Panel and Book on Contribution of Jews to Croatian Culture

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A panel entitled “The Contribution of Jews to Croatian Culture”, organised by the Centre for Promotion of Tolerance and Preservation of Holocaust Remembrance, is part of a cultural and educational project, “I Understand You, I Hear You”, which focuses on learning about the Holocaust, the social significance of Jews and other national minorities and their contribution to the cultural and other legacies in Croatia.

Domaš is a Croatian writer, journalist and scientist of Jewish origin.

Jews are an inseparable part of identity of today’s Zagreb and Croatia

Speaking about the contribution of Jews to Croatian culture, Domaš named a number of important and successful individuals, such as doctors Mauro Sachs, Dragutin Schwarz and Izidor Steinhardt and social anthropologist Vera Stein Erlich, who contributed greatly to the development of Croatian society.

Also, it is impossible to talk about the City of Zagreb and its urban appearance without mentioning Jewish architects responsible for the look of its centre today, she said.

She recalled that the Zrinjevac meteorological column was a gift to the city from Jewish doctor Adolf Holzer. The Prister family donated the Music Pavillion to the city, while the Ethnographic Museum was founded by Salamon Berger.

The Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall was named after Ignac Fuchs, the composer of the first Croatian opera, Domaš said, recalling also the fate of Lea Deutch, who performed at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb from the age of five and who in the NDH (Independent State of Croatia) was not spared death in a Nazi camp.

“About 1,500 Jews live in Zagreb today, and there are 2,000 in Croatia. According to data, in 1941, about 12,000 Jews lived in Zagreb and 39,500 in NDH, so some 5,000 people survived the war,” said Domaš, who came across some startling information during her research. “After 1938, 50,000 refugees from Germany and Austria passed through Zagreb, but no one believed what they said about what was happening there, and it cost so many people their lives”.

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