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Alternate names: Slavonski Brod [Croa], Bród [Hun], Brood [Ger], Brod na Savi [1244-1934], Brod an der Save. Славонски Брод. 45°10' N, 18°01' E, The sixth-largest city in Croatia. 43 miles SW of Osijek, 107 mi ESE of Zagreb. (Eszek), on the Bosnian border. Jewish population: 462 (in 1931)

" Jewish Population: 1925/26-500; 1931- 520; 1937/38-425; 1941-283; 1947-29; 1994-20." See: Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to East-Central Europe. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1992. (page 244)

City of Slavonski Brod 35000 Slavonski Brod
Tome Skalice 1 Croatia
(+385 35) 442-322 (+385 35) 442-054
Slavonski Brod-Posavina, County (12)

Jewish Communtiy Slavonski Brod
Brace Radica 24
35000 Slavonski Brod
tel : 035/231-964
President : Lavoslav Spicer

Jewish Guide to Croatia [July 2014]

History with photos: The Jewish community founded in 1873, Leo Hönigsberg and Julius Deutsch built its massive synagogue (two towers and a rose window) in 1896 on the site of the community's first synagogue that had been in a private home. The synagogue, devastated in 1941, was fully demolished by Allied bombing later in the war. Slavonski Brod and surroundings was home 750 Jews when from May 1941 until February 1942 they were liquidated. Only ten survived. The best known Jewish families were Kohn, Wienners, Selingers, Steiners, and Weiss. [January 2009]

town image {February 2009]

