Serbian Jews

Figure 1.--Jews throughout most of Europe gained rights and eventually full citizenship during the 19th century. This postcard-back snapshot shows two Jewish school boys in Yugoslav Serbia with their baby brother during the 1930s were living normal lives unaware of the racial mania forces of evil brewing to the north. Tragically very few Yugoslavs Jews survived the NAZI Holocaust, especially children who looked Jewish. And much of the killing was done by their neigbors and not the Germans. Click on the image to see the writing on the back. We are unable to translate it.

Serbia was one of the Balkan kingdoms conquerred by the Ottomans. King Lazar Grebelyanovich was killed at the Battle of Kosovo Polje 1389 when the Serbs suffered a disatrous defeat at the hands of Turkish Sultan Murat I. This ended the Serbian royal line and devestated the Serbian nobility. This ended the existance of Serbia as an independent state. The first of Serbia to be liberated from the Ottomans was Vojvodina in the northwest which was acquired by the Hapsburggs and administered by the Hungarians. Jews began arrving their in the (16th century). The first group of Jews were the Sephardic refugees from Spain and Portugal. They were followed by Ashkenazic Jews (17th-19th centuries). Emperor Joseph II issued the Tolerance Edict on the eve of the French Revolution (1782). The Jews made an inportant contrubution in eastablishing new industries. One source reports that there were about 40 Jewish communities in Vojvodina (late-19th century). Most of the Vojvodina Jews were Orthodox. Serbian nationalists afer the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815) began to agitate for indeopendence from the Ottoman Empire. The Sultan grabted Serbia internal independence (1830). As part of the Sultan's charter, Jews were given equal rights. The Serbian Constitution gve full civil rights to Jews (1888). Jews served in the Serbian Army that fought the Central Powers during World War I. Yugoslavia after World War I as built around Serbia. Jews throughout Yugoslavia received full civil rights. Anyti-Semitic incidents in Serbia were rare during the inter-War era. Serbia was at the center of resistance to NAZI encroachments in the Balkans. Riots in Belrade ousted Prince Paul who HItler had forced to join the Axis. Hitler's resonse was a the terror bombing of Belgrade and the invasion of Yugoslavia. World war II, unlike World War I had a huge impact on minorities. The Jewish minority was destroyed in the World War II Holocaust.


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Created: 11:22 AM 12/19/2016
Last updated: 11:22 AM 12/19/2016