The Jewish cemetery of Plzen (Pilsen)

PLZEN ( Pilsen in Yiddish and German )

Plzen is located in Bohemia, Plzen-mesto.
The new cemetery is located at 4 km E of main square, in Rokycanska trida street.
It was also called Pilsen in German. Plzen is 80 km SW of Praha.
The present town population is over 100,000 with 10 - 100 Jews.

The earliest known Jewish community in this town was 15th century.
The Jewish population was 2773 people in 1930.

Noteworthy historical events involving or affecting the Jewish community were :

medieval Jew community expelled about 1533;
modern congregation established in 1859;
increase of Jewish population correlated with expansion of local industry and commerce;
a.c. holocaust;
congreg. Re-established after WWII, but reduced by both aliya and emigration.

Noteworthy individuals who lived in this Jewish community:

Emil Lederer (1882-1939), Professor of Economics and Sociology in Austria, Germany, Japan and New York; Oskar Baum (1883-1941), blind writer and musician from Kafka's circle;
Bedrich Reicin (1911-1952), son of chazen, communist leader in army and police, hanged in Slansky trial;
Zuzana Ruzickova (b.1928), leading contemporary harpsichordist; rabbi dr. Hoch;
rabbi Porges, etc.

The Jewish cemetery was established in 1898.
Tzadakkim and other noteworthy Jews buried in the cemetery were rabbi Porges etc. - register of buried is deposited in the office of Jewish congregation in Plzen.
The last known Jewish burial was in still used today.
The type of Jewish community which used this cemetery was Conservative.
The cemetery is not listed and/or protected as a landmark or monument.
The cemetery location is suburban, on flat land, separate, but near cemeteries, marked by no sign or marker.
It is reached by turning directly off a public road.
It is open to all in opening hours.
The cemetery is surrounded by a continuous masonry wall.
There is a gate that locks.
The approximate size of cemetery before WWII was 1.6 ha and is now 1.4 ha hectares.
There are 500-5000 stones all in their original location.
The cemetery has special section for children, refugees, soldiers WW1.
Stones are datable from 1898 to 20th century.
The cemetery has tombstones and memorial markers made of marble, granite, limestone, sandstone and slate.
The cemetery contains tombstones that are finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, sculpted monuments and multi-stone monuments.
The cemetery has tombstones with bronze decorations or lettering, with other metallic elements, portraits on stones and metal fences around graves.
Inscriptions on tombstones are in Hebrew, German and Czech.
The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims and Jewish soldiers.
The cemetery contains marked mass graves.
Within the limits of the there are no structures.
The pre-burial house has n/a.
The present owner of the cemetery property is the municipality.
The cemetery property is now used for Jewish cemetery use only.
Properties adjacent to it is commercial or industrial and agricultural.
The cemetery boundaries is smaller now than 1939.
The cemetery is visited frequently by organized Jewish group tours or pilgrimage groups, private visitors and local residents.
The cemetery has been vandalized during World War II and occasionally, between 1981-91 ceremonial hall pulled down between 1945 and 1981.
No maintenance has been done.
The work was done by Jewish groups within country.
Restoration was done in 1986, 87, 88, 89, 90.
Now there is regular caretaker.
The caretaker is paid by the Jewish congregation of Plzen.

This survey was complete by (see surveyors in section above) - old cemetery on 1 September 1992.

The following documentation was used to complete this survey : archives of Jew. Congregation in Plzen ;
Die Juden und Jjudengemeinden Bohmens ..(1934) ;
Jarbuch fur die israelische Cultusgemeinden Bohmens (1894-95) ;
articles of Jaroslav Schiebl in monthly Plzensko, 1930 ;
photo-archives of Statni zidovske muzeum Praha.
The site was not visited.

     International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies