Velika Gorica Jewish Cemetery
The Velika Gorica Jewish cemetery was built in the 19th century and still exists today with a few tombstones remaining. The oldest tombstone dates back to 1906 and the latest to 1938.
Velika Gorica is the largest city in the Zagreb County located 16 kilometers south of Zagreb. The town was first mentioned in 1228 as a parish of the Church. The local castle was built in 1479 to protect against the Turkish invasion. After the victory over the Ottoman army in the 17th century, the economy boomed and Velika Gorica received the privilege to organize a few fairs each year. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the town was renovated as many new buildings were erected and a few parks were constructed. Velika Gorica turned into an industrial center after the construction of the railway station and the establishment of many factories in the 19th century. The main economic outputs of the town were agricultural, wood, leather and metal production. In 1910, there were 3,278 inhabitants. There is little historical information about the local Jewish community. In 1921, there were 67 Jews in Velika Gorica and 37 in 1931.
One of the most famous Jews of the Velika Gorica was Filip Deutsch (1828 – 1919), a nobleman and industrialist. He had a significant impact on the development of Velika Gorica and the timber industry in the region. In 1884, his company, “Filip Deutsch i sinovi Zagreb,” produced the columns for the local bridge. In 1911, Deutsch established the steam sawmill which he named “Paropilana Filipa Deutscha sinova.” At its peak, Deutsch Sawmill employed about 600 workers. Deutsch workers were treated fairly with eight-hour working days, a rather seldom phenomenon at the time. Every worker was also given a hot meal, a decent salary and living quarters.