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(Brod, Prode)

~ In loving memory, Morris Stamm ~
b. 18 September 1876 - d. 25 February 1956

old Brody

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Location of Brody

        - Western Ukraine, L'viv Oblast (District)

        - 50 05'/25 09'

        Brody is located in the L'viv Oblast 53.9 miles ENE of the city of L'viv, 41.6 miles NNW of Ternopil, 25.1 miles west of Kremenets, and 238.1 miles west of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.  Although Brody is less than 60 miles from L'viv, which is in the foothills of the Carpathian mountains, the land around Brody is very flat.   The original name, Brod, means "ford" and was derived from the fact that the city is near the Styr River and was built where the river narrowed.  The present-day Brody area is densely populated, with many small towns or villages surrounding the larger city.  "Brody" is pronounced as if its English spelling were somewhere between "Bro-dee" (long "o" in "Bro") and "Braw-dee," with the accent falling on the first syllable.

Political History With Regard to Location

        In Toldot Yehudei Brody (The History of the Jews of Brody), Nathan-Michael Gelber writes that Brody was originally a city called "Lyubeshov."  According to Gelber, it was founded by a Polish overlord (Stanislav Zolkiewski) in 1584 and was accorded the status of a city in the same year. Although the Encyclopedia Judaica places Brody in Russia prior to the first partition of Poland, an online write-up from Encyclopaedia Britannica states that Brody's founding father was Stanislaw Koniecpolski, a Polish military leader who established fortifications there in 1633 to defend against the Tatars and their Turkish masters. Regardless of any confusion about who founded this city when, and what country it belonged to, it's clear that Brody had an extensive Polish history. For a number of years, it was under the control of Polish overlords from the Sobieski and Potocki families and figured prominently in the Council of the Four Lands, the Jewish self-governing body established in Poland in mid 16th century and lasting until 1764. In 1772, with the partition of the Kingdom of Poland, Brody came under Austrian domination as a city in Galicia--an extensive mountainous area that included the northern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains and the valleys of the upper Vistula, Dniester, Bug, and Seret rivers. Between the World Wars, from 1919-1939, Brody was in Poland. After World War II, a portion of Eastern Poland that included Brody became part of the Ukraine area in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In 1991, the area formerly referred to as the Ukraine gained its independence; and Brody is now located within the country known simply as Ukraine.

Maps Showing the Partition of Poland

Polish Jewish Genealogy Questions and Answers

A Physical Map of Galicia

A Map of Galicia Showing Administrative Districts
Jewish-Polish Heritage
Jewish Ukrainian History

Short History of Brody from Jewish Virtual Library
Short History and Highlights of Brody from an Early Geography
Wikipedia Article on the History of Brody

Pre-19th-century Brody:

Brody Synagogue        Encyclopedia Judaica notes that as early as the end of the 16th century, the Brody area had a Jewish presence, and that by 1648, 400 Jewish families were recorded in Brody. A considerable accomplishment of Brody's Jewish community in the 17th century was the construction of a  large synagogue, generally referred to as Brody's "old fortress synagogue." Built to withstand assaults, the synagogue was a sturdy cube with additional structures at its base. (The Germans attempted to destroy this synagogue in 1943. Although the building is no longer usable, parts of it are still standing.)

Brody Becomes a Trade Center

        Toward the end of the 17th century, the Jewish quarter in Brody was destroyed by fire.  Following this event, the Jews were given permission to live in all neighborhoods of the city, to distill liquor, and to engage in crafts and take part in commercial enterprises in return for a tax that was levied annually.  By mid-18th century, Jews dominated the trades in Brody and Jewish artisans from Brody were known widely for their weaving, their metalwork, and other such products.  During the four years of wars in Poland that led to the first partition of Poland in 1772 and the formation of Galicia, the Jews of Brody were forced to provision the armies that were in transit through the city.  This would probably have been ruinous economically but for a loan given the community and the even more important fact that Brody, along with the rest of Galicia, came under Austrian domination following the 1768-1772 wars.  Austria exempted the Jewish merchants from some of the taxes previously levied and supported the Jewish guilds.  Brody was made a free trade city, a status it would enjoy for more than a century.  The Napoleonic wars and related trade blockade enhanced the status of Brody as a conduit city for trade between Russia and Austria.

