ZATEC (Czech Žatec; Ger. Saaz), town in N.W. Bohemia, Czech Republic. Jews settled in Zatec before 1350. The burghers of Zatec sought to expel them in the early 16th century, but the king did not consent. However, after the publication of the Bohemian expulsion decree of 1541, the burghers attacked the Jews and drove them out of town. Jews did not return until the second half of the 19th century; two Jewish families lived in Zatec in 1852. A cemetery was opened in 1869 and a synagogue built in 1872. The Jews were mainly engaged in the trade and export of hops, an economic activity of national importance. In 1921 the Jewish population numbered 1,082, but by 1930 their number had declined to 760 (4.2% of the total population). The community was destroyed during the Holocaust. In the 1960s the cemetery was still in existence.
Ger Jud, 2 (1968), 728; E. Maendl and H. Schwenger, in: H. Gold (ed.), Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens (1934), 579–84.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.