LITOMERICE (Czech. Litoměřice ; Ger. Leitmeritz ), town in N. Bohemia, Czech Republic. Jews are mentioned in the town's founding charter (1057) as salt merchants, thus making Litomerice the first town in Bohemia, after Prague, in which Jews are mentioned. There was a Jewish quarter in 1411. In 1514 the city council protected its "poor Jewish artisans" against financial demands of outside lords, and in 1529 the Bohemian royal authorities demanded that the town mayor provide proper protection for the Jews. Ferdinand i canceled a permit allowing free trade in wine in 1540, and in the following year, after a massacre, the Jews were expelled. The town was granted the privilege de non tolerandis Judaeis in 1546; the synagogue was turned into a hospital (a Hebrew inscription on the building was preserved). In 1584 Jews were permitted to attend fairs. Six Jewish families settled in Litomerice in 1851. In 1863 there were 100 Jews. The community was constituted in 1875 and a synagogue was dedicated in 1883. There were 616 Jews in 1921. Between the two world wars there was a training center for settlement in Ereẓ Israel at the Litomerice agricultural school. The Zionist politician Emil *Margulies lived in the town. In 1930 the community numbered 425 (2.3% of the total population), of whom 143 declared their nationality as Jewish. At the time of the Sudeten crisis (1938) nearly all of the community left the town, the few men who remained being deported to concentration camps.
During the war a branch of the Flossenburg concentration camp and a crematorium were set up in Litomerice. After World War ii staff members of the Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration camp and prison, German and Jewish, were tried in Litomerice. The records are deposited in the local court.
A Jewish community also existed in lovosice (Lobositz) on the opposite bank of the Elbe. According to tradition the community was founded by the Jews who had been expelled from Litomerice in 1541. The first documentary evidence on the community is from 1704. There were 17 Jewish houses there in the 18th century. The *Hoenigsberg family lived in the town for some time. Lovosice Jews developed the business of shipping products to Germany on the Elbe, dealing in the production of chocolate. There were 201 persons in the community in 1930. At the time of the Sudeten crisis nearly all the community left the town. The few remaining males were sent to concentration camps.
H. Ankert, in: H. Gold (ed.), Die Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (1934), 363–9; Germ Jud, 1 (1963), 157; 2 (1968), 478. Add. Bibliography: J. Fiedler, Jewish Sights of Bohemia and Moravia (1991), 182–83.
[Jan Herman and
Meir Lamed /
Yeshayahu Jelinek (2nd ed.)]