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Bzenec, Czech Republic

BZENEC (Ger. Bisenz), town in Moravia, Czech Republic. The synagogue demolished in 1859 had probably stood for 500 years. Its community was one of the oldest in Moravia. It is referred to by a Bzenec medieval chronicler as nidus judaeorum ("nest of Jews"). The Jewish quarter was destroyed in 1458. In 1604 there were 400 Jewish residents, living in 49 buildings, and a Jewish hospital. The Jewish quarter was again destroyed in 1605. The community suffered extreme hardship during the Prussian invasion of 1742; in 1777 the 93 houses in Jewish ownership were burnt down. It became a political community (see *Politische Gemeinden ) in 1852. A new synagogue was built in 1863. There was a matzah factory in Bzenec and a sugar refinery owned by Rudolph *Auspitz . Rabbis of Bzenec include Nehemiah *Bruell (1866–70) and Moses Rosenmann (1894–97). The community numbered 137 families in 1753; 965 persons in 1857; 416 in 1900; and 138 (3.4% of the total population) in 1930. In Jan. 1943 the Jews in Bzenec were deported to Theresienstadt via *Kyjov and later to Nazi death camps, and the synagogue equipment was sent to the Jewish Central Museum in Prague. A small congregation administered by the Kyjov community was reestablished after World War II. In 1956 a monument in memory of the Nazi victims was dedicated in the cemetery.


J. Hoff, in: H. Gold (ed.), Die Juden und Judengemeinden Maehrens (1929), 119–22; M. Stein (ed.), Jahrbuch des traditionstreuen Rabbiner-Verbandes in der Slovakei (1925/26), 15–21.

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