Pula Jewish Cemetery
In Pula, there were Jewish burials in two municipal cemeteries: Cemetery Monte Ghiro with a separate place for non-Catholics and K.u.K. Marinefriedhof (German: Austrian-Hungarian Empire Naval Cemetery) Cemetery. These Jewish cemeteries were not in use after World War I, but still contain 42 tombstones today. The oldest tombstone dates back to 1892 and the latest to 1918.
Pula is the largest city in the Istria County situated at the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula. It is an industrial, cultural and historical center of Istria going back to the Roman times. The Roman Republic occupied the area in 177 BC and during the years of Julius Caesar’s rule, it became an important port. During this time, the town numbered 30,000 inhabitants. The Romans erected many magnificent buildings, some of them are still existing. During the Middle Ages, the town was known as a port for the fleet of the Byzantium Empire and was also a crucial trading center. Croat tribes came to the area in the 7th century. From 1331-1797, Pula and the whole surrounding region were under Republic of Venice’s rule.
The 15th-18th centuries were disastrous for Pula as it suffered from many wars and epidemics. In 1750, its population numbered only 300 people. Under the rule of Austro-Hungary Empire in the 19th century, Pula again received status as one of the main ports for the navy fleet. At the beginning of the 20th century, the town was a summer residence for the Habsburg royal family. In 1910, there were 58,000 inhabitants in Pula, 45% of them Italians. The Jews lived in Pula from the 14th century and they were involved in banking and business. Most of the Jewish families came to the town from Germany. The first Jewish bank was organized in 1427. Not many facts are known about the Jewish community of Pula. During years of economic crises, many Jews left the town. In 1900, there were only 112 Jews in Pula.