The Sobědruhy Jewish Cemetery
Photograph of cemetery grounds ca. 1930
"Die Juden und Judengemeinden Böhmens in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart"
The Jewish cemetery dates to before 1669 and is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Bohemia outside of Prague. It is about 3300 sq. meters in size and is located 500 meters SW of the "Sobědruhy Square". It is often referred to as "Jews Hill". The cemetery is listed as a "national cultural landmark" with the government and contains valuable and historic tombstones. The cemetery suffered terrible vandalism on Kristallnacht in 1938 and under the subsequent Nazi occupation and benign neglect under Communist rule. Some minor vandalism and neglect continues today though there are several clean-ups of the cemetery each year. The lack of funds and interest led to much neglect in present-times. For years the cemetery was barely visible through the thick trees and brush that covered the historic grounds. Most tombstones were buried deep in the thick grass and weeds. When my family and I visited in 1997, the remains of the funeral hall were barely visible at the edge of the cemetery boundary. In 2003 portions of the burial ground began to be cleared and a number of tombstones have been repaired and/or restored. The CJD Chemnitz through its "Shalom Saxony-Bohemia" program, has cleaned the cemetery on many occasions and plans to catalog the cemetery in the near future. That project apparently ran into funding problems though they have an excellentwebsite with information on this cemetery and many other Jewish cemeteries in the region. The Jewish Community of Dresden is now helping the Teplice Jewish Congregation to raise funds to help secure and restore the Sobědruhy Jewish Cemetery. They are engaged along with the City of Teplice in the costly process of making sure that this historic cemetery is secured with a new wall and that this state protected cultural monument becomes a dignified resting place.. The cemetery is all that remains as a tribute to the lives of the people that once were the Jewish Community of Sobědruhy.
UPDATES: Several months ago I began compiling a list of the known burials in the cemetery using death records, old photos, etc. The list is a work in-progress and I will add to it as I find time. Here is a link to the Burial List. Last fall (2014) a fence and gate were dedicated at the cemetery. There is also a current program to identify all remaining tombstones in the cemetery. Here are a Czech & German article with images: Article 1 Article 2
Photographs below were taken ca. 1997 and 2003
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