Pobezovice na Sumave

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POBEZOVICE NA SUMAVE (Czech Pobežovice na Šumavě ; Ger. Ronsperg ), village in W. Bohemia. The Jewish community there apparently existed in the 16th century, although the first documentary mention is not until 1664. Until the beginning of the 19th century it was the seat of the district rabbi for *Pilsen and *Klatovy, an office held by Falk Kohner, Samuel Kohn-Kostelhore, and Eleasar *Loew (1810–12). In 1724 there were 17 Jewish families in Pobezovice. The synagogue – the third in Pobezovice – was built in 1816 on the initiative of R. Joel, father of R. Bezalel *Ranshburg. Great interest was aroused in 1927 by the discovery, in the mikveh, of a stone bearing a Hebrew inscription reporting that *Israel b. Eliezer Ba'al Shem Tov had bathed there and pronounced the waters salutary. Consequently, Ḥasidim went there to seek cures. An extract from the confiscated pinkas (1773) records a tradition about the community's destruction in 1096, describes *Shabbatean and *Frankist activities, and mentions the visit of the Ba'al Shem Tov in 1744. Pobezovice was the birthplace of R. Moses Loeb Bloch and the pharmacologist Emil *Starkenstein, and the residence of Heinrich *Coudenhove-Kalergi, whose library of Judaica was deposited in the synagogue. The Jewish population declined from 212 persons in 1848 to 193 in 1893, 63 in 1921, and 41 (2% of the total population) in 1930. With the annexation of the Sudeten area by Germany in 1938, almost the entire community fled, the remaining few being expelled to no-man's-land. The synagogue was burnt down on Kristallnacht, Nov. 10, 1938, and the cemetery was destroyed. Most of the Jews managed to emigrate, mainly to England and Palestine.


M. Gold, Die Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (1934), 575–6; B'nai B'rith, Monatsblaetter… des čechoslowakischen Staats, 6 (1927), 320–8; 7 (1928), 40–48; Selbstwehr (Sept. 9, 1927).

[Meir Lamed]