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Maribor

MARIBOR

MARIBOR (Ger. Marburg ), town in Štajersko (Steiermark) province of Slovenia. Jews lived there from the Middle Ages, arriving from the north, mostly from the Rhineland area. They were moneylenders and artisans, known only by their first names, such as Meyer, Isaac, or Mosch (Moses). Among the moneylenders was an Abraham ben Jacob, and Rabbi ben Petahya Isserlein as well as his grandchildren are on record in the 14th century.

Jews lived in a ghetto from 1277; they had to wear a yellow badge. Rabbi Isserlein, locally mentioned as Israel Marburg, worked in Maribor some time in the 1430s. The Jewish physicians, Hayyim and Michael, are noted in documents. To arbitrate disputes between Jews and Christians, a special court was established, consisting of eight judges, four of them Jewish, presided over by a Christian. Later, however, a one-man office, called Judenrichter (Judge of the Jews), came into existence.

In 1465 the Jewish quarter was surrounded by a wall, parts of which still exist, called "Židovski stolp" (Jew's tower). It formed part of the city's fortifications. By the edict of Emperor Maximilian I of March 1496 all Jews were expelled. They migrated to Burgenland in the north or westward to Trieste and Istria, some even wandering to Poland. In 1501 the synagogue was converted into the Church of All Saints. Only in the second half of the 19th century were Jews re-admitted to Maribor. They were linked at first to the Graz community (Austria), later to that of Varaždin (Croatia). In the early 1930s about a hundred Jews were noted.

No Jews now live in Maribor. The synagogue was preserved and renovated and is used as a cultural center.

bibliography:

A. Rosenberg, Geschichte der Juden in Steiermark (1914); H. Schulsinger, in: Jevrejski Almanah, Vršac, 5690 (1929/30); M. Detoni, in: Jevrejski Almanah 195758, pp. 72–74 (with illustrations).

[Zvi Loker (2nd ed.)]

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