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A Jewish population settled in Jihlava as early as the 13th century. Gradually Jews started to settle in the vicinity of today's Mother of God Street. The following years were a period of rest and unrest, when Jews were expelled from the city several times. In the course of the 18th century entry into the town by Jews was officially allowed again. 

1928. Jihlava. Synagogue (Benesova street, Obere Sacher Gasse).

In 1858 a Jewish religious society was established and later on it was promoted to a church community. In 1862-1863 a brand new synagogue in the Romanesque-Moorish style was built on what if today Benesova Street, it was consecrated on 09-09-1863. In 1869 a Jewish cemetery was established. The parents and siblings of Gustav Mahler and many significant personalities of what was then the Jewish community are buried there. Jewish cemetery (U Cviciste Nos. 12/2070, Trainingsgelande).

1928. Jihlava. Synagogue (Benesova street, Obere Sacher Gasse).

Jihlava. Synagogue (Benesova street, Obere Sacher Gasse). Interior.

The life of Jihlava's Jewish community drastically impacted the WWII. On March 30, 1939, the Nazis set fire to the synagogue and destroyed it. After 1945 the Jewish community was renewed for only a short time but a wave of emigration to the West followed. In 1992 the commemorative plague was unveiled and in 1995 a monument for victims of the holocaust on the Jewish cemetery of Jihlava.

Schillerova (Benesova street).

Jihlava. Synagogue (Benesova street, Obere Sacher Gasse). Foundation of the synagogue as part of Gustav Mahler Parc.

Jihlava. Synagogue (Benesova street, Obere Sacher Gasse). Plaque.

Chronology Jews in Jihlava

  • 13th century: Jews settle in Jihlava.
  • 1262: “Statuta Judaeorum” of Přemysl Otakar II. 32 Articles defining the rights and obligations of Jewish inhabitants.
  • August 25, 1345: Order on acceptance of Jews in Jihlava.
  • 1425(24): Expulsion of Jews from Jihlava.
  • 1454: Expulsion of Jews from Jihlava and other Moravian royal towns (Brno, Olomouc, Znojmo, Uničov).
  • 18-05-1709: Permission for Jewish participation in markets in Moravian royal towns; the fee for the Jihlava market was 15 and later 17 kreuzers.
  • 1858: Jewish religious society established in Jihlava.
  • 1862-1863: Erection of a new synagogue in Jihlava.
  • 1918-1938: Rich society life – “Chewra Kadisha,” “Chanuka,” “Society of Theodor Herzel,” “Jewish society of ladies,” “Makabi” sports club, “Schir-Zion choir, etc.
  • 15t-03-1939: Occupation of the Czech lands by the German army.
  • 16t-03-1939: Declaration of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
  • 30-03-1939: Plundering and burning of the Jihlava synagogue by SA members.
  • 1940: Limitation of citizens’ rights of the Jewish population in the Protectorate, prohibition on visiting public premises, cultural and sports events, etc.
  • 19-09-1941: Obligatory identification of Jews older than 6 by a Jewish star in the Reich and Protectorate.
  • 1942: Starting in April Jihlava’s were deported to a collection camp in Třebíč and subsequently to Terezín, beginning the mass convoys to Auschwitz.
  • After 1945: Temporary renewal of Jihlava’s Jewish community.
  • 1947-1950: Emigration wave to the West and to Israel.
  • 1950: Demolition of the synagogue’s remains.
  • 1968-1969: Modifications of the Jewish cemetery.
  • 09-04-1992: Unveiling of a commemorative plaque in places where the synagogue used to stand.
  • 08-05-1995: Ceremonial unveiling of a monument to victims of the holocaust in the Jewish cemetery.
  • 07-07-2010: Ceremonial opening of a park with a statue of Gustav Mahler where the burnt-down synagogue on Benešova Street stood, as a part of celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

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