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Breclav, Czech Republic

Breclav (Ger. Lundenburg) is a town in Moravia, Czech Republic. Jews are first mentioned there in 1411. By the middle of the 16th century there was a large Jewish settlement and a synagogue. The community suffered from outbreaks of violence in 1574, 1605, and 1622, and was annihilated when the city was captured by the Swedes in 1643. Jews expelled from the Austrian town of Feldberg settled in Breclav in 1651. In 1697, the council of Moravia (see *Landesjudenschaft ) met there. The 11th of Tevet was kept as a holiday by the Breclav community to commemorate their escape in 1697, when the synagogue roof collapsed while the congregation was waiting to enter. Mordecai *Banet officiated as rabbi there from 1787 to 1789. The historian Heinrich *Graetz taught at the Jewish school from 1850 to 1852. After 1848 Breclav was constituted as a political community (see *Politische Gemeinden ). The Jewish population numbered 30 families, living in 12 houses, in 1702, 66 families in 1726, and 589 persons in 1930 (4.3% of the total population), of whom 432 were of declared Jewish nationality. In April 1942 during the Nazi occupation the Jews were deported to Theresienstadt and from there to the death camps. About 100 survived the Holocaust. The synagogue appurtenances were sent to the Jewish Central Museum in Prague.


H. Schwenger, in: H. Gold (ed.), Juden und Judengemeinden Maehrens (1929), 37–40, 321–9; idem, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden in der Tschechoslowakei, 1 (1930–31), 171–3; J. Halpern, Takkanot Medinat Mehrin (1952), 158–66.

[Oskar K. Rabinowicz]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.