CURRENT CZECH NAME: Koryčany
OTHER NAMES/SPELLINGS: Koricany, Koritschan
Koryčany is a "friendly, secluded, unnoticed, little
market town in a beautiful green valley in the
gentle mountain woods of South Moravia," located at
49.07 latitude and 17.11 longitude, 40 km. E of
Brno, 17 km NW of Bzenec, 11 km NNE of Kyjov
HISTORY: Records of a Jewish settlement in Koryčany exist from the second half of the 16th century. The Jewish community was probably established by the first half of the 17th century and abolished around 1900.
GENEALOGICAL RESOURCES: Search JewishGen/Internet resources for Koryčany.
NOTABLE RESIDENTS AND DESCENDANTS: The most famous of these was the poet, journalist and author Siegmund Kolisch (b. 1816 Koryčany, Czech Republic, d. 1886 Hodonin (Göding), Czech Republic), whose revolutionary texts and editorship of the Viennese newspaper, Der Radikale, placed him at the forefront of the revolution of 1848, leading to his arrest and imprisonment. After his escape from Vienna, he lived in exile in Paris, befriended Liszt and Heine, and was a regular feuilletonist for the Neue Freie Presse in Vienna. A plea for his pardon, made by his mother in 1858, was refused by the Emperor with the statement, "Your son committed a serious offense." His brother Rudolf Kolisch was the publisher of the Brunner Courier, and his brother Adolf was the postmaster of Koryčany. One of Rudolf's descendants, Marinka Gurewich née Revész (b. 1902 Bratislava, d. 1989 New York), became a famous opera coach and trained numerous singers for the Metropolitan Opera including Grace Bumbry. Adolf's son Dr. Rudolf Kolisch (b. 1867 Koryčany, d. 1922 Vienna) authored several books and developed the leading treatment for diabetes before the discovery of insulin. Rudolf's son Rudi Kolisch was a violinist and founder of the famous Kolisch quartet. Rudolf's daughter Gertrud married the composer Arnold Schoenberg. Their grandson, E. Randol Schoenberg, is a frequent contributor to JewishGen's Austria-Czech SIG and the submitter of this page. Some of Adolf's other descendants include Deborah Kay "Rachel" Gould née Field, a jazz singer and teacher at the Hague Conservatory of Music, and Steven Stoliar (b. 1954 St Louis), the last assistant to Groucho Marx. Adolf's sister Rosa (b. 1810) married Josef ("Peppi") Rosenfeld and had twelve children. Victor Rosenfeld, became one of the most famous attorneys in Vienna. Siegfried Rosenfeld (b. 1840) was a comedian known as Roderich Fels. Laura Rosenfeld Henschel (b. 1857, d. 1944 Westerborg) was a subject (and love interest) of the young painter Maurycy Gottlieb (b. 1856, d. 1879), now considered the greatest Jewish artist of his time. One of her grandsons, Hans Sachs became first trumpet with the Israel Philharmonic. Theodor Rosenfeld (b. 1851, d. 1907 Berlin) was successful as a theater owner in New York and Berlin. Theodor's daughter Eva Marie Rosenfeld (b. 1892 New York, d. 1977 London) was a member of Sigmund Freud's circle and helped found an experimental school in Vienna with Anna Freud. Eva's husband and first cousin Valentin ("Valti") Rosenfeld (b. 1886 Vienna, d. 1970 London), the son of Victor Rosenfeld, was also a well-known attorney, had the finest Goethe collection in Vienna and sponsored the Jewish swimming club Hakoah.
Oskar Rosenfeld (1884 - 1944) Born in Koryčany, Moravia, Rosenfeld attended the University of Vienna and worked with Theodor Herzl. After the incorporation of Austria in 1938, Rosenfeld moved to Prague, where he worked as correspondent for the London "Jewish Chronicle." In October 1941, Rosenfeld was deported from Prague to the Lodz ghetto, where he joined the staff of the ghetto archives and wrote parts of the Lodz Ghetto "Chronicle." He was deported from Lodz to Auschwitz in August 1944.
SYNAGOGUES: A synagogue on the Jewish street was rebuilt as a shop.
CEMETERIES: The cemetery was established in the beginning of the 17th century. It is located at the eastern edge of town. The oldest gravestone is from 1630 or 1674. The last known burial was 1942. The Jewish community was Conservative. The cemetery is not protected. The cemetery location is suburban, at the crown of a hill, and isolated with no identifying sign. The cemetery is reached by turning directly off a public road and crossing private property (house at No. 300). Access to the cemetery is open to all. A broken fence with no gate and a broken masonry wall surround the cemetery. The size of cemetery remained unchanged at 0.3458 hectares after WWII. Between 100 and 500 gravestones are in cemetery, in varying condition, all in their original locations. About 50%-75% of the surviving stones are toppled or broken. Tombstones in the cemetery are datable from the 17th, through the 20th centuries. The marble, granite, limestone, and sandstone tombstones and memorial markers are, variously, flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration and obelisks, some with traces of painting on their surfaces, and inscribed in Hebrew and/or German. The cemetery contains no known mass graves and no structures. The property is now used for Jewish cemetery purposes only, and is owned by the Jewish community of Brno. Properties adjacent to the cemetery are agricultural and residential. The cemetery occasionally has private visitors. The cemetery has been vandalized from 1945 to the present. Past maintenance includes re-erection of stones, cleaning of stones, and clearing of vegetation by local non-Jewish residents, regional or national authorities and Jewish groups within the country from 1989-91. Current care consists of occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals. Security (uncontrolled access), weather erosion, pollution, and vandalism are moderate threats. The vegetation overgrowth in the cemetery is a constant problem, disturbing graves. Incompatible nearby development is a slight threat. Ing. Arch. Jaroslav Klenovsky, Zebetinska 13, 623 00 Brno, completed this survey on February 22, 1991.
CONTACTS: Town officials: Mayor Petr Pavlinak, Mestsky urad, Na meste cp. 401, 768 05 Koryčany, tel. 0634/97217. Regional political authorities: Marie Docekalova, Okresni urad-referat kultury, Husovo nam., 767 05 Koryčany, tel. 0634/514. Also interested in site: Muzeum Kromerizska, dir. Mgr. Vaclav Tomasek, Velke nam. 38, 767 01 Komeriz, tel. 0634/21457. Also may have information: Rudolf Kalac, Stepnicka 1160, 686 00 Uherske Hradiste.
SOURCES: Jiri Fiedler, Jewish Sights of Bohemia and Moravia (1991), p. 54; International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Cemetery Project, Czech Republic, Koryčany; Petr Ehl, Arno Parik, Jiri Fiedler, Old Bohemian and Moravian Jewish Cemeteries (1991), p. 141 (photo).
Compiled by E. Randol Schoenberg
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Last updated 15 November 2019
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