Zupanja Jewish Cemetery
The Županja Jewish cemetery was established at the end of the 19th century. After World War II, the site was confiscated, and the cemetery was closed. As recently as the 21st century, there are still a few tombstones and a mausoleum in its territory. The oldest grave dates to 1879 and the most recent to 1935.
Županja is a town in Slavonia located 254 km east of Zagreb. It is administratively part of the Vukovar-Srijem County. There is not much known about the history of the town until the mid-16th century. It was first recorded on a 1554 Turkish war map. From 1697, after the defeat of Turks, Croatian Catholics began to settle in Županja. At the beginning of the 18th century, the town, then with the population of 708, became one of the most important locations for troops along the Austrian border. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Županja became a large centre for the woodworking industry. In 1910, the population of the town was 3,338 people, 77% of whom were Croatians.
The Jewish population in 1931 was 88. Before World War II, 5% of the town’s population were Jews. After the war, there were no more Jews in the town. One of the most famous Jews born in the town was Amiel Shomrony (Emil Schwarz) (1917-2009). He was a cantor for the Jewish community in Zagreb and the secretary of Zagreb’s Chief Rabbi—Miroslav Šalom Freiberger—during World War II. He was a Holocaust survivor and person much revered in modern Croatia as he defended the Archbishop of Zagreb, Aloysius Stepinac. Aloysius Stepinac, who saved several Jewish families during the Holocaust, was repeatedly accused of supporting Croatian nationalists during the war.