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USTEK (Czech Úštěk; Ger. Auscha), small town in N. Bohemia, Czech Republic. The local lord received permission in 1327 to allow Jews to settle on his domains, but documentary evidence for the presence of Jews dates only from the 16th century, when the Serymas were lords of the town. There were ten Jewish families in 1570. After the Thirty Years' War, Ustek became a possession of the Jesuit order. The number of Jewish families was limited to eight. In 1794 a synagogue was built (rebuilt in Reform style in 1851). There were 42 Jews (eight families) in the town in 1745, 60 in 1830, 172 in 1880, 108 in 1910, and only 54 in 1930. At the turn of the century, 12 Jewish firms dealt in the export of hops. At the time of the Sudeten crisis (September 1938) the Jews left Ustek; the synagogue was destroyed on Nov. 10, 1938. After World War II the community was not reestablished.


Germ Jud, 2 (1968), 42; Jarschel, in: H. Gold (ed.), Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens… (1934), 13–18; Klambert, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden, 3 (1966), 203–10; Hráský, in: JGGJČ, 9 (1938), 252, 257–8.

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