Complete History of the Town Medieval documents mention Brod for the first time on 20th July 1244 in King Bela IV's gift of deed to the powerful feudal family of Berislavić Grabarski. Brod was built by Berislavići at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries. Turks had invaded and conquered most of Bosnia in 1463 and began to conquer Slavonia after the Mohač battle in 1526. Brod was defeated on 31st July, 1536. The native Catholic population left, but a part accepted Islam.  Turkish authority (1536-1691) had Brod as the headquarter of "kadiluk" -- part of Požega sanjak. Traveling writer Atanas Jurjević visited Brod in 1623 and said that about 5000 Muslim and about 40 Catholic houses existed. From this one might conclude that about 4000 Muslims and about 200 Catholics lived together there. Turkish writer Evlija Čelebija came to Brod in 1660 and mentioned a garrison with a captain and 300 soldiers, houses with wooden roofs and barns, and an ammunition warehouse and mosque on today's Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić Square. A Turkish cemetery also was there. Turkish Brod had only one street from today˘s Ivana Brlić Mažuranić Square on the west to Mrsunja. Christians in Brod worshipped in a wooden chapel (Holy Trinity) behind the Franciscan monastery. Governor Nikola Erdödy and General Hercog de Croy freed Brod from the Turks finally on 12th October 1691. The Muslim population went with the Muslim army to Bosnia. Only the strong military garrison and few Catholics remained in the half-empty town that would be fulfilled with Croats from Bosnia guided by Austrian general Prince Eugen Savojski in 1697. Renaissance Brod had a rectangle foundation surrounded by ground bulworks with trenches.Free from the Turks on 12th October 1691, the Sava River became the border between Turkey and Austria with the Posavina part of Slavonia included in defence system of Vojna krajina. Thee fortress (Festung Brod) was built in the 18th century. The danger of Turks had weakened by the time of its construction and soon disappeared. The fortress became a problem since military authorities forbade building of brick houses near the fort with even more strict regulation enforced in 1783. In case of war, all houses within 1200 m distance  had to be pulled down to freely operate fortress artillery. This strict orders remained in effect until the abolition of Vojna Krajna. Finally in 1845, nearby Brod inhabitants were allowed to build chimneys out of brick. The building of the Franciscan Monastery paralleled the building of the fortress. The town was divided in six wards like craft guilds with a master in charge of order and cleanness, established the number of cattle permitted, gathered charity for the injured, cared for mulberry-trees and so on. Skilled workman of the ward was set free of public works labor.Brod became an important trades center for the surrounding area.  Tailors, cloak-tailors, button-makers and coverlet-makers joined wood workers like carpenters, coopers, and wheelers. Rope-makers, fishermen, glaziers, butchers, stocking knitters, bricklayers and bookbinders,  blacksmiths, locksmiths, painters, soap-manufacturers, bakers, gingerbreadmen, barbers, tinmen, gun-makers, millers, hatters, clockmakers and comb-makers, furriers and belt-makers liked in the industrious town.After 1851, the number of the handicraftsmen declined. Free competition with cheap industrial goods that Brod salesmen brought from more developed parts of the monarchy kept back local manufacture. Many  traditional handicrafts vanished. Not just a trades center, but now a commercial center, peasants from the surrounding area had their needs met. Brod traders (60 in 1870) sold cattle, corn and other goods exported from Turkey and transported it in other parts of the Austrian empire. The trade took place on the Sava river's on barges and the boats dragged upstream on a separately prepared road by "kopitnica" pulled by horses or convicts. When regular steamship navigation was brought in from Sisak to Zemun in 1846, Brod steamships operated twice a week: Sunday from Sisak and Wednesday from Zemun. Still, shipping of the goods continued mostly without machine power until construction of the railway to Budapest, Zagreb, and Bosnia across the river Sava bridge. When the building of the Magistrate burnt.  a town fire-station came about. The efficiency of that association was lax so inhabitants established a volunteer fire-brigade after a great fire on 6 March 1872. In the 19th century, the colony of Brod looked  like an "agricultural town" with gardens, barns, and cattle. Today's Braće Radića Street, A. Starćevića Street, M. Mesića and Petra Krešimira IV Streets existed then, with Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić Square holding weekly markets. Crafts and trades, the most important to the fortress, held the status of the military "komunitet" The Manifest of the King Franjo Josip II on 8th June 1871 name "Brod na Savi".  Inthe 1934, the name became Slavonski Brod. Rapid and radical changes followed the abolition of Vojna krajna when restrictions disappeared and development of capitalistism quickened. Ecomomic prosperity saw competent contractors and tradesmen display their business success in residential and business building. With a favourable position by the navigable Sava, a railway line connected it with all the parts of the Monarchy and with Bosnia across the bridge in 1879. Brod developed quickly into an important industrial center. Employment  attracted a lot of people to this town so that in thirty years (1881-1910) the population redoubled. Population of Brod: 1780 with 1574 inhabitants: 1500 Catholics and 74 Orthodox church. In 1827, Brod had 2484 inhabitants. The 1869 population increased to about 4000 and by 1880 5066 inhabitants. In 1910, 10.200 people lived there where Croats were always in majority with Serbs, Germans and Hungarians in the minority. In the 19th century , Serbs were about 8% of the total population. Germans grew to 1551 in 1910., about 13% of the town population.Jews were came to Brod in the 1870s and establish a Jewish community. In 1892, they built the synagogue (at Fina) damaged in WWII. In 1910. 558 Jews lived in Brod, about 6% of its population. 20% of the population spoke out as Hungarians.The great Hungarian influx in the 19th and the 20th century was for economic and political reasons. They established the Hungarian school in 1895 near the railway station. The 19th century's respectable and wealthy family Brlić linked Brod with Croatia and the other countries of the Austrian Empire and Europe. Between WWI and WWII, Brod was one of the most developed centers of  The kingdom of Yugoslavia. The carriage and bridge factory, founded in 1921., employed 1700 workers from Brod and surroundings. The wood and timber industry employed about 500 . 2300 others worked with the railroad and other ventures. On the eve of WWII, almost half of Brod's 15.000 inhabitants were engaged in industry, handicraft, and trade. After the Independent State of Croatia came about, the Third Reich gave the Italians the biggest part of Dalmatia with the islands and the use of racial laws against all the non-Aryans: Jews, Gypsies and Serbs. For this reason, manyBrod inhabitants kept their distance from the insurgent authority while others actively joined the partisan movement. Exhausted by war because Brod's inhabitants were exposed to systematic bombardment from April 1944-April 1945 as allied airplanes bombed Brod 27 times (Germans did minimal damage in 1941.) On 27th June 1944, 120 airplanes dropped about 4000 bombs and killed 363 people with 320 more or less severely injured. The 19th January 1945 bombings every 5 to 15 minutes lasted the whole day  and killed 250 people and wounded 69. Ff 2.500 buildings in Brod before WWII, 475 of them was destroyed completely, about 300 with severe and about 1.300 with light damage. An accurate number of victims never was established. The Allies found Brod militarily strategic for Germans traffic (the bridge and the Zagreb-Beograd railway line) and f orthe railway car factory. The Independent State of Croatia produced the ammunition. At the beginning of 1945, the Independent State of Croatia fell on 12th April, 1945. The last battles for the town were on the 20/21 April 1945, when the units of the 1st Yugoslav army came in. Many Brod inhabitants fled towards Bleiburg. Just after the war until 1950, town rebuilt intensely both residential and economic buildings. Then, the town entered the period of economic and industrial development, especially metalworks in "Đuro Đaković". Brod had about 20.700 inhabitants in 1953. Seven years later almost 28.000 lived there. The 1971 census showed 38.705 with about 48.000 inhabitants in 1981. This rapid increase included natural growth and movement from the villages of "brodsko Posavlje" and Bosnia and Hercegovina in a search of economic possibilities. Croats were still the most numerous. Brod remained the most important administrative center until1962. of the district. County - "županija")] and a cultural-educational centre of Brod Posavlje and the "Brodsko-posavska županija" [February 2009]


The Jewish cemetery established in 1880 surrounded by a high wall of brick masonry and a gate still exists and is well maintained. About 100 tombstones have inscriptions in Hebrew, German, Hungarian, and Croatian. In the cemetery are a Holocaust memorial, a Cohen family mausoleum, and a large ceremonial hall from 1880 in a seriously-neglected condition. [January 2009]

Cemetery: Established in 1880, the cemetery exists today with a Ceremonial Hall [January 2009: ?] on property confiscated in 1958. There is a monument to Jewish victims of Holocaust. [Land Registry: Folder No: 308; Plot No.: 1305/1 & 1305/4] Source: Srdjan Matic, MD, 40 West 95th Street, Apt. 1-B, New York, NY 10025. (212) 222-7783.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 July 2014 19:20
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