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TURNOV (Ger. Turnau ), town in N. Bohemia, Czech Republic. Jews are first mentioned in Turnov in 1526. The town manual of 1568 lays down regulations on Jewish-gentile relations. When the community increased during the 17th century, a cemetery (still in existence in 1969) was consecrated. After the wooden synagogue burned down in 1707, the authorities ordered the community to rebuild it in stone. In 1717 there were 23 Jewish houses in the town. The Jewish population numbered 280 in 1880 and 478 (2.9% of the total population) in 1910, but by 1930 had fallen to 110 (1.4%). In 1942 all Jews were deported to the Nazi extermination camps. The synagogue equipment was transferred to the Central Jewish Museum in Prague. Most of the members of the small congregation organized in 1945 were from *Subcarpathian Ruthenia; it was administered by the *Liberec community. In 1952 a memorial tablet to Nazi victims, with 93 names from Turnov and 25 from the surrounding area, was unveiled in the cemetery. Author Ivan Olbracht (1882–1952), known for his stories about Jews in Carpatho-Rus, was born in the neighboring town of Sedlice.


Geger, in: H. Gold (ed.), Die Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens … (1934), 679–83. add. bibliography: J. Fiedler, Jewish Sights of Bohemia and Moravia (1991).

[Jan Herman /

Yeshayahu Jelinek (2nd ed.)]