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Austerlitz, Czech Republic

AUSTERLITZ (Cz. Slavkov u Brna; also Nové Sedlice; Ger. Neu-Sedlitz), town in S. Moravia, now the Czech Republic, famous as the site of Napoleon's victory in 1806. Its Jewish community was one of the oldest in Moravia. It had a cemetery dating from the 12th century and is first mentioned as the place of origin of Moses b. Tobiah, whose Sefer ha-Minhagim is dated 1294; about the same time the existence of a yeshivah there is mentioned. In 1567 the sale of houses between Jews and Gentiles was prohibited, and its Jews owned fields. There were 65 houses in Jewish ownership in Austerlitz before the Thirty Years' War (1618–48), and 30 after it. In 1662 and 1722 the Moravian synod (see *Landesjudenschaft ) convened there, and the "shai" (311 = שי״א) takkanot were signed there. At the end of the 17th century the destruction of the Jewish cemetery was ordered. Most of the Jewish quarter, with the synagogue, was burnt down in 1762 and all the Moravian communities contributed toward its reconstruction. Seventy-two families were authorized to reside in Austerlitz in 1798 (see *Familiants ). A new synagogue was built in 1857, at which time the Jewish population was 544. In 1905 there was an outbreak of antisemitic riots. There were only 66 Jews living in Austerlitz in 1930. Under the Nazi occupation they were deported to Theresienstadt in 1942, and from there to Auschwitz. Synagogue equipment was sent to the Central Jewish Museum in Prague. The Jewish quarter is preserved in its original form.

Austerlitz gave its name to several Jewish families who are found in Central Europe.


H. Gold (ed.), Die Juden und Judengemeinden Maehrens (1929), 111–6; Flesh, in: JJV (1924–25), 564–616; B. Bretholz, Geschichte der Juden in Maehren (1934), index; I. Halpern, Takkanot Medinat Mehrin (1942), 114–8, 212–8; S. Hock, Die Familien Prags (1892), index; B. Wachstein, Die Inschriften des alten Judenfriedhofes in Wien, 1 (1912), index; idem, Die Grabschriften des alten Judenfriedhofes in Eisenstadt (1922), index. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Fiedler, Jewish Sights of Bohemia and Moravia (1991), 164.

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