 both the houses and the cemetery had to be abandoned to make way for a monastery that was built there. (Tombstones from the cemetery dated 1610 still existed in 1970.) In 1631, 25 families (90 people) lived in Roudnice. That year, the Jewish community saved the town from being destroyed by the Saxons by paying a large sum of money. Nevertheless, the Saxon army burned down the ghetto. In 1651, there were 218 Jews living in 23 houses. One-third of the Jewish population died during the 1713 plague; but the following year's record stated that 100 Jewish families lived in the town. Yet four years later, another record noted 51 houses. In connection with the expulsion of the Prague community (1744), Roudnice was the scene of the murder of a number of Jews. The eastern part of the ghetto was abolished in 1727–28. Only 45 houses are recorded in 1785 and 63 in 1840. Until 1872 Roudnice was the seat of the district rabbinate. A new synagogue was built in 1853, and the third cemetery was established in 1896. It was closed down in 1885. In the mid-19th century, 176 families lived in the city. In 1893 the community numbered 79 families, according to one source; according to another, in 1902 the community numbered 448 in 17 localities. In 1910 there were 320 Jews in Roudnice (3.5% of the total population); in 1921 there were 194 (2.2%); and in 1930, 166 (1.7%). When the community was liquidated by the Nazis in 1942, the contents of the synagogue were sent to the Central Jewish Museum in Prague (see *Museums). No congregation was reestablished after World War II. Richard *Feder served as rabbi of Roudnice. In 1953 the 17th-century synagogue was converted into a boarding house.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Loewy, in: H. Gold, Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens… (1934), 522–8; Pešák, in: JGGJČ, 7 (1935), 1–35; JE, 10 (1906), 332; Feder in: českožidovský kalendář, 40 (1920/21), 19f.; 41 (1921/22), 106; 42 (1922/23), 43; 43 (1923/24), 125; 44 (1924/25), 180; 45 (1925/26), 176; 46 (1926/27), 182; Boleslav, in: Schweizerische Israelitische Gemeindezeitung (1968), 46–50, 74–75, 79–81, 107–11. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Fiedler, Jewish Sights of Bohemia and Moravia (1991), 161–62.

[Jan Herman /

Yeshayahu Jelinek (2nd ed.)]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.