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History of Pribram Jews
- First mentioned in 1238, one of the oldest Jewish settlements in the Czech lands.
- In 1568 the Jews were expelled from the town. Historical sources refer to their number at the time as “sizeable.”
- In 1853 the first Jewish family moved back, in 1880 there were 332 Jewish citizens, in 1900 there were 415 and in 1930, 215 people claimed their Jewish heritage.
- The Jews in Pribram enjoyed a rich social life; there was a chevra kadisha, a Sisterhood, and charity and youth organizations. Before WWI there was even a kosher restaurant.
- During the Nazi occupation, 171 Pribram Jews were killed in the camps, including 18 children under 15. The youngest was Pavel Schling, he was four years old.
- In 1873 the building of the synagogue (in the then-popular Moorish style) began and in 1875 it was finished and the first Torah scroll was placed in the synagogue.
- In the 1960s many Torah scrolls were sold to Western Jewish organizations all over the world.
- The last Pribram rabbi, Dr. Emil Friedman, was killed in Auschwitz in 1943, along with 543 Jewish people from Pribram and the surrounding area.
- During WWII, the synagogue was used as a warehouse and from 1946 to 1957 it housed collections of the town museum.
- In 1966, due to only a very small number of Jewish people in Pribram, the congregation donated the synagogue to the town of Pribram.
- The magistrate accepted the donation, only to tear the synagogue down in 1969.
- The location of the medieval Jewish cemetery in unknown.
- The new Jewish cemetery was founded in 1879. There are currently 150 beautifully preserved grave stones and a monument to the 543 Nazi victims, unveiled in 1954. The last Jewish burial took place in 1958. The cemetery is very well preserved and taken care of.
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