Jevrejsko groblje u Šikari kod Sombora i ponešto o sudbinama živih
Jewish cemetery in Šikara near Sombor
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Jevrejsko groblje u Somboru osnovano je 1805. godine u naselju Šikara, a zvanično je otvoreno 1820. godine. lako je predmet ovog rada Jevrejsko groblje, život Jevreja, njihov kultumi i socijalni položaj, od prvog dolaska 1789. do 1998. godine, zaokuplja više pažnju autora. Upoznavši veliki broj istorijskih i statističkih podataka, on nije mogao da odoli iskušenju da te podatke uključi u svoj rad i tako upotpuni sliku bitisanja jednog naroda na tlu Bačke.
During the office of mayor Josip Marković, the Sombor Magistracy selected a site for the Jewish cemetery in 1805, in the village of Šikara, around 2 km away from the city center and by the flooding Mostog River. The first gravestone, belonging to a child's grave from that year, has been preserved to this day. In 1808, the city's chief physician demanded that the Jews were buried together in one place and a morgue builds at the cemetery. At first, the Jewish cemetery covered an area of 800 m2, but soon doubled in size. The undertaker's home was also built there. In late 1922, Engel Mavro became president of the "Hevra Qaddish". An enterprising man, Mavro launched a number of social activities aimed at augmenting the society's budget. It was thanks to his efforts that the cemetery was enlarged, a yellow-brick and iron fence built around it and the morgue renovated. Today, reclining monuments can be seen on the east side of the cemetery, and the more recent ones, mainly made of black ma...rble, on the west side. The cemetery now covers an area of 8,000 m2. There are 395 graves, of which 380 with visible tombstones, three plus two mass graves (one is a memorial site), commemorating the victims of the Holocaust 1941-1945. The inscription on the bigger mass grave of the two says, "The Mass Grave of 700 Jews From Hungary and Yugoslavia". Letters are still visible on 225 gravestones: 36 in Hebrew, 161 in Hebrew-Hungarian or German, and only four in Hebrew-Serbian. The few Jews still living in Sombor (in total seven, of Jewish parents) are in no position to take care of the cemetery, which is now overgrown with weed and ivy. Before Mrs. Klara Landau launched a charity drive in late 1998, neat graves could be counted on the fingers of one hand. The morgue was in a dilapidated state, its walls seriously damaged by damp. The city cleaning service and the Jewish Religious Community were responsible for the maintenance of the cemetery. The first Jewish settler in Sombor was Jakob Stein, originally from a nearby village of Čonoplje. He got permission to move in, in 1789. He was a feather and food merchant. Two years later, another two Jews were allowed in the city: Abraham Hajduska and Franc Stajn. In a 1792 letter to the Magistracy, the merchants' guild requested an explanation as to why Hajduska, in addition, to another three Jews already living in the city, got the permission without them being asked for an opinion. The guild's chairman, Janos Madjar (a Greek who took a Hungarian name), asked for the permission to be revoked, stating the already difficult living conditions of the city's 30-odd merchants. In another letter addressed to the Hungarian Administrative Council in Požun, in 1798, it is requested that the Jews be denied permission to move to the city since they were already too many. That year, the number of Jewish families rose to eight. They were not allowed to build houses inside the central city zone, and could only stay in the distant outskirts. In comparison with other citizens, the Jews did not have any civil rights, nor the right to belong to any guild. Emperor Joseph II (1780-1790) decreed in 1787 that all Jewish persons living in the empire should take German names. Failure to do so implied prohibitive fines. Another law from 1788 introduced the Cameral tax, which replaced the old tolerance tax (a tax levied on the members of "inferior" ethnic groups - author's remark). In the period between 1818 and 1831, there were regular censuses in the city. The number of Jews rose to one hundred, and the richest among the Jewish merchants was the descendant of the first Jewish immigrant, Lazar Štajn, who paid an annual income tax of 550 forints. In 1828, the Jewish organization underwent a thorough reshuffle. Rabbi Simon Gutman takes this year as the beginning of a properly organized Jewish community, and all previous forms of organization as its precursors. This time, it had a statute, written in Yiddish, and a secretary. The Jewish community functioned as an administrative-political organization and, after the emancipation, a religious one, too. The Jews' legal status changed significantly when in 1840 they were allowed to choose the place of residence, with one limitation: they were banned from minors' towns. The Community now also kept birth, marriage and death records, thanks to which its work in the period 1841-1908 can be easily analyzed from various aspects. In 1852, Sombor had a population of 22.363 - 119 of them were Jews. Until then, Jewish children attended a private elementary school. After the Magistracy abolished all private schools in 1852, the Jewish community founded a public elementary school in a building next to the synagogue, in compliance with the regulations of 1783 and 1791. In 1899, the school had 104 students and three teachers. It was operational until 1919, the year of the school reform which introduced general-type state schools. According to the 1900 census, out of a population of 29.609, living in the city and on the adjacent farms, 882 were Jewish. In the next five years, the number of Jews exceeded 1,000. The cultural development of Sombor and the entire region, at the turn of the century, drove young Jewish people to colleges and universities of Vi- Vienna, Budapest and other big cities, thus breeding a Jewish intelligentsia. Jews in Sombor were doctors, lawyers, bankers, engineers, teachers and many played important roles in the city's public life. Few were originally from Sombor and mostly arrived from other towns in the region as Sombor became the cultural and political center of northwestern Bačka. After the liberation of Sombor in 1944, Mirko Gutman, an attorney-at-law, headed the Jewish community there for many decades, and his sister Juliana was the secretary. At the end of 1998, only seven Jews and 34 half-Jews (of one Jewish and one non-Jewish parent) remained in Sombor.
Keywords:jevrejsko groblje - Sombor / Jevreji - Sombor / Holokaust - Sombor / jewish cemetery - Sombor / Jews - Sombor
Source:Zbornik 8 : Studije, arhivska i memoarska građa, Jevrejski istorijski muzej - Beograd = Jewish studies 8 : Studies, archival and memorial materials, Jewish historical museum - Belgrade, 2003, 8, 371-400
- Beograd : Savez jevrejskih opština Jugoslavije [Federation of Jewish Communitues in Jugoslavia]
- Ovaj rad je dobio treću nagradu 1999. godine na 43. Nagradnom konkursu Saveza jevrejskih opština Jugoslavije.