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Teplice

TEPLICE

TEPLICE (Czech Teplice-Šanov , Ger. Teplitz or Teplitz-Schoenau ), city in N. Bohemia, Czech Republic. The Jewish community of Teplice was one of the largest and most important in Bohemia from the 16th century onward, one of the few places from which Jews were not expelled until the Nazi regime. The first evidence of Jewish settlement dates from 1414, when there were 20 Jews in the city. In 1480 the community had a cemetery and a synagogue. In 1570, 23 families resided in Teplice. The old cemetery had to be abandoned in 1669 and a new one was opened. In 1667 there were 262 Jews in Teplice. After the persecutions at the end of the 17th century their number had diminished to 187 in 1702. In 1823 there were 496 Jews dwelling in 50 houses. The community flourished under the benevolent patronage of the Clary family. During the period of industrial development, Jews engaged in the glass, ceramic, and coal-mining industries, as well as in developing the noted spa. Rabbis who served in Teplice included Z. *Frankel (1832–36), who left for Dresden after encountering local opposition; his successor, David Pick (1836–78), who gave sermons in German and was the first in Austria to use the organ during services; Adolf Rosenberg (1878–87); Adolf Kurrein (1887–1919); and Friedrich Weiss (1920–38), who wrote the history of the community. In the second half of the 19th century, the Teplice community became the second largest in Bohemia (after Prague), numbering 1,718 (11.6% of the total population) in 1880, 2,704 (10.1%) in 1910, and 3,213 (10.4%) in 1930, the highest percentage in Bohemia. The increase was due to the influx of East European Jews, who organized their own Orthodox community and reconsecrated the old synagogue for their use in 1925. There was also a strong Zionist center in Teplice.

The rabbi and the majority of the community left in summer and fall 1938, as Teplice was situated in the Sudeten region, scene of bitter Czech-German strife and Nazi agitation. After the Munich agreement, almost no Jews remained. The old cemetery (dating from 1669) was destroyed by the Nazis; the new one, opened in 1862, was still extant in the late 1960s. The synagogue, built in 1883, was also destroyed by the Nazis. After World War ii a new community was organized, mainly by refugees from Subcarpathian Ruthenia, and totaled 1,200 in 1948. In 1965 about 500 community members remained, employing a cantor and holding services in the communal center prayer room. After 1967 the community declined.

bibliography:

P. Wanie, Geschichte der juden von Teplitz (1925); F. Weihs, in: H. Gold (ed.), Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens (1934), 646–74; B. Brilling, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden, 6 (1968), 167–73; idem, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden in der Tschechoslowakei, 6 (1938); 23–27; J. Diamant and B. Glaser, ibid., 63–68; R. Iltis (ed.), Die aussaeen unter Traenen… (1958).

[Jan Herman]

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