Evreiskaia obshchina (g. Zagreb)

  • lsraeliticka bogoštovna op ina (Zagreb); Jewish Community of Zagreb
Language of Description
1923 - 1941
Level of Description
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Hebrew
  • German
  • Serbian
  • Hungarian
  • Cyrillic
  • Hebrew
  • Latin

Extent and Medium

6 files

Biographical History

Jews from Hungary settled in Zagreb in the mid-fourteenth century. An Ashkenazi community was in existence until the expulsion of Jews from the city in the mid-fifteenth century. Jews once again received the right to live in Zagreb in the 1780s. In 1806, twenty Ashkenazi families from Central Europe established a new Jewish community in the city. Religious reform carried out by the Zagreb synagogue in 1841 forced a small group of Orthodox to separate from the main community and establish their own prayer house. In 1867, a large Reform (Neologue) synagogue was opened in Zagreb. In 1939, Jews living in Zagreb numbered 9,467. Of these, 8,712 were Ashkenazi Reform, 625 were Sephardim, and 130 were Ashkenazi Orthodox. The Jewish religious community of Zagreb was governed by a 45-member council headed by a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Among its presidents were Josip Siebenschein, who held this office during the periods 1873-83 and 1891-1906, and his son Robert Siebenschein (1912-20). The first Zionist victory in a community presidential election occurred in 1920. The Zionist leader Hugo Kon was president of the community from that year until 1935. The position of chief rabbi from 1887 to 1923 was held by Hosea Jacobi (Hermann Jacoby), who was succeeded by Gavro Schwarz. Starting in the second half of the nineteenth century, the Zagreb Jewish community sponsored a four-year elementary school, at which secular as well as Jewish subjects were taught in Serbo-Croatian. In the interwar period, the community's annual budget, which went mainly to social and philanthropic projects, averaged 2.5 million dinars.

Scope and Content

The collection's contents are catalogued in one inventory. The collection's documents consist primarily of correspondence: internal community correspondence (on public events, the execution of intracommunity administrative duties, educational issues, religious issues, the distribution of Zagreb synagogue positions, and so on); correspondence with Jewish and Zionist organizations, including the Union of Jewish Religious Communities of Yugoslavia, the Ashkenazi community of Belgrade, the Sephardic community of Sarajevo, the Hochschule for Jewish Studies in Berlin, the Dr. Bernard Singer Jewish charitable organization (Subotica), the Jewish religious community of Croatia, the Palestine Bureau in Yugoslavia, the Union of Rabbis of Yugoslavia, the Jelena Prister Jewish society to aid Jewish refugees, the Zionist Federation of Yugoslavia, the association of Jewish retirement homes and orphanages in Novi Sad, the Zagreb Union of Zionist Women, Keren Hayesod, and Keren Kayemeth Lelsrael. There is also correspondence with the HICEM office in Paris on support for Jews emigrating to Palestine. The collection also contains correspondence with Yugoslav authorities (the Ministry of Religious Confessions) and Zagreb city authorities on various issues. Included are petitions, requests, complaints, applications for Yugoslav citizenship and Zagreb residence permits, and for the extension of Yugoslav visas for certain foreign Jewish figures.

Finding Aids

  • Nazi-Looted Jewish Archives in Moscow. A guide to Jewish Historical and Cultural Collections in the Russian State Military Archive, ed. by D. E. Fishman, M. Kupovetsky, V. Kuzelenkov, Scranton - London 2010.

Existence and Location of Copies

  • Microfilms are held by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives.

Archivist Note

Entry selected by Krzysztof Tyszka from the book “Nazi-Looted Jewish Archives in Moscow. A guide to Jewish Historical and Cultural Collections in the Russian State Military Archive”, ed. by D. E. Fishman, M. Kupovetsky, V. Kuzelenkov

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0