Religion in Brody

The Frankist Movement

        From a religious standpoint, the Jews of early and mid 18th-century Brody were active in promoting Orthodox Judaism as expounded in the Talmud.  They opposed the Zoharists or Frankists. The Frankist movement had been founded by Jacob Frank (1726-1791). Born in Podolia, Frank was an ecstatic who had steeped himself in the medieval mysticism of the Zohar and proclaimed himself the Messiah. Central to Frank's doctrine was the notion that salvation could be attained through sexual ecstasy, an idea which was apostasy to the Orthodox community in Brody. For more information about Jacob Frank and the movement he founded, click on the below:

        The Frankist Ecstatics of the 18th Century


        Hasidism was another important movement that arose in Galicia in the 18th century. This movement had been founded by Israel ben Eliezer (c. 1698-1760). Born near Brody in the village of Okup, he had married a woman from Brody and resided in Brody for a time. Orphaned as a boy, he was a dreamer, fond of wandering off instead of devoting himself to his studies. Eventually, however, he acquired a reputation as a healer and miracle-worker and was widely known as the Ba'al Shem Tov, the "Master of the good name," or the Besht, an acronym standing for Ba'al Shem Tov. At the heart of the doctrine promulgated by the Ba'al Shem Tov was the idea that a person who keeps God in his heart at all times is superior to someone who steeps himself in Talmudic learning in order to enhance his reputation. The Besht believed that worship could best be accomplished through celebration and encouraged singing, dancing, and enjoyment of the fruit of the vine. For more information on Hasidism and its founder, click on Hasidism.


    Haskalah, which literally means "enlightenment," was the movement that finally took hold in late 18th-century Brody, spreading there from Berlin, with which Brody had close commercial ties. The acknowledged father of the Enlightenment was Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786?), a German Jewish writer and philosopher. The approach to religion devised by Mendelssohn was basically rationalist, assimilationist, and pragmatic. Although Mendelssohn stressed the importance of adhering to traditional Jewish values, he advocated greater participation of Jews in non-Jewish secular life and in the cultural and intellectual milieu of European society.

      As detailed in the Encyclopedia of Judaiasm, Haskalah stressed secular studies, including knowledge of the language of the countries in which Jews lived. However, it also stressed the value of a Jewish education that included Jewish history and the study of Hebrew (though not Yiddish). In its liberalism, Haskalah was the precursor of Reform Judaism. In its recommendations that Jews broaden their economic base by striving to enter less traditional Jewish occupations like agriculture, though, it was also linked to the concept of "return to the land" that helped to produce Zionism.  The liberal tenets of Haskalah appealed to the Jews of Brody, and Brody became known as one of the most important centers of Haskalah in Eastern Europe. This would continue to be the case throughout the 19th century, even as Hasidism became firmly entrenched in the rest of Galicia.

Brody in the 19th Century

An Outside View of Brody's Jews

        In 1839, the Church of Scotland sent a cadre of trained scholars to the Jewish World.  These scholars were not to proselytize but simply to observe and record information as they traveled through France, Italy, the Holy Land, Turkey, Germany, and Galicia.  The following account of their impressions of Brody and its Jews comes from the book Narrative of a Mission of Inquiry to the Jews from the Church of Scotland in 1839, published by William Whyte & Co., Edinburgh, 1844. This material on Brody, as well as material on other Galician towns, was contributed by Professor Joseph H. Rubinstein in posts to the JewishGen Digest and can be found in the Discussion Group Archives by those who wish to read a larger portion than has been furnished here.

Selected Portion of Narrative of a Mission of Inquiry to the Jews

An Inside View of Brody's Jews Friday Evening in Brody, Isidor Kaufmann

        Adele Landau, later Baroness von Mises, spent her girlhood in Brody, though the family later moved to Vienna.  In the late 1920's, she wrote an extensive memoir about growing up in Brody.  The following chapter from her "Tante Adele erz hlt" manuscript describes Jewish social work in Brody.

"A Day in the House of My Parents"

        Viewers who have managed to obtain land tax records for Brody ancestors identifying property they owned in Brody in 1844 may be able to locate that property on the below 1844 cadastral map. 

1844 Cadastral  Map

Political Equality and Economic Decline

        After the death of anti-Semitic Empress of Austria Maria Theresa in 1780, the Austrian Government was  benevolent to Jews and by 1868 Galicia's Jews had attained equal status under the law.  Austria did little, however, to further economic development in Galicia. A railway to Odessa was built south of Brody in 1848, reducing the importance of Brody as an international trade center. Worse, in 1879, Brody lost its status as a free trade city. And in 1880, another disastrous fire broke out. The grinding poverty that had set in throughout Galicia was a fact of life in Brody as well. In fact, "failed in Brody" was a standard saying among Brody businessmen.

