Neveklov, Czech Republic
Current Name: Neveklov
Region: Central Bohemian
Historic land: Bohemia
Submitted by Carol Claybaker
Neveklov is located 11 kilometers (7 mi) west of Benešov and 28 km (17 mi) south of Prague. It lies in the hilly landscape of the Benešov Uplands. The highest point is the hill Neštětická hora, at 534 meters (1,752 ft). The municipal territory is rich in ponds; the largest is Panský. The eastern border of the vast territory is formed by the Slapy Reservoir.
Town of Neveklov
Wedged between the Vltava and Sázava rivers, this area’s main assets are a picturesque, clean countryside, proximity of the Slapy Reservoir, and good accessibility by transport. Its fate as an occupied territory during the Second World War stopped further development, so that its original status of a court district changed to a central municipality.
The History of Neveklov
Neither the date of the founding of Neveklov nor the origin of its name are known. We do know that it belonged to the Lords of the Rose since ancient times, as according to records, it was a member of the Rosenberg (Rožmberk) family, Jindřich, who sold it to the Monastery Na Zderaze in 1285. Nevertheless, it remained “in the pledge“ of country gentlemen of Neveklov until the 16th century. In the period prior to the Battle of White Mountain, Neveklov obtained various rights – right of presentation (voting), right to brew beer, right to hold fairs. Neveklov citizens were granted relief from manorial labor. Manorialism, or the manor system, was the method of land ownership during the Middle Ages. Its defining features included a manor house in which the lord of the manor and his dependents lived and administered a rural estate, and a population of laborers who worked the surrounding land to support themselves and the lord. Manorialism declined in the 12th and 13th centuries, but the numerous wars fought between the Russians, Poles, Prussians, and others in the 15th and 16th centuries reproduced the political instability and social insecurities that had led to peasant enserfment in western Europe centuries earlier. In addition, western Europe’s growing demand for grain from the Baltic area gave nobles and other landlords an additional incentive to enserf their peasants, since that was the best way to ensure labor services for grain-growing demesnes (land attached to a manor and retained for the owner's own use). So, by the 16th century manorialism had been re-created on a large scale in eastern Europe. These reactionary manorial developments were not reversed in eastern Europe until the 19th century in most cases.
In 1550 the estate of Tloskov became part of Neveklov. During the reign of Ferdinand I, in 1563, Neveklov was granted urban privileges as well as its coat of arms with two towers symbolizing the unification of Neveklov and Tloskov. Thanks to the knight, Adam Řepa, Neveklov was raised to the rank of a town in 1563.
However, the fateful Battle of White Mountain on 8 Nov. 1620 brought many changes into the Czech Lands, including Neveklov. The then lord Smil of Hodějov took part in the revolt of the Czech protestant nobility in 1618, and as a result of the Battle, all his property was confiscated by Pavel Michna of Vacínov in 1622. Michna was a fervent Catholic and was strict and ruthless in propagating the Catholic faith all over his estate. He deprived Neveklov of its privileges under the pretext of townsfolk´s approval of the revolt. In place of an expelled protestant priest, a Catholic priest was appointed and he gradually took charge of surrounding settlements. 1652 was the beginning of the registry office.
Neveklov also did not escape the plague; 133 inhabitants fell victim to it in 1772. Devastating fires also took a toll: In 1752 fifty burgher houses burnt down, in 1790 the church tower with beautiful bells was destroyed, and in 1814 the deanery, school, and 50 burgher houses burnt down. An ancestor in the 1700s was a cobbler who made and repaired shoes and leather goods.
Neveklov area during WWII and afterwards
A tragic fate befell Neveklov area during WWII. Starting in 1942, the population of the region was gradually displaced and an SS exercising ground was set up there. The SS (Schutzstaffel, or Protection Squads) was originally established as Adolf Hitler’s personal bodyguard unit, but soon was also entrusted with the removal of enemies of the regime, and specifically European Jews. The SS controlled the German police forces and the concentration camp system. They conceived and implemented plans designed to restructure the ethnic composition of eastern Europe and the occupied Soviet Union. From 1939, the SS assumed responsibility for “solving” the so-called Jewish Question; after 1941, its leadership planned, coordinated and directed the so-called Final Solution of the Jewish Question. This “solution” was the annihilation of the European Jews, now referred to as the Holocaust.
