Slavonski Brod Jewish Cemetery
The Jewish cemetery of Brod was built in 1880 but the property was later confiscated in 1958. The cemetery is surrounded by a high brick wall and the gate still exists today. In 2009, there were about 100 tombstones remaining in the cemetery with inscriptions in Hebrew, German, Hungarian and Croatian. The Cohen family mausoleum and a large ceremonial hall from 1880 still exist. The oldest tombstone dates back to 1894 and the latest to 2015. The Holocaust memorial was erected in 1975. The ceremonial hall was renovated in 2015 with funding from local authorities.
Slavonski Brod is a city in Slovenia near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Sava River. In the 4th century BC, the region was inhabited by Celtic tribes. In the 1st century BC, the area was occupied by the Roman Empire. The Romans built a settlement called Marsonia which was a prominent center for the entire region. During the 6th century, Slavic tribes settled in the area. In 1244, the medieval Brod fortress was first mentioned. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Slavonski Brod was a town with defensive walls to protect against the Turkish invasion. In 1536, the Ottomans occupied the town and the surrounding area and ruled there for 150 years. After the liberation of the region at the end of the 17th century, Brod became an important border town under the rule of the Austrian army. It was built to be a huge fortress for protection against the Turks, yet only in the middle of the 19th century did the town receive its civil administration. From that time onward, Brod was one of the most intensively developed places in the entire Austro-Hungary Empire. It was a strong industrial center and transport hub until the end of WWI. In 1910, the population was 9,142 and very multi-cultural; Hungarians, Germans, Croats, Serbs and Jews lived there.
During the Second World War, the town was heavily bombed by the Allies in 1944 and 1945.
The first Jews came to Brod and the surrounding area from Hungary and Slovakia in the 19th century. In 1857, only two Jews lived in town, but at the end of the century, the Jewish population numbered 287 people. The Jewish community was organized in 1873. The local Jews worked in trading operations, crafts and the free professions. The synagogue of the town was built in 1896 by the architects Leo Hönigsberg and Julius Deutsch. It was considered one of the most beautiful synagogues in the Empire. The relations of the Jewish community with other inhabitants were amicable, but the Croats of Brod were very active in anti-Semitic activity during the Second World War. Out of 750 Jews of Brod and the region prior to the war, only 10 survived. The Brod Rabbi Leib Weissberg was also deported to Jacenovac and killed in 1942. Others also perished in concentration camps by the Ustaša regime. A few Brod Jews became members of guerilla detachments of J. Tito and took part in the fight against the Ustaša army. The synagogue of the town was ruined in 1941. In 1961, the Jewish population was only 16.