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Znojmo

ZNOJMO

ZNOJMO (Ger. Znaim ), town in S. Moravia, Czech Republic. Although Jews are mentioned in a document dated 1052, the document itself is considered a 13th-century forgery. A Jewish tombstone in Znojmo, dated 1256, is the oldest to be found in Moravia; another tombstone there is inscribed 1306. A Jewish quarter was established when the town obtained independent status and is described in a document dated 1330. A synagogue is mentioned in 1341. The community were victims of the massacres following the Desecration of the Host libel of *Pulkau and during the Black *Death (1348). An assessment of an impost on Moravian communities in 1421 indicates that the Znojmo community was then the largest in Moravia. The Jews were expelled from Znojmo in 1454 and subsequently were permitted to enter the town only on payment of a body tax (*Leibzoll); there was a special inn for visiting Jews.

There was a "Jewish street" in Znojmo, now called "Vesela street" ("the cheerful street"). The first Jews to receive permission to reside in Znojmo settled there in 1851. A congregation (Kultusverein) was founded in 1865 and became autonomous in 1876. In 1888 a synagogue was constructed in the Moorish style. In 1848 there were 19 Jews living in the town. In 1857 there were 36; 357 in 1869; 749 in 1921; 786 in 1928; and 675 in 1930.

The Jews contributed significantly to the town's economic development. They pioneered the canning industry, in particular pickles, for which Znojmo became famous.

Znojmo's population, as well as the vicinity, was known for the Judeophobia entrenched there. During the Sudeten crisis (1938), most Jews left Znojmo. The synagogue was set afire during Kristallnacht and was later torn down. Some 665 members of the community perished in concentration camps. A congregation was reestablished after World War ii. It no longer exists.

bibliography:

H. Einhorn and B. Wachstein, in: H. Gold (ed.), Juden und Judengemeinden Maehrens … (1929), 579–85; A. Engel, in: jjgjc, 2 (1930), 59; I. Reich, Slavnostni spis… Chevra kadisa ve Znojme (1929); idem, Nahrobky… Grabsteine (Czech and Ger., 1932); Kahan, in: mgwj, 73 (1929), 382–4; 74 (1930), 134–5, 226–7; E. Baneth, ibid., 133–4; Jews in Czechoslovakia, 1 (1968), 390; B. Bretholz, Quellen zur Geschichte der Juden in Maehren (1935) index; idem, Geschichte der Stadt Bruenn (1934), index; Germania Judaica, 2 (1968), index; mhj, 1 (1903), 411. add. bibliography: J. Fiedler, Jewish Sites of Bohemia and Moravia (1991).

[Meir Lamed /

Yeshayahu Jelinek (2nd ed.)]

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