Not only did the displacement of Neveklov’s citizens disrupt the current life of the people who were working mainly in agriculture and who for generations had been tied to the soil – means of their subsistence, but it also meant severe complications in establishing a new existence.
Family in Prague wrote about this: My grandparents had to move out of Neveklov. They found accommodations in Mukařov in Central Bohemia. It is a small town located about 25 km east of Prague. Some residents remained in Neveklov, selected by the SS to work for them. The others had to leave. It was not easy for these residents to find accommodations and a job. After the war they returned to Neveklov.
With reverence we remember doctor Ladislav Nebeský, a Neveklov native and anti-Nazi resistance fighter. Beginning in 1939, he was a member of the underground anti-Nazi movement. In 1940, he was arrested by the Gestapo, and was executed (beheaded) on 22 Sept. 1942 in Berlin for antifascist resistance. He was my father’s cousin. His mother was my grandfather’s sister. There is a commemorative plaque for him in the town square. His son, Ladislav Nebeský, Jr. (1937-2021), was born in Jilemnice, northeast of Prague. (He and his wife had a son, David.) Ladislav Nebeský, Jr. was a mathematician, linguist, and poet. He taught mathematics and linguistics at Charles University. On One Formalization of Sentence Analysis, he gained an international reputation in mathematical linguistics as early as 1962. His further work was focused on analytical models of language and the use of the theory of diagrams in linguistics, particularly in the analysis of formal phrases of sentence structure and word order (Combinatoric Attributes of Sentence Structures, 1988). He also researched cartographic semiotics and the studies of relations between text and space.
Ladislav Nebeský was a poet as well. He wrote experimental poetry in the 60s (that could not be published until 1993). The development of his poetry falls into two major periods: 1964 - 1972 and 1995 – until his death. A few weeks before the end of 1965, he discovered so called binary poems. Simply stated, a binary poem is a constellation of artificial words, words formed by "signs" O and I; these artificial words are derived from words of a natural language in such a way that the letters used in "natural" words are binary encoded. Binary poems and poems relative to them became the main tendency in his poetry in the years 1966 - 1972. (Beginning in the seventies, he pursued mathematics more intensively). After a break, he returned in the 90s not only as an author (from 2006 to 2012, he published five collections which are accessible online on the website of the publishing house), but also as a theoretician. He discovered so-called binary poems that seemingly use emptiness but can be seen (read). His poetry excels in inventiveness, playfulness, and wit.
Memorials on the town square of Neveklov commemorate the victims of both world wars.
After WW II, the returning inhabitants found nothing but demolished walls, broken windows and doors, devastated fields, poisoned wells. Death was lurking all around – mines and grenades. Despite all this, several thousand people took part in the national pilgrimage in Netvořice, where they came. The renewal of the area after the war was financed by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), an extensive social-welfare program that assisted nations ravaged by World War II, from late 1943 to late 1946.
Between 1945-1948 the local water supply system, waterworks, and two wells were built. In 1948, Engineering Cooperative for common assistance of agricultural machines was founded. In 1952, the Agricultural Cooperative of Neveklov was established. In 1946 an agricultural school was opened, but it ceased operation in 1955. In 1952 a cinema was built in the municipal hall.
The post-war fate of Tloskov chateau is worth mentioning as well. In 1946 it was the seat of the Union of Inventors, from 1954, of a toy cooperative Dereda, in 1958 it belonged to the army and since 1959 it has been the seat of the Social Care Institute for Youth.
Currently Neveklov has a population of about 2700 inhabitants. Many of them work in agriculture; others commute to work in the Prague area. In 2011, J. Heřman Square was reconstructed and recently a former shopping center was converted into a multifunctional building with adjacent parking.
Thanks to its location near Prague and its beautiful natural environment, the Neveklov area is a paradise for horse lovers. In the last twenty years a number of horse farms have come into being where for both individual and group horseback riding, often with lodging and board. Children horse camps and corporate events are also popular.
My direct line is from this town, my grandfather’s family.
One descendant, Edita Plicková (in Prague), is an illustrator of children’s books, such as The Book of Bedtime Stories and many others. Her style is similar to Mary Engelbreit’s works in this country.
Another one, Harry Cikanek, was former Program Manager and Executive of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Since retiring he is now the new Director of Business Development and Entrepreneurship of CUNY Crest Institute - Remote Sensing Earth System Institute (Science & Technology to Sustain the Earth).