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Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic

CESKE BUDEJOVICE (Cz. České Budějovice; Ger. Budweis), city in Bohemia, Czech Republic. In 1341 two Jews were granted remission of taxes there for ten years. By 1390 the Jews were living in a separate quarter of the city. There were anti-Jewish riots in 1505, and nine local Jews accused of ritual murder were burned alive and 13 drowned. The next year 23 Jewish children were forcibly baptized and the rest of the Jews were expelled from the city. Jews were permitted to settle again only after 1848. A new congregation was established in 1856. In 1859 an organized *Kultusverein was established, a cemetery consecrated in 1866, and a synagogue built in neo-Gothic style in 1868. The community numbered 1,263 persons living in 19 localities in 1902. Remains of the old synagogue were discovered in 1908. Rabbis of Ceske Budejovice included Emil Krakauer (officiated 1905–06) and Karl Thieberger (1906–30). In 1930 the Jewish population numbered 1,138 (2.6% of the total population).

Ceske Budejovice and the vicinity were settled by ethnic Germans (Sudeten Deutsche). After the annexation of the region by the Third Reich, the Jews were persecuted by the authorities and the local population. In June 1939 the offices of the congregation were closed down. Jewish shops were attacked on July 21, and on August 16, 1940, the Jews had to relinquish their home. They were concentrated in an ancient building under difficult living conditions. On April 18, 1942, 909 were deported to the death camps. Another 386 who had previously left the area were also deported during the war. The Germans blew up the synagogue on June 5, 1942.

After World War II, the congregation was revived, but ceased to function in 1970 because of a lack of members.


R. Huyer, Zur Geschichte der ersten Judengemeinde in Budweis (1911); H. Gold (ed.), Die Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens… (1934), 44–48; A. Charim, Die toten Gemeinden (1966), 23–27; N. Fryd, Pan biskup a vzorek bez ceny (1967); idem, Hedvábné starosti (1968). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Fiedler, Jewish Sights of Bohemia and Moravia (1991), 55–56.

[Oskar K. Rabinowicz / Yeshayahu Jellinek (2nd ed.)]

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