Like Salt for Bread. The Jews of Bosnia and Herzegovina


This book is the only comprehensive treatment in any language of a rather “exotic” Balkan Jewish community. It places the Jewish community of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the context of the Jewish world, but also of the world within which it existed for around five hundred years under various empires and regimes. The Bosnian Jews might have remained a mostly unknown community to the rest of the world had it not played a unique role within the Bosnian Wars of the early 1990s, providing humanitarian aid to its neighbor Serbs, Croats, and Muslims.

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Francine Friedman, Ph.D. (1977), Claremont Graduate School, is Professor of Political Science at Ball State University. She has published two monographs, The Bosnian Muslims: Denial of a Nation (Westview Press, 1996) and Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Polity on the Brink (Routledge: 2004), and numerous articles and book chapters about ethnic relations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

List of Figures, Maps and Tables

Terms, Definitions, Abbreviations and Acronyms

Introduction: Like Salt for Bread

 1 Bosnia and Herzegovina

 2 Identity, Ethnicity, and Religion in the Lands of the Former Yugoslavia

 3 The Jews of Bosnia and Herzegovina

1The Sephardic Strand

 1 Introduction

 2 Early Jewish Settlement in Iberia

 3 The Jews in Medieval Spain

 3.1 The Visigothic Era

 3.2 The Moorish Period

 3.3 The Reconquista Period

 3.3.1 Decline of the Jewish Position in Christian Spain

 3.3.2 Conversos, the Crown, and the Inquisition The Conversos The Inquisition

 4 Expulsion of the Jews from Iberia and the Journey to the Balkans

 5 The Jewish Experience in Iberia

2The Jews in the Ottoman Empire

 1 Introduction

 2 Iberian Jews Enter the Ottoman Empire

 3 Sephardic Settlement in Bosnia and Herzegovina

 3.1 Sarajevo

 3.1.1 Jewish Settlement Patterns in Sarajevo

 3.2 Smaller Bosnian Jewish Communities

 3.2.1 Mostar

 3.2.2 Banja Luka

 3.2.3 Bihać

 3.2.4 Travnik

 3.2.5 Derventa

 3.2.6 Bijeljina

 3.2.7 Brčko

 3.2.8 Žepče

 3.2.9 Zvornik

 4 The Ottoman Administration and the Jews

 5 The Jews and the Ottoman Communal Organization

 5.1 Dhimmıhood

 5.2 Taxation of the Dhimmı

 6 The Sarajevo Megillah

 7 Ottoman Reforms and the Jews

 8 The Jews in the Ottoman Economy

 9 Bosnian Jewish Marital Customs

 10 Bosnian Jewish Communal Organization

 10.1 Religious, Social, and Cultural Administration

 11 The Effect of Messianism on the Ottoman Jews: Shabtai Zvi

 12 The Decline of the Ottoman Empire

 12.1 The Effect of the Ottoman Decline on the Bosnian Jews

 12.2 The Rise of Nationalism

 13 Sephardic Culture in the Ottoman Empire

 13.1 Judeo-espanjol

 14 Spain and the Sephardim

 15 The Jewish Experience in the Ottoman Empire

3The Ashkenazic Strand

 1 Introduction

 2 Origins and Development of the Ashkenazim

 3 Jewish Relations with Austro-Hungarian Society

 4 Jewish Communal Administration

 5 Austro-Hungarian Occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

 6 Bosnian Jewish Political Activity

 7 Bosnian Jewish Demographic Profile

 8 Bosnian Jewish Socioeconomic Life

 9 Bosnian Jewish Communal Life

 10 Bosnian Jewish Religious Life

 11 Bosnian Jewish Cultural Life: Print, Media, the Arts

 12 The Bosnian Jews under Austria-Hungary

4The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes/the First Yugoslavia

 1 Introduction

 2 The Balkan Wars

 3 South Slavic Jews in World War i

 4 The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes

 5 Bosnian Jewish Interwar Demographic Profile

 5.1 Bosnian Jews in the Provinces

 6 Relations between Bosnian Sephardim and Ashkenazim

 7 Yugoslav and Bosnian Jewish Interwar Occupational Profile

 8 Economic Situation of the Bosnian Jews

 9 Bosnian Jewish Political Activity

 10 Bosnian Jewish Communal Organization

 10.1 Zionism

 10.2 Integrationalism

 10.3 Diaspora Nationalism

 10.4 The Local Community

 10.5 Communal Leadership

 10.6 Communal Religious Organizations

 10.7 Communal Religious Leadership

 10.8 Schools and Language

 11 Bosnian Jewish Cultural Activity

 11.1 Jewish Newspapers

 11.2 Jewish Artists

 11.3 Jewish Authors, Essayists, Poets

 12 Bosnian Jewish Social and Charitable/Humanitarian Organizations

 12.1 La Benevolencija

 12.2 Other Bosnian Jewish Communal/Humanitarian Organizations

 12.3 Youth and Workers’ Societies

 13 Bosnian Jews in the Spanish Civil War

 14 Antisemitism in Interwar Yugoslavia

 14.1 Bosnian Jewish Response to the Rise of Yugoslav Fascism

 15 Bosnian Jews in Interwar Yugoslavia

5World War ii

 1 Introduction: The Collapse of Yugoslavia and the Rise of the Independent State of Croatia

 2 Bosnian Jewish Demographic Profile in the Independent State of Croatia

 3 “The Hunt for the Jews”

