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Holocaust Torah

Holocaust Torah: The History

Our Holocaust Torah was written between 150 and 200 years ago in the town of Breznice, located the in Bohemia.  Breznice was a town approximately 65 km southwest of Prague and 15 km south of the district town of Pribram.  It was charted in the first half of the 14th century.

A Jewish community was established in Breznice most probably in thre 16th century.  The Jewish population numbered 190 persons in the mid 19th century, and in those days Breznice was the seat of the district Rabbi.  In 1930, its population stood at 30 persons of trhe Jewish faith.  After World War II the religious congregation ceased to exist.

Joachim von Popper (died 1795), a well known Prague trader and financier and one of the first Jews to be raised to nobility, was born in Breznice.

The Jewish quarter, called Loksany, was founded by the owner of the chateau and town - Ferdinand of Loksany in 1570.  Enlarged to its present size most probably in the 18th century.  Situated north of the main square, it has a regular ground plan, two squares and two streets.  It use3d to be an enclosed ghetto, connected with the town by one narrow street and a gate.  It consisted of 21 to 24 houses, mostly preserved  and rebuilt in the Empire style.  The largest house is the so-called Popper palace with an enclosed courtyard.  The enclosed character of the Loksany has been recently disturbed by the construction of a new driveway and several demolitions, however it still represents a unique example of ghetto-town planning in Europe.

The synagogue stands in the center of the ghetto's larger square.  Built in 1725, rebuilt in 1820.  At present the synagogue is used as a store-house, though the furnishing has mostly been preserved.  Plans have been made to convert the synagogue into a concert and exhibition hall.

The cemetery is of great historical value, situated 1500 m north of the main square, east of the road to the village Predni Porici.  Tombstones dating from the 17th century, and burials conducted until World War II.  The town has a noteworthy Renaissance chateau with collections open to the public.  There are also two 17th century churches.

Mon, December 4 2023 21 Kislev 5784