Simon Wiesenthal collected numerous postmarks from Boehmisch Wiesenthal (Bohemian Wiesenthal), a town in western Bohemia near the German border. Boehmisch Wiesenthal was located in the Erzgebirge or Ore Mountains — famed for their deposits of iron, copper, silver, and uranium ore — at the base of the highest peak in the range, the Keilberg.
Boehmisch Wiesenthal Postmarks
Early postmarks for the town simply read Wiesenthal. Postal officials later used the postmark Böhm. Wiesenthal (for Boehmisch Wiesenthal) to distinguish it from other towns with similar names.
The Boehmisch Wiesenthal postmarks in the collection generally date from the late 1800s, when Bohemia was part of Austria-Hungary. Today, Bohemia is in the Czech Republic, and the old Boehmisch Wiesenthal has a Czech name, Loučná pod Klínovcem. Loučná, related to the Czech word for meadow, is similar to the German Wiesenthal (meadow valley). "Pod Klínovcem" refers to its setting "below Klinovec," the Czech name for the Keilberg.
Wiesenthal an der Neisse
Simon Wiesenthal's holdings also included Wiesenthal postmarks from northern Bohemia. As its name suggests, Wiesenthal an der Neisse (Wiesenthal on the Neisse) was a town on the Neisse River. Postmarks sometimes abbreviated the name as Wiesenthal a.d. Neisse. The town's modern Czech name is Lučany nad Nisou; Lučany is a loose translation of Wiesenthal, and "nad Nisou" means "on the Neisse."
Wiesenthal an der Neisse Postmarks
Like the other Wiesenthals in his collection, Wiesenthal an der Neisse was a small place that just happened to share Simon Wiesenthal's name. A British traveler who visited in the 1890s described a typical house there as a stuffy but tidy two-room cottage, its windows "all closed against the sharp mountain air." He also reported that many in Wiesenthal worked from home to make dress ornaments and "trinkets" for a glass company in Gablonz (now Jablonec nad Nisou) — a classic example of the practice known as cottage industry.
Wiesenthal bei Reichenberg
Wiesenthal also found postmarks for Wiesenthal bei Reichenberg (Wiesenthal near Reichenberg), shortened to Wiesenthal b. Reichenberg. This was probably another name for Wiesenthal an der Neisse, which was not far from the city of Reichenberg (now Liberec).