History of the Pacov Jewish Community

By Karel Vošta

Originally published by the Z mého kraje monthly in September 2018.

Taxation lists dating from 1570 and a quote from a Jewish person most likely represents the first mention of a Jewish presence in Pacov. In the mid-17th century nine Jewish men, young and old, were mentioned by name but no women were included. In addition, a man “teaching children” was quoted. This documents that the growing Pacov Jewish community tried to ensure education of their religion through a teacher or rabbi and a cantor, who led the singing of religious texts in the prayer room. Often, these roles were conducted by one person. In the 19th century, the Pacov Jewish community had already built a synagogue and also a mikveh (bath), and school where children were taught in German.
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and the others

Our website records life stories of the Holocaust survivors. They were, as in other European towns and countries, a tiny minority of the original Jewish population. We know very little or nothing whatsoever of the overwhelming majority of the Pacov Jews. However, it is important to preserve at least those fragments that remained lodged in the memory of their contemporaries and were passed on to the future generations.

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Who knows whose ashes they were

the life story of Hanuš Bader

Hanuš Bader in Sweden

Hanuš Bader was one of the few Holocaust survivors from Pacov who had been sent to Terezín in November 1942. He survived the concentration camp in Auschwitz and Schwarzheide Labor Camp to be deported to the Bergen-Belsen death camp towards the end of World War  II where, on the brink of death, he was liberated by British troops.

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The woman who escaped the death march to Bergen-Belsen

the story of Věra Ledererová who survived deportation to concentration and labour camps and hid in Košetice near Pacov after escaping from Germany

Věra Ledererová-Kaufmannová with her husband Egon Kaufmann in 1946

Věra Ledererová (b. October 20, 1920 – 1998), was a daughter of the respected tradesman, Emil Lederer, a long-time chairman of the Jewish community in Pacov and a member of the Municipal Council. Emil Lederer was arrested soon after the occupation of Czechoslovakia in December 1940 and died in the concentration camp of Buchenwald (Bernburg) in 1942.

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All his friends kept coming up to greet him

The story of Pacov native and Holocaust survivor Leopold Pachner according to his granddaughter Zuzana Lehner and her mother Františka Adamová

Leopold Pachner

Leopold Pachner (b. September 20. 1897) was born to Anna Pachnerová, née Schlesingerová (daughter of Bernard Schlesinger and Josefina Kohnová of Golčův Jeníkov). His father, Adolf, died in 1925. Leopold had a brother who died before the war, and a sister who perished in a concentration camp.

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The only surviving member of the family

Jaroslav Lustig was born on January 13, 1911 in Lukavec near Pacov, where his father Alois Lustig ran a general store. He was married to Milena Bohumila Lustigová, née Poláčková, daughter of Emanuel Poláček and Marie, née Tellerová (b. January 13, 1910, Pacov). They had a son Jiří born December 3, 1939, in Pelhřimov. They lived in Pacov No. 437.

Jaroslav Lustig

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Synagogue Ideas

Dear friends, please accept our cordial invitation to a public discussion about the future use of the Pacov synagogue which is taking place on Sunday, 4th August 2019, inside the synagogue and main hall of the Pacov chateau. Full schedule can be found here.
There will be free accommodation available in the local high school building (bring your own sleeping bags and mats) for a limited number of persons. You can also book your stay elsewhere in town: http://www.zamekpacov.cz/en/s/tourist-information-centre/accommodation-in-and-around-pacov
We are looking forward to see you in Pacov. RSVP at tikkun@tikkun.cz.
synagogue ideas

One of the prayer book fragments we found while exploring the synagogue attic in January and March 2019. This page from Genesis, end of chapter 24, includes verses about a new beginning after a period of grief.

Pacov synagogue will be open to public in August. To arrange your visit please call: 00 32 474 307 130.

Every Little Helps: The 200 Campaign

The synagogue is now owned by the Tikkun Pacov Synagogue Association. After several years we have entered another phase of our efforts, in which we will turn the synagogue into a museum and venue for common-good activities. This year we intend to restore the original entrance, possibly even the original interior layout, and organize a public discussion on the future use of the synagogue.

We have just received the belowmentioned lovely letter with a donation of CZK 200 (ca. US$ 8.5), which along with the forthcoming bicentenary of the Pacov synagogue led us to the following idea: Are there 200 people willing to donate CZK 200 toward the costs of construction work like our graceful correspondent?

Our transparent bank account number is 2701205032/2010. Please do not forget to include the words 200 Campaign as payment description.

Thank you for your help and support.

Our Fundraising Campaign Is Entering Its Second Phase

On Wednesday, 19th December 2018, we have successfully reached the goal of the first phase of our fundraising campaign thanks to a subsidy granted by the Pacov municipal government. Private individuals donated CZK 839,000 altogether while the Pacov municipality contributed the final CZK 111,000. Later that day the Tikkun Pacov Synagogue Association became the owner of the synagogue, having transferred the total sum of CZK 950,000 into escrow and signed the contract of purchase. Our ownership was officially entered in the Czech land register on Thursday, 17th January 2019, when we also collected the house key.

The synagogue is now free to be restored in a dignified way worthy of one of the most significant Jewish landmarks in Pacov. We are happy to embark on this journey and hope you will keep us company throughout its course.

Thank you to everyone who supported our fundraising campaign and our efforts to save the Pacov synagogue. We wish you as auspicious 2019 as it will surely be for the Pacov synagogue.

You can of course still contribute towards running costs of our association, which is going to manage the synagogue, and first and foremost towards synagogue restoration. Your help is invaluable to us and will be very grateful for any support.