        It may have been because of this economic decline that S. A. (Samuel Alexander) Byk (c. 1823-1883), a writer born and bred in Brody, emigrated from Brody in 1864, settling in Leipzig. Byk was the author of four books, some of which can still be found. These were: Rechtsphilosophie: Der letzte Grund des Rechts und seine practischen Consequenzen bearbeitet unter Ber cksichtigung der M glichkeit ihrer Verwirklichung ("The Philosophy of Law"); Die vorsokratische Philosophie der Griechen in ihrer organischen Gliederung dargestellt ("The Presocratic Philosophy of the Greeks"); Der Hellenismus und der Platonismus ("Hellenism and Platonism"); and Die Physiologie des Sch nen ("The Physiology of Beauty").

The Broder Singers

        A Jewish man from Brody who could sing had an unusual chance to do something to sustain himself. The Broder Singers had been founded in the 1860's by Berl Broder, who had apparently taken his name from the city of Brody. Broder's  troupe traveled throughout Galicia, and also Hungary and Rumania, performing Yiddish folk songs. The Broder Singers became immensely popular, and eventually their vocal performances grew into entire skits, with dialogue as well as singing and dancing. In 1876, Abraham Goldfaden, now considered the father of Yiddish theater, joined forces with the Broder Singers, writing a two-act play for them. The performance of this play by the Broder Singers in Jassy, Rumania, launched the Yiddish theater. 

        A number of participants in Yiddish theater productions were from Brody. Steven Lasky has biographies of some of them at his Museum of Family History site and will probably be adding more, as this is an ongoing project. Once at the site, use the Find feature under Edit in your browser, putting in Brody as the Search term:

Brody Becomes a Migration Center

        On March 1, 1881, an event occurred in Russia which was to transform Brody into a major center for Jewish immigration--though certainly against the will of the local populace! The Russian Tsar, Alexander II, was assassinated. Of the six conspirators subsequently rounded up, only one was Jewish: a young woman named Gessia Gelfman. But Russian fury over the death of the "Little Father," who had freed the serfs and brought numerous other reforms to Russia, vented itself upon the Jews.

        Pogroms broke out, first in Odessa at Easter time. From there the rioting spread to approximately 200 other towns and cities in Russia. Jews from the Pale of Settlement came pouring over the poorly controlled Galician border, some on trains (Brody had acquired a rail line in 1862) and some on foot. Their destination: Brody, only five miles distant from the border.

        There were already 15,000 Jews in Brody in 1881 out of a total population of 25,000. But Brody, suffering from economic problems, was ill-prepared to handle the massive influx of Jewish refugees. A French relief organization, the Alliance Israelite Universelle, sprang into action, sending representatives to Brody to aid the refugees and try to arrange for their care and relocation. But no preparations could have been adequate in dealing with the chaos created by the massive influx of refugees. By May of 1882, there were 12,000 refugees in Brody. More relief organizations had by then been sent in; but nonetheless, panic reigned in Brody. The refugees were living in squalid conditions. Measles and smallpox had been reported, and it was feared that epidemics would break out. A German diary written by one of the young refugees is revealing:

Brody's Refugee Camp

        Most of the refugees wanted to go to America, and many--especially the young and strong--succeeded in getting themselves sent there, leaving Brody by rail for Germany and Holland and embarking from ports there. A movement to return to the Holy Land began in Russia in 1882 also. But these immigrants left from the Russian port of Odessa rather than swelling the tide in Brody. By the end of 1882, there were few refugees left in Brody. There would not be utter chaos there again until the 20th century and World Wars I and II. Although emigration from Brody to other lands wasn't over yet, at least it could proceed in a more orderly manner.

1890 Brody School Records 

The 1891 Galician Business Directory

The 1897 Galician Business Directory, Brody Portion (by occupation)

A Member of Brody's Stamm Family Who Immigrated to America

A Member of Brody's Nussbaum Family Who Immigrated to Austria

The Kristianpoller Family from Brody

Brody in the 20th Century

        According to the 1911 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, by 1900 the population of Brody was 17,360, with something like two-thirds consisting of Jews. This was in spite of the fact that in 1879 Brody had lost its charter as a free trade city--an unfortunate circumstance which greatly affect Jewish tradespeople.

