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Kosová Hora

KOSOVÁ HORA

KOSOVÁ HORA (Ger. Amschelberg ), small town in central Bohemia. In 1570 two Jews were mentioned in Kosová Hora. By 1724 there were 22 families there, who were increased to 44 by the *Familiants Law of 1726. Twenty-one Jewish houses were recorded in 1781. The community comprised half of the town in 1870, when it numbered almost 400 persons. The number fell from 268 (31% of the total population) in 1876 to only 32 (4%) in 1931. In the 19th century Kosová was a prosperous community, and many of its members were leaseholders in the surrounding district. In the stories of Vojtech *Rakous, Kosová Hora represents the affluent society, in contrast to his heroes, who were mainly poor village Jews. However, during the 19th century the Jews were increasingly attracted to the large cities. Consequently the Jewish congregation was abolished c. 1893, and its members joined the nearby Sedlcany religious congregation. The synagogue, built in 1741 after a fire, and the cemetery, containing gravestones from the same date, were in existence in 1970. Many Jewish families named Amschelberg, after this community, changed their names to the German surnames Amman, Ahrens, etc. Under Nazi occupation the community was annihilated. A few Jews lived in the town after the war.

bibliography:

J. Rokycana, in: česko-Żidovský kalendař, 51 (1932/33), 91, 105; R. Rosenzweig, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden in der Tschechoslowakei, 3 (1933), 61–71; M. Loewy, Amschelberger Jugenderinnerungen (1909). add. bibliography: J. Fiedler, Jewish Sights of Bohemia and Moravia (1991), 98–99.

[Jan Herman]

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