 3.1 Bosnian Response to the Establishment of the Independent State of Croatia

 3.2 Anti-Jewish Legislation

 3.3 Honorary Aryans

 4 The Rationale for Impoverishment of the Jewish Population

 4.1 Theft of Jewish Personal Property

 4.2 Appointment of Povjerenici for the Plunder of Jewish Businesses

 4.3 Ustaše Control over Jewish Communal Organizations

 4.3.1 Plunder of Bosnian Jewish Communal Property

 5 The Sarajevo Haggadah During World War ii

 6 Early Violence against the Jews

 7 Bosnian Jews in the First Months of Occupation

 8 The Catholic Church in the Independent State of Croatia

 9 The Islamic Religious Community in the Independent State of Croatia

 10 The Shoah in Bosnia and Herzegovina

 10.1 Ustaše Establishment of Concentration Camps

 10.1.1 Deportations of Bosnian Jews

 10.1.2 Bosnian Jews in Concentration Camps

 10.1.3 Number of World War ii Bosnian Jewish Victims

 11 The Italian Zone

 11.1 Jews in Italy’s Zone ii

 11.1.1 Rab Concentration Camp

 12 Jewish Participation in the Resistance

 12.1 Bosnian Jews in the Partisans

 12.2 Bosnian Jewish Prisoners of War

 12.3 The Četniks and the Jews

 13 The Handžar Division

 14 Holocaust Survivors

 15 Bosnian Righteous among the Nations

 16 The Bosnian Jews in World War ii

6The Communist Era

 1 Introduction

 2 Popular Identification and Its Impact on Bosnia and Herzegovina

 2.1 Narod

 2.2 Narodnost

 2.3 Etničke Manjine

 2.4 Evolution of the Concept of Narod

 3 Bosnian Jewish Relations with the Socialist State and Society

 3.1 Postwar Reconstruction of the Yugoslav Jewish Community

 3.2 Jewish Industrial Property

 3.3 Demographic Profile of the Bosnian Jewish Community

 3.3.1 The Effect of Aliyah on Bosnian Jewish Demography

 3.3.2 Occupational Profile of Yugoslav Jews

 4 Post-World War ii Bosnian Jewish Communal Life

 4.1 Jewish Communal Organization

 4.2 Bosnian Jewish Communal Property under Socialism

 4.2.1 Synagogues

 4.2.2 Cemeteries

 5 Bosnian Jewish Cultural Life

 6 Yugoslav-Israeli Relations and Their Effect on Yugoslavia’s Jews

 7 Antisemitism in Communist Yugoslavia

 8 Visible Shoah Commemorations

 9 Yugoslavia’s Interethnic Relations

 9.1 The Collapse of “Brotherhood and Unity”

 9.2 The Empowerment of Nationalist Leaders

 10 The Yugoslav Crisis and Its Effects on Bosnia and Herzegovina

 10.1 The Bosnian Leadership Crisis

 10.2 Ethnic Politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina

 11 The Bosnian Jewish Community at the End of Communist Yugoslavia

7War in the 1990s

 1 Introduction: European Nationalism at the End of the Twentieth Century

 2 Ancient Ethnic Hatreds?

 3 The Wars of Yugoslav Succession

 3.1 Opening Shots of the Bosnian War

 3.2 The Bosnian War

 3.2.1 Sarajevo Besieged

 3.2.2 The International Response to the Bosnian War

 4 The Role of the Bosnian Jewish Community in the Bosnian War

 4.1 The Rediscovery of Jewish Identity

 4.2 The Reestablishment of La Benevolencija

 4.3 The Bosnian Jewish Community in the Bosnian War

 4.4 The Organization of the Jewish Community in Besieged Sarajevo

 4.4.1 The Split Logistical Center

 4.4.2 La Benevolencija-sponsored Programs Magacin (Warehouse) Women’s Section: Bohoreta Health Service Pharmacy Clinic House Visit Program People’s Kitchen Radio Station and Postal Service Department for Cultural and Religious Questions Computer Center Evacuations

 5 The Sarajevo Haggadah During the Bosnian War

 6 Bosnian Jews in the Bosnian War

8The Postwar Bosnian Jewish Community

 1 Introduction

 2 The Dayton Peace Accords and Their Implications

 3 Characterization of the Bosnian War

 4 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union

 5 Profile of the Postwar Bosnian Jewish Community

 5.1 Synagogues and Cemeteries

 5.2 Sociocultural Condition of the Bosnian Jewish Community

 6 Bosnian Jewish Involvement in Postwar BiH

 7 The Sarajevo Haggadah

 8 The Bosnian View of the Shoah

 9 Antisemitism in Bosnia and Herzegovina

 10 Expropriation, Nationalization, Restitution in Postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina

 10.1 Status of Bosnian Jewish Personal and Communal Property

 11 The Claims Conference

 12 Sejdić-Finci

 13 Bosnian Relations with Israel

 14 Future Prospects



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