Famous Jewish Writers

         Among many 20-century luminaries who came from Brody was Austrian novelist Joseph Roth (1894-1939). The best known of his several novels is Radetzkymarsch, a nostalgic portrait of Austria and its army under Emperor Franz Joseph. A previous work, of interest for Brody researchers, is a travel book by Roth called Journey to Galizia. An award-winning Austrian film-maker, Egon Humer, has made a film, "Journey to Brody," about Roth and Eastern Europe.

         Nathan Michael Gelber (1891-1966), author of The History of the Jews of Brody 1584-1943 (Toldot Yehudei Brody 1584-1943, vol. 6 of Arim ve-Imahot be-Yisrael, Towns and Mother Cities in Israel), though born in Lemberg (now L'viv), spent his boyhood in Brody. From 1918-21, he served as general secretary of the Eastern Galician delegation of the Zionist Va'ad Le'ummi (National Committee) in Vienna, becoming first secretary of the Austrian Zionist Organization in 1921. Immigrating to Palestine in 1934, he worked for the next twenty years at the Jerusalem headquarters of Keren Hayesod, a foundation that rescues Jews from trouble spots throughout the world and helps them make aliyah in Israel. While still in Brody, Gelber had begun his History of the Jews of Brody, which was published in 1955. An indefatigable historian and author who was able to write in German, Yiddish, Polish, and Hebrew, over his lifetime, Gelber produced more than 1,000 books and articles. The most famous of these are works on the history of Galician Jewry and on the Zionist movement.

         Dov Sadan (1902-1989), born Dov Stock, was another famous writer who came from Brody. While still in Europe, he was prominent in He-Halutz, a Zionist movement which trained Jews in agriculture and useful trades for eventual settlement in Palestine. In 1925, Sadan immigrated there himself, eventually becoming a professor at Hebrew University, a member of the Knesset, and a prolific writer specializing in Jewish studies and Hebrew and Yiddish literary criticism. Sadan's contribution to the criticism of Jewish literature was a unifying vision that emphasized similarities between differing religious trends in Judaism (the Lithuanian Mitnaggedic Movement, the mystical Hasidic movement, and the Haskalah) rather than emphasizing differences. Sadan also wrote about what happened to the Jews in Brody during World War I. As described in Ruhama Elbag's "Brody Between the Lines":

A few days after the outbreak of World War I, on a Sabbath in the month of Av, the Russian army invaded Brody and set out to destroy the Jewish quarter. The wealthy Jews had already gone into hiding, but the rest were forced to flee to the surrounding villages.

Sadan recalls the Jews in flight, looking back at the town going up in flames, their groans and cries of despair calling to mind the Jewish lament over the destruction of the Temple. "It was the grief of those who are watching their city of birth vanish before their eyes," writes Sadan. Suddenly a man leaped out of line and ran back to rescue those who were caught in the flames. "What do dreams matter?" he cried. "A whole town, a whole Jewish community is back there, and all we care about is saving our own skins."        
        S. Ansky, author of "The Dybbuk," was a famous writer who didn't live in Brody but visited and wrote about Brody. His description of what happened to Brody's Jews is similar to Sadan's, though with more specifics:

        A Description of World War I Jewish Brody by Russian Writer S. Ansky 

        Yet as bad as World War I was for the Jews of Brody, World War II was to be even worse.

        Before Germany invaded Poland and the Holocaust began, Ze'ev Jabotinsky issued the following warning:

It is already THREE years that I am calling upon you, Polish Jewry, who are the crown of World Jewry. I continue to warn you incessantly that a catastrophe is coming closer. I became grey and old in these years, my heart bleeds, that you, dear brother and sisters, do not see the volcano which will soon begin to spit its all-consuming lava. I see that you are not seeing this because you are immersed and sunk in your daily worries. Today, however, I demand from you trust. You were convinced already that my prognoses have already proven to be right. If you think differently, then drive me out of your midst! However, if you do believe me, then listen to me in this twelfth hour: In the name of G-d! Let anyone of you save himself, as long as there is still time, and time there is very little.

What else I would like to say to you on this day of Tisha B'Av is whoever of you will escape from the catastrophe, he or she will live to see the exalted moment of a great Jewish wedding - the rebirth and rise of a Jewish state. I don't know if I will be privileged to see it, but my son will! I believe in this, as I am sure that tomorrow morning the sun will rise.

