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Hermanuv Mestec

HERMANUV MESTEC

HERMANUV MESTEC (Czech Heřmanův Městec , Ger. Hermann Mestetz ), town in Bohemia, Czech Republic. Jews settled in Hermanuv Mestec at the end of the 15th century and 10 families are mentioned in a document of 1570. Statutes of the ḥevra kaddisha exist from 1643 and an enlargement of the cemetery is recorded in 1667. In 1686 the local lord invited Jews to settle in houses formerly belonging to Christians who had died of the plague. At the end of the 19th century several Jewish firms made the town a center of shoe manufacturing. Noteworthy rabbis included Moses Simḥah Bumsla (d. 1724) and Moses *Bloch (1855–63). Sixty-three Jewish families lived in Hermanuv Mestec in 1724; by 1826 there were 492 Jews in the town, 721 in 1859, and 434 (9.3% of the total population) in 1880. In 1893 the community numbered 1,085, including the Jews in 40 surrounding villages. The community declined to 87 in 1921 and 54 (1.3%) in 1930. In 1942 the Jews were deported to Auschwitz via Theresienstadt and the synagogue appurtenances sent to the Central Jewish Museum in Prague.

bibliography:

Folkmann, in: H. Gold (ed.) Die Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (1934), 170–3; Selbstwehr, no. 52 (Dec. 27, 1912), 7–8.

[Jan Herman]

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