BRODY, city in Lvov district, Ukraine (in Russia until 1772; in Austria, 1772–1919; and in Poland, 1919–39). An organized Jewish community existed in Brody by the end of the 16th century. In 1648 approximately 400 Jewish families are recorded. The Jewish quarter was destroyed by fire in 1696. Subsequently the overlords of Brody, the Sobieskis, granted the Jews a charter (1699) permitting them to reside in all parts of the town, to engage in all branches of commerce and crafts, and to distill beer, brandy, and mead in return for an annual payment; the communal buildings, including the hospital and the homes of the rabbi and cantor, were exempted from the house tax. The Jews gradually replaced the Armenian commercial element in Brody until by the middle of the 18th century trade was concentrated in Jewish hands. The Jewish artisans in Brody – cordmakers, weavers, and metalsmiths – achieved a wide reputation and exported their products. The Potockis, who subsequently controlled Brody, continued to support the
Jews; in 1742 they compelled merchants living on their other estates to attend the Brody fairs.
In 1664 the Jewish community of Brody joined with the communities in Zholkva and
to attain independence from the communal jurisdiction of Lvov, which had extended its authority over the outlying communities. At the session of the provincial council of Russia (see
*Councils of the Lands
) held at the time, Brody obtained two seats out of seven, and in 1740 the Brody delegate, Dov Babad, was elected
of the provincial council. For generations a few powerful families controlled the Brody community, among them the Babad, Shatzkes, Perles, Rapaport, Brociner, Bick, Chajes, Rabinowicz, and Bernstein families.
In 1742 the bishop of Lutsk challenged the Brody Jews to a public religious disputation in the synagogue. As he refused to recognize the rights of the representatives of the congregation – the physician Abraham Uziel and the dayyan Joshua Laszczower – to participate in the debate, the community leaders invited the surrounding settlements to choose alternative disputants. When the group assembled in Brody, however, it was disbanded by Count Potocki, who arrested several of the Brody communal leaders.
The community in Brody vigorously opposed the Frankist movement (see
), which found supporters in the area in the middle of the 18th century. Brody was the meeting place of the assembly which excommunicated the Frankists in 1756. A rabbinical assembly convening in Brody in 1772 excommunicated the followers of
, and Hasidic works were burned there. In these struggles the circle formed by the Brody Klaus joined talmudic scholars and mystics as protagonists of Orthodoxy.
During the 1768–72 wars in Poland, the Jews of Brody were ordered to provision the armies passing through the town. The Jewish economic position deteriorated considerably as a result, and to save the community from ruin the overlords of the town granted it a loan. After the annexation of Galicia – including Brody – by Austria in 1772, the lot of the Jewish merchants improved. They were exempted from payment of customs dues on all merchandise in transit through the empire. The guilds of Jewish innkeepers, bakers, and flour dealers were supported by the central authorities in Vienna, in compelling the lord of the town to reduce the taxes. Brody had the status of a free city between 1779 and 1880. After 1880 many Jewish wholesale merchants living in Brody moved to other towns with which they had business connections. A group of Brody Jews had already settled in
and founded a synagogue there.
In 1756 there were 7,191 Jews living in Brody; in 1779, 8,867 (over half the total population); in 1826, 16,315 (89%); in 1910, 12,188; and in 1921, 7,202.
Rabbis officiating in Brody include Saul Katzenellenbogen, appointed before 1664; Isaac Krakover ("from Cracow"), who was the progenitor of the Babad family (end of the 17th century);
Aryeh Loeb *Teomim
. In the 19th century
exerted a wide influence. The last rabbi of the community was Moses Steinberg (1929–42).
The Jews of Brody, who often traveled to Germany, helped to diffuse the philosophy of the Berlin Enlightenment (
) movement in Galicia. Some of its earliest adherents living in Brody were Israel b. Moses ha-Levi of Zamosc,
Jacob Samuel *Bick
. The community opened a Realschule in 1815 where teaching was in German. Among maskilim residing in Brody in the middle of the 19th century were Dov Ber Blumenfeld,
Joshua Heschel *Schorr
, who published the Hebrew periodical He-halutz ("The Pioneer") in Brody between 1852 and 1889. Other noted personalities from Brody were the literary historian Marcus Landau, the Orientalist
, the writer Leo Herzberg-Fraenkel, and his son Sigmund Herzberg-Fraenkel, the historian. A folk choir, the "
," was founded by
Berl (Margolis) *Broder
. Baruch Werber and his son Jacob edited the Hebrew weekly Ivri Anokhi (also, Ivri) in Brody between 1865 and 1890. As a border town, Brody often served as a point of assembly for the masses of Jewish refugees from the Russian pogroms, intending to emigrate to America or to Western Europe.
Throughout the period of Austrian sovereignty, Brody returned Jewish deputies to the parliament in Vienna. In 1907 the president of the Galician Zionists,
, was elected as deputy; however, he was maneuvered out of office in 1911 as a result of government pressure and political manipulation by the assimilationist
. After Brody reverted to Poland in 1919, Jewish communal life was revived under the leadership of Leon Kalir.
There were approximately 10,000 Jews in Brody when World War II broke out. This area came under Soviet occupation following the partition of Poland in 1939. The town fell to the Germans in July 1941, at which time the Germans set up a Judenrat headed by Dr. Abraham Glasberg. Persecution of the Jews began immediately, and several hundred were murdered by the Nazis and their Ukrainian collaborators. Among the victims were 250 Jewish intellectuals. A ghetto was established in January 1942 for the 6,500 remaining Jews of Brody, who were joined later on (in September 1942) by some 3,000 refugees from the neighboring towns and villages. The unbearable conditions in the ghetto (lack of fuel and foodstuffs), led to the decline of the ghetto population at a rate of 40–50 daily. In the hopes of better chances for survival, a few Jews managed to get into work camps in the vicinity by bribing the guards. Typhoid fever, claiming several hundred victims, broke out in the ghetto which was completely sealed off from contact with the outside.
Mass extermination of the Brody community began with the deportations to
death camp of several thousand Jews on Sept. 19–21, 1942, followed by several thousand more on November 2. The ghetto and labor camp for Jews were finally
liquidated on May 21, 1943, when the surviving 3,500 Jews were deported to
. Around 250 Jews survived the war.
During the Russian occupation and particularly after the Nazis invaded Russia, large numbers of young Jews from Brody joined the Soviet Army. By the end of 1942 a fighting unit (ZOB), consisting of young Jews of all political trends was formed in the ghetto, and led by Jakub Linder, Samuel Weiler, and Solomon Halbersztadt. The ZOB was divided into an urban unit which prepared for armed resistance within the ghetto, and a unit which trained small groups for partisan operations in the neighboring forests. The Jewish fighting organization maintained contacts with the non-Jewish resistance. So far as is known no Jewish community was reconstituted in Brody after World War II.