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JEMNICE (Ger. Jamnitz ), town in S.W. Moravia, Czech Republic. The Jewish community in Jemnice is mentioned first in connection with its sufferings during the *Armleder massacres (1336). It is assumed that the community was one of the oldest of Moravia. A gravestone from 1362 has been preserved and in 1369 the sale of real estate by a Jew was recorded. In 1530 Jews are mentioned as house owners and throughout the 16th and 17th centuries transactions in real estate between Jews and gentiles are frequently documented. A synagogue, built in 1648, burned down in 1752. There were nine Jewish tailors in Jemnice in 1755. When the community could not meet its tax obligations in 1775, the local lord renounced his share. In 1812 a German-language elementary school was founded, which existed as a governmental school until 1918. In a fire in 1832 all 28 houses of the Jewish quarter were burned to the ground. Riots occurred in 1866 when the Jews were accused of actively supporting the Prussians.

There were 24 families living in 11 houses in 1666. In 1754 the number of permitted families was increased from 30 to 45 (see *Familiants Law) and the community increased to 263 persons (nearly 20% of the total population) in 1781, and 325 persons in 1830. Then began a steady decline, from 305 in 1857 to 200 in 1869, 102 in 1910, 84 in 1921, and 52 in 1930 (1.5% of the total). In 1942 the community was deported to the Nazi extermination camps. The synagogue ritual objects were transferred to the Central Jewish Museum in Prague.


A. Marmorstein, in: Mitteilungen zur juedischen Volkskunde, 13 (1910), 28–32; R. Hruschka and B. Wachstein, in: H. Gold (ed.), Die Juden und Judengemeinden Maehrens… (1929), 251–66.

[Meir Lamed]

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