Bosnia was one of the six republics which constituted Yugoslovia. The Jewish presence in Bosnia dates from the middle of the 16th century. The initial Jewish settlers were Spanish refugees from Salonika. In the 17th century, Ashkenazic settled in Bosnia in order to flee European persecutions. Another wave of settlement came with the Austrian annexation in 1878. After World War I, the Jewish population in Bosnia was about 14,000 (less than 1 of the total population). Most of the Jewish population was destroyed during World War II. At the time of the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, there were about 1,000 Jews in Bosnia, almost all residing in Sarajevo.
The postcards below depict the Ashkenazi Synagogue in Sarajevo. This synagogue survived the war.
Encyclopedia Judaica, 14:869-72
Copyright © 1998 Edward Victor