Brody New Jewish Cemetery
The new Jewish cemetery of Brody was established in the 1830s by decree of the Austrian Government in connection with the cholera epidemic, which was the reason to close the old cemetery. It is one the most beautiful and well-preserved 19-th century Jewish cemeteries in Ukraine. It is famous for its stone carvings and poetic epitaphs. Presumably, the cemetery was operating until WWII. In the 1990s, the cemetery was partially catalogued by several expeditions.
The Jews began to settle in Brody from the late 16th century, when the city was founded. In 1599, a synagogue, a Jewish cemetery and a Jewish public bathhouse operated. A hevra kadisha was created in the 1680s. From the very beginning of the city’s history, Jews constituted the majority population group. In 1648, nearly 400 Jewish families were living here. The Jewish community suffered from the plague epidemic, the Khmelnytsky massacre of 1648, and the Tatar invasion of 1651. The Jewish population increased rapidly through the refugees from the Cossack-Tatar cohorts. In the 17th century, Jews were engaged in money-lending and commerce. The synagogue was built in 1724. In 1765, the Jewish population numbered 7,627 and had grown to 11,137 (82% of the total population) by 1783. The main religious circles of Brody did not receive Hassidism as well as other more mystical trends such as Sabbateanism and Frankism. However, in the 19th century, Hasidic ideas gained followers and the city became one of the centres of Galician Hasidism. Brody was also a centre of the Haskala. The prosperity of the local Jewish community was increased by Jewish merchants who were engaged in fur trade. The Jewish population had increased to 16,392 (88% of the total population) by 1820. By the late 19th century, it had been reduced to 12,751 (73% of the total population). From 1890, the Zionist movement gained many followers. During the Russian occupation of 1914, many Jews were subjected to pillage and pogroms and fled the city. In 1921, the Jewish population had declined to 7,202 (67% of the total population). The Nazis occupied Brody on July 1, 1941. On July 12, 1941, 250 Jews were shot. On 13 January 1942, a ghetto for 6,458 Jews was established. In September to November 1942, around 3,000 Jews were taken to the extermination camp of Belzec. On July 19, 1943, the ghetto was liquidated. Around 250 Jews returned after WWII. A monument to Holocaust victims was erected on the outskirts of the Jewish cemetery. In 1994, the Jewish Agency estimated that the Jewish population of Brody numbered 1,200 people (5% of the total population). The leader of the Haskala movement, Nachman Krochmal (1785-1840), was born in Brody.