History of the synagogues

There had been a Jewish settlement with a synagogue in Teplice1 since the Middle Ages. In 1668 the Jewish population was expelled twice.2 There were henceforth restrictions on the right of settlement in the city and the obligation to live in a Jewish ghetto.3 After the destruction of the ghetto district in a major city fire in 1793, it was made less strict during reconstruction and integrated into the city.4 From 1848, the Jewish population was given the right to move and settle freely. The already existing community subsequently grew steadily and with it the need for a large synagogue.5 In 1872, the Jewish community acquired a plot of land on a hill in a very present inner-city location.6 The realisation of the new synagogue took place from 1880 to 1882.7 The building was the largest synagogue in Bohemia in terms of its dimensions. For the inauguration, a procession took place from the old synagogue in the former ghetto to the new synagogue. The old synagogue was initially closed, but was used again from 1925 to 1938.8

After the occupation of Bohemian border areas by German Wehrmacht in 1938, the new synagogue was initially protected by local actors. They secured the building from vandalism and suggested various uses.9 But during local riots in 1939, the new synagogue was set on fire.10 The building burned down completely and its ruins were promptly demolished.11

The area of the former Jewish ghetto or the old synagogue was demolished after the end of the war and redesigned as the "Mírové náměst" square with a park. Since 1995, a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust has stood in place of the new synagogue.12

The Jewish community was decimated by the persecution under National Socialism. After the end of the war in 1945, it initially grew due to Ukrainian refugees, but steadily diminished in the decades that followed until today.13 A new synagogue was not built.

  • [1] Teplitz-Schönau, German-language name until 1945.
  • [2] Cf. Stehlík, Michal a. Větrovská, Barbora: Zničené židovské památky severních Čech 1938–1989. Litoměřice 2013, p. 43.
  • [3] Cf. ibid.
  • [4] Cf. Stadt Teplice: The History of the Jewish Community in Teplice. Online (04.05.2023).
  • [5] Cf. ibid.
  • [6] Cf. ibid.
  • [7] Cf. ibid.
  • [8] Cf. Stehlík / Větrovská 2013 (like note 2), p. 45.
  • [9] Cf. Teplice: The History of the Jewish Community in Teplice. Online (04.05.2023).
  • [10] Cf. ibid.
  • [11] Cf. Stehlík / Větrovská 2013 (like note 2), p. 45.
  • [12] Cf. Alicke, Klaus-Dieter: Aus der Geschichte der jüdischen Gemeinden im deutschen Sprachraum. Online (04.05.2023).
  • [13] Cf. Klímová, Helena a. Matušíková, Lenka: Die demografische Entwicklung jüdischen Lebens in ausgewählten Gemeinden der böhmischen Länder. München 2020, p. 394.
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Representation of the synagogues

There are no postcard motifs of the old synagogue as individual motifs or in perspectives. For this reason, its appearance and urban environment are unknown.

There are several individual motifs for the new synagogue. Most of them are taken from the north-west, from the Bartholomew Church. The new synagogue was a regular feature of various views of the city until its destruction in 1939. It appears most frequently in the overall views of Teplice taken from the inner-city hills of “Janáčkovy sady”1 and “Letná”2, but also in other perspectives, such as from today's “Kollárova” Street, “Panorama Hotel” and the academy “Obchodní akademie”3. The reason for the high visibility of the new Teplice synagogue was its size and significant location within the city on a hill.

  • [1] Stefanshöhe, German-language name until 1945.
  • [2] Königshöhe, German-language name until 1945.
  • [3] Gymnasium, German-language name until 1945.
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