cemetery of Kostelec nad Labem
Comm. No. CZCE000243
Cemetery location: 700
meters SW of square at 337/45 Neratovicka Street. An
alternate, German name, is Elbekosteletz. It is in
Bohemia-Melnik at 50 14 latitude and 14 35 longitude,
19 km. NE of Praha.
Present town population:
1000-5000 currently with no Jewish population.
Town officials: Mestsky
urad, nam. Kominskeho 1, 277 13 Kostelec nad Labem,
tel. 0202/5101. Regional political authorities: 1.
Okresni urad-odbor kultury, 276 01 Melnik, tel.
0206/2651 or 3051; 2. Jewish Congregation: ZNO Praha
(Ms. Jana Wolfova), Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1, tel.
02/231-69-25. Also interested in site: 1. Okresni
muzeum, Cs. Armady 19, 276 01 Melni,, tel. 0206/2845;
2. Statni zidovske muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha
1, tel. 02/231-06-34 or 231-07-85; and 3. Jiri Rad,
Director of District Archives, 5 kvetna 110, 276 01
Melnik. The key is held by caretaker, Karel Smolik,
Neratovicka 337/45, 277 13 Kostelec nad Labem.
The earliest known Jewish
community in town was in late 16th century. Jewish
population in 1930 was 18. Noteworthy historical
events: Jewish community probably banished after
1651; new congregation founded 1864; moving to big
towns in 2nd half of 19th century. The Jewish
cemetery was established in 1594. The last known
Jewish burial was in 1948. The Jewish community
probably was Conservative. Zlonin, 6 km away, and
Libeznice, 8 km. away, used this cemetery. The
cemetery probably is not protected.
The cemetery location is
suburban, on flat land and by water, and isolated,
with no sign. The cemetery is reached through former
house of Hevra Kaddisha at 337/45 Neratovicka. Access
is open with permission. The cemetery is surrounded
by a continuous masonry wall and a gate that locks.
Size of cemetery before and
after WWII was perhaps 0.1723 hectares. 100-500
gravestones are in cemetery, regardless of condition
or position, with 100-500 in original locations and
1-20 not in original locations. 25%-50% of surviving
stones toppled or broken. The oldest tombstones were
removed in the 1970s. The oldest known gravestone is
1852. Tombstones in the cemetery are datable from the
19th and 20th centuries. The marble, granite, and
sandstone tombstones and memorial markers are flat
shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones,
flat stones with carved relief decoration, and
multi-stone monuments, some with portraits on stones
and/or metal fences around graves, inscribed in
Hebrew, German, and/or Czech. The cemetery contains
no known mass graves.
owner of the cemetery property is the Jewish
community of Praha. The cemetery property is now used
for Jewish cemetery purposes, waste dumping, and a
garden. Properties adjacent are agricultural and
residential. The cemetery, visited occasionally by
private visitors, was vandalized between 1945 and ten
years ago. Within the limits of the cemetery, there
is a pre-burial house now used as a living room.
re-erection of stones, cleaning of stones, clearing
of vegetation, and fixing of wall by Jewish groups
within the country before 1950. Current care:
occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals and by
regular caretaker. The caretaker is probably paid by
the Jewish Congregation of Praha.
The vegetation overgrowth in
the cemetery is a seasonal problem preventing access.
Pollution and vegetation are a moderate threat.
Vandalism and incompatible nearby development
(existing, planned or proposed) is a slight threat.
Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5, tel. 02/55-33-40 on
completed the survey 30 June 1992 using the following
documentation: 1. Justin Prasek: Brandejs nad
Labem(1908-1913); 2. Jahrbuch fur die israelische
Cultusgemeinden Bohmens (1894095); 3. Notes of Statni
zidovske muzeum Praha; 4. Cemetery Book (1870-1948);
and 5. 1984 letter of widow of the last grave-digger.
Other documentation exists but was inaccessible: Nos.
26, 35, 36, 59, 60, 64 in archives of Jewish
congregation in Prague. Fiedler visited the site in
1990 and interviewed K. Smolik [see above].
Copyright © 1996-8 AJGS and Arline Sachs - All Right