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Breznice, Czech Republic

BREZNICE (Cz. Březnice; Ger. Bresnitz-Lokschan), town in Bohemia, Czech Republic. Jews settled there in 1592. The Jewish quarter, with a synagogue and cemetery established about 1720, was in the suburb of Lokšany. The synagogue was destroyed by fire in 1821 but subsequently rebuilt. The two "primators" of Bohemian Jewry, Wolf and Joachim *Popper , originated from Breznice. Its rabbis included Isaac Spitz, son-in-law of Eleazar *Fleckeles and author of a volume of poems, Matamei Yiẓḥak (Prague, 1843). In 1897 the community adopted Czech as the official language, closing down its German-language school in 1901. The community numbered 17 families in 1649. In 1731, 22 Jewish houses were recorded. There were 30 Jewish families in 1840, 118 Jewish persons in 1900, and 30 in 1930. Those remaining on the outbreak of World War II were deported to death camps in 1942. The old Jewish quarter, called Lokšany, still exists, offering an example of ghetto town planning.


S. Krauss, Joachim Edler von Popper (1926), 1–14; J. Polák-Rokycana, in: H. Gold (ed.), Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens (1934), 63–69; idem, in: Českožidovský kalendář, 42 (1922/23), 114–27; 45 (1925/26), 97–106. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Fiedler, Jewish Sights of Bohemia and Moravia (1991).

[Oskar K. Rabinowicz]

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