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Uhersky Brod


UHERSKY BROD (Czech Uherský Brod ; Ger. Ungarisch Brod ; in rabbinical literature, Broda ), town in S.E. Moravia, Czech Republic. It was an important Jewish community, probably from the 13th century, first mentioned in a municipal document in 1470. Four Jewish families lived there in 1558; 18 in 1615; 59 in 1753; 160 in 1745; and 110 families by the late 18th century. In 1843 there were 827 Jews; 1,068 in 1857; and 825 in 1900.

Uhersky Brod Jews suffered severely during the Thirty Years' War (1618–48). After the expulsion of the Jews from Vienna in 1670, many settled in Uhersky Brod. In 1683 a plague killed 438 Jews, and another 100 were massacred by Kuruc soldiers defending Vienna. The massacre forced many inhabitants to take refuge in upper Hungary. There they established new Jewish communities, such as Nove Mesto, *Vahom*Trencin, Cachtiace, Beckov, and Vrbove, which after the rehabilitation of Uhersky Brod remained under its religious jurisdiction for more than 50 years. Among those killed by the Kuruc was Nathan Nata *Hannover, author of Yeven MeẒulah and Sha'arei Ẓiyyon, who had escaped the *Chmielnicki massacres and settled in Uhersky Brod. An elegy in memory of the Kuruc catastrophe (composed in Judeo-German) was customarily recited in the Uhersky Brod community on the 20th of Tammuz. The community was reconstituted a short time after the disaster and developed rapidly. Since the first half of the 17th century, some 20 noted rabbis served there, including *David ben Samuel ha-Levi (the "Taz") and, in the 19th century, Moses Nascher (1844–54), Moses David Hoffmann (1864–89), and Moritz Jung (1890–1912), who established the first high school that combined Jewish studies with general education. The rabbis, who came from such cities as Vienna, Frankfurt a. M., and Cracow, wrote significant theological and historical works.

The community was one of the largest in Moravia. In the 18th and 19th centuries, many left the overcrowded ghetto and moved to Slovakia.

During the 1848 Revolution, Jewish members of the National Guard prevented the outbreak of anti-Jewish riots in Uhersky Brod; they were subsequently forced out of the militia. Uhersky Brod was one of the most Orthodox communities in Moravia. In 1872 the ultra-Orthodox group in the community seceded, in protest against the moving of the bimah and the introduction of a choir; bitter strife divided the community for more than a generation. Both factions adhered to the Orthodox tradition.

In the nearby village of Drskovice, the well-known Jelinek family originated and from there spread throughout the Jewish world. The rabbi of Vienna, Abraham Adolf *Jellinek, was a member of this family.

[Isaac Ze'ev Kahane /

Yeshayahu Jelinek (2nd ed.)]

Holocaust Period

In March 1939 the community of Uhersky Brod numbered 489. Religious services were held in two synagogues. In 1941 the head of the community, Felix Brunn, and seven members of the communal council were arrested by the Gestapo and executed for alleged "underground anti-German activity." At the end of that year, local Fascists set fire to the great synagogue. In early 1942, 350 Jews from Uherske Hradiste were taken to Uhersky Brod, to be quartered with and supported by the local Jewish families. Subsequently Uhersky Brod became a center of concentration for Jews from the whole of southeast Moravia before deportation. In January 1943, three transports totaling 2,837 Jews were sent first to the Theresienstadt ghetto, and later to the Auschwitz death camp; only 81 survived.

In 1945, 30 Jews returned; the community was supported by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. It became a center of religious and social life for the smaller neighboring communities. In 1948 the Uhersky Brod community donated 500,000 crowns to purchase arms for Israel and financed the training of two of its members for the Israeli Air Force. After the rise of Communism in 1948, antisemitic riots occurred and many Jews were deprived of their livelihood. In 1948, 20 Jews immigrated to Israel, and the independent community ceased to exist; the few remaining Jews were served by the Kyjov community. In 1948 a monument was erected in the local cemetery, bearing the names of the Holocaust victims.

[Erich Kulka /

Yeshayahu Jelinek (2nd ed.)]


D. Kaufmann, Die Verheerung um Ungarisch Brod durch den Kuruzzen Ueberfall (1894); A. Frankl-Gruen, Jahresbericht der Privat Gymnasial-Lehranstalt zu Ungarisch Brod (1905); idem, Geschichte der Juden in Ungarisch Brod (1905); M. Jung, in: Jahresberichte der Ungarisch Broder Schule; H. Gold (ed.), Juden und Judengemeinden Maehrens (1929), index; Památnik vydaný při 250 letém výročí vypleněni Židovské obce Uherského Brodu … (1936); B. Bretholz, in: jggjČ, 4 (1932), 107–81. holocaust period: Z. Lederer, Ghetto Theresienstadt (Eng., 1953), 254; R. Iltis (ed.), Die aussaeen unter Traenen … (1959), 58; E. Kulka and O. Kraus, Továrna na smrt (1946), 298; Terezin (Eng., 1965), 55–56. add. bibliography: J. Fiedler, Jewish Sights of Bohemia and Moravia (1991); Archive der Familie aron Dauf Jellinek und deren Verzeigung (1929).

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