Đakovo Jewish Cemetery
The Jewish cemetery of Đakovo was established in 1860 or in 1879 near the town municipal cemetery. In 2009, there were approximately 700 tombs and the neo-Romanesque Ceremonial Hall (built in 1879) remaining. The oldest tombstone dates back to 1881 and the latest to 1998. The Jewish women and children who died in the local concentration camp were buried in a special part of the municipal cemetery in individually marked graves in 1942. A Holocaust memorial was erected after the war.
Đakovo is a town in the Slavonia region. The Romans built a town, Certissia, in the present-day area. Later it was ruined during the Barbarian Invasions during the third to fifth centuries. The first historical mention of Đakovo is in 1239, as it was the residence of the local bishop. Beginning in 1536, the town was under Turkish rule for 150 years. Many churches were ruined during those years and the town was called “Yakova.” It was a large trading center with a population of 5,000 people. After the Turkish defeat in 1687, the town was burned but was later rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries. Đakovo was the center of local crafts and farming, leather, wool and wood processing. There were 6,304 inhabitants in 1910, most of them Croats, Germans and Hungarians. Jews from Slovakia and Moravia settled in the region during 19th century. The Jewish community was organized in 1852 and the synagogue was erected in 1880. The Jewish cemetery was established in 1860 and the “Hevra Kadisha” in 1861. In 1921, the Jewish population comprised of 407 people.
The relations of the Jewish community with other inhabitants of Đakovo were friendly. For example, the local bishop, Anton Akshmoviz, was an “honorary member” of “Hevra Kadisha.” The Jewish community, some 200 people, was decimated during the war. The Jewish women and children were deported to a special concentration camp near the town and the men were sent to Jasenovac. There were about 3,000 women and children in the Đakovo camp (most of them Jews) who suffered from the cold, epidemics and hunger. Sanitary conditions were poor. The guards employed violence toward the inmates which brought a sharp increase in the mortality rate. The camp existed until July 1942. The surviving 2,400 women and children were sent to Jasenovac camp where they were murdered. At end of the war, there were no Jews remaining in Đakovo. The former synagogue was turned into a concert hall.