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Other Names: Teplitz, Teplicz, Teplice-Shönau (formerly Bohemia)

An ancient spa town seated on warm mineral waters, Teplice is known for its flamboyant Bohemian glass and a brilliant red rose named for the city.

The Slavonic name Teplice denotes a place of warm springs. The name in its Latin form in Teplicz first appears in Jarloch's chronicle in the 13th century. The name may be a derivation from a phrase used by Vincentius in his account (1156-1164), which states that Queen Judith founded a Benedictine nunnery dedicated to St. John the Baptist by the warm waters (Latin: ad aquas claidas).

Location: 47 miles northwest of Praha (Prague); 11 miles west-northwest of Terezin; 29 miles south of Dresden.
Maps showing Teplice:
        MapQuest at Latitude 50°38´N, Longitude 13°50´E;    Google;    MultiMap

An Historical Timeline of Teplice

Photographs

History of the Jewish Community in Teplice by Martin Kurrein

The Jewish 
Families of Teplice

q       KURREIN - First Rabbi of the Grand Synagogue, Adolf Kurrein
When the magnificent synagogue was opened in 1882, Adolf Kurrein was the first Rabbi. He lived in a house called "Madeira" on Elisabeth Strasse, a short walk from the synagogue. Rabbi Kurrein (born 1848 in Trebic) died in Teplice in 1919. Some of his grandchildren perished in Auschwitz . The tragic story of the Jewish congregation of Teplice and the destruction of the synagogue is told on a web page set up by Martin Kurrein, which has extensive links to his Austrian ancestry: http://www.kurrein.com/.

q       RINDSKOPF - Carnival Glass and the Rindskopf Family
In 1876 Josef Rindskopf was co-owner, with some of his brothers, of the glass company Brüder Rindskopf. The family, a large one, was descended from Josef Rindskopf's father, Beer (1799-1876). Almost all of the family members changed their name to Riethof a hundred or so years ago. A full history of the large  Rinskopf  family and their factory can be found at: http://www.geocities.com/carni_glass_uk_2000/RindskopfHome.htm.

q       LAZARSFELD and HNILICEK - Music Halls, Theatre, Diamonds and the English Warner Brothers
The theatrical impresario Dick Warner was born in Teplice in 1856. Throughout his life he cherished his Jewish ancestry and contributed generously to Jewish education in England. Dick Warner’s lifelong fascination was the study of the world’s religions, which was an unusual pursuit for a man also given to hosting parties that ran for days, amply supplied with the best wines. He was one of the three sons of Ernst Lazarsfeld, a flour mill owner and brewer, from Kosova Hora and Katte Schnabel of Neubidschow. The Lazarsfelds were a vast family of intellectuals, including significant academics, musicians, writers, and political activists.  Lazarsfeld’s sister Katharina was married to Dawid Hnilicek, a private religious teacher in Teplice whose son Rudolph, b. 1853, was Dick’s closest childhood friend. Dick Warner probably developed his love of religious studies from his uncle in Teplice. Both the Hnilicek and Lazarsfeld families adopted the name Warner when they moved to England, and they worked as merchants. Dick had a love of classical music and fine art, and he had many connections with musicians in Vienna and Prague. His interests changed when his brother Hugo, a diamond merchant, married a music hall artiste, and they came into contact with the large Jewish theatrical families of London’s East and West Ends. His first business partner in England was G.A., “The Great” Farini, who had crossed Niagara Falls with a washing-machine on his back. Later he became involved with the gentry of the theatre, such as Sir Augustus Harris, and Sir Walter de Frece. The Warners were related by marriage to the Abrahams families that had deep connections into the “Jewish cousinhood” of theatre owners and diamond hunters.  Hugo Lazarsfeld Warner became involved in diamond manufacturing in Hatton Garden, and his wife was a beneficiary of the will of Mrs. Harry Barnato, widow of the celebrated East End diamond millionaire.

q       SPIRA – A Scholarly and Rabbinic Family
The Spira name is associated with scholarly Rabbinic families. In the Gold Book (see link below) the name appears in connection with Teplice in the 1600s. An extensive history of the Spira family is available on the family’s website at: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~prohel/names/loew/spira/spira.html#st.

q       AUFRICHTIG
This family which settled in Teplice before 1870, lost many members in the Holocaust. Beautifully documented with love letters and precious photographs, Ronny Roberts' family stories inspired the dramatic production, Ohne Dich Ist Alles Nur Ein Schatten, interpreted by Swiss actress Carole Schmitt and German actor Ulrich Schmissat in January 2005: http://www.aufrichtigs.com:80/02-Teplice_Aufrichtigs/index.htm 

Letters 
   
Anna's Letter from Teplice - 1940 -- This letter, which found its way to Jerusalem, was translated from the German by Sara Hanna Tetzner. It was sent by her aunt, Anna Salomon (nee Slansky), from Teplice in 1940 to unknown relatives. The journey of the letter and the fate of the people mentioned are not known to the translator, but it gives a graphic description of the suffering of Jews in Teplice under the Nazis.

Other Teplice Links

The Gold Book is an ancient source of information on the towns and cities of Bohemia. It includes images and Hebrew inscriptions of headstones, and family names: http://www.hugogold.com/bohemia/. This is from: Die Juden und Judengemeinde Bohmens in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (The Jews and Jewish Communities of Bohemia in the past and present), edited by Hugo Gold, published in Brunn-Prague, 1934: Judischer Buch-und Kunst Verlag.

Teplice is the oldest spa in Bohemia, and it once attracted nobility and wealth to such a degree that the town was called “the parlour of Europe.”  There is a contemporary description of the spa town and its history as a wellness centre at http://www.lazneteplice.cz/.

The corporation of the City of Teplice has a beautiful website that includes magnificent vistas of the ancient architecture and an extensive social history at http://www.teplice.cz/zidovska-synagoga/ms-1038/.  (Note, 6 Jan 2014: That website was recently rebuilt and currently appears to be offered only in the Czech language.  The Google Toolbar can quickly translate the text to English if that toolbar is installed in your web browser.)

SOBEDRUHY -- This Jewish village with its own orthodox congregation, always had familial connections to the industrial town of Teplice, but in 1960 it was officially encompassed into the City. The Jewish population of Sobedruhy lived in the Judengasse which was a single street with small houses and a synagogue. Until 1848, this area was the Jewish ghetto, sometimes called the Tempel-Strasse. In 1900 a building housing the offices of the Jewish Community was constructed adjacent to the synagogue. A Jewish cemetery dating to approximately 1669 was located near the ghetto area on the Jewish Hill. Many of the families of Sobedruhy have close links to those of Teplice, as you will see on Julian H. Priesler's interesting family site:  http://www.jpreisler.com/SobedruhyMain.htm


Other JewishGen Links

JewishGen Austria-Czech SIG - Special Interest Group for the Jewish communities that once existed in Austria and the Czech Republic (Bohemia and Moravia).

The JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) - A database of ancestral towns and surnames currently being researched by Jewish genealogists worldwide.

Request for Further Teplice Information

Please help us expand this web site by sending further information about the Jews of Teplice, 
including personal stories, pictures, documents and comments to: Ann Jensen

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Compiled by Ann Jensen
Last Updated on 6 January 2014
Copyright © 2008 Ann Jensen. All Rights Reserved.
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