Ze'ev Vladimir Jabotinsky
Tisha B'av 1938
Warsaw, Poland

Had this warning been heeded, many lives could have been saved.

Brody and the Holocaust

Abraham's Bosom
By the beginning of World War II, Brody had become a city in Poland. 

      Polish Map Showing Brody Between the Two World Wars

The Jewish population in Brody numbered almost 10,000 by 1939.  In that year, Poland was attacked from two different directions, from the West by Nazi Germany and from the East by the Soviet Union. Brody was occupied first by the Soviets. But after Hitler broke his non-aggression pact with Stalin, the Germans eventually occupied Brody.

      German Army Map of Brody

       In the summer of 1941, a Judenrat was set up and the Nazis soon began murdering Jews, including a group of 250 intellectuals, who were shot near the Jewish cemetery. Luckily, a substantial number of young Jewish men from Brody had joined the Soviet Army, reducing the population of those who could be led "like sheep to the slaughter." There was also at least one family camp that included Brody Jews in the Pianitza forests near Lwow. Members of this camp were given arms by the Polish underground. (According to Lester Eckman and Chaim Lazar, in The Jewish Resistance, there were, in this camp, 80 of the 200 Jewish survivors from Brody, Zlotov and the surrounding area, which originally had a combined Jewish population of 45,000.) By the time the order came to establish a ghetto in Brody in December 1942 and Brody's Jews were moved into it, the ghetto held in its cramped confines only about 6,000 Jews out of Brody's original Jewish population of 10,000. [According to the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust and Nathan-Michael Gelber, writing in Toldot Yehudei Brody (The History of the Jews of Brody), the 6,000 Brody Jews were moved into the ghetto on January 1, 1943. In fact, Gelber states that the Jews were supposd to be transferred to this ghetto in December 1942 but that a stay was granted until January 1. However, Brody Holocaust survivor Gina Lanceter has told the author of this site that she and her family, as well as other Brody Jews, were in the ghetto already in December.] Another 3,000 Jews from neighboring areas were subsequently added to Brody's ghetto, and disease and starvation soon began claiming lives. 

The Brody Ghetto

Additional specifics about the Brody Ghetto and what happened to the Brody Jews can be found at a site on the death camps:

Aktion Reinhard Camps

        The first of mass deportations from Brody to the Belzec extermination camp had begun, however, even before a ghetto was established. On September 19, 1942, approximately 2,500 Brody Jews had been deported to this extermination camp. On November 2, approximately 3,000 more Jews were sent from Brody to Belzec. Belzec was the first extermination camp of three established as part of Operation Reinhard, which had been set up in early 1942.

A Map of the Camps

As detailed by Yitzhak Arad in Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka:  the Operation Reinhard Death Camps, orders for Belzec's operations came from Himmler in verbal form only, as utmost secrecy was the rule.  As noted by Arad, however, Adolph Eichmann, who had visited Belzec and seen the gas chambers there, wrote:

                        . . . at the turn of the year 1941/42, the chief of Security Police
                        and SD Heyrich told me . . . "I come from the Reichsfuhrer; the
                        Fuhrer has now ordered the physical extermination of the Jews.
                                                                                                        page 26

More than a million and a half Jews would eventually be gassed in operation Reinhard. So thoroughly and so quickly were most Jews murdered in Belzec that there were only a few escapes from there. Only two Jews sent to Belzec, Chaim Hirszman and Rudolph Reder, gave testimony in court, and only Reder is known to have survived beyond 1946. (WARNING:  The following material about Belzec has been put on a separate, linked page because of its disturbing nature. Please use discretion in accessing it. It is not appropriate for children.)


Reaching         Many Jews had been seized for labor camps, and some Jews had volunteered for this assignment as a means of surviving. But these, together with the last 2,000 to 3,000 Jews who could be found in the Ghetto, were deported to Majdanek extermination camp in May, 1943. A resistance group (ZOB) had been organized as soon as Brody Jews were herded into a ghetto. The leaders were Samuel Weiler, Jakub Linder, and Solomon Halbersztadt. The ZOB unit established for resistance within the Brody Ghetto had been armed with several guns by the Polish underground. This unit did, in fact, open fire on the Germans and Ukrainian collaborators involved in the final liquidation of the Ghetto on May 21, 1943, killing some of the Ukrainians. But houses were set on fire to trap Jews attempting to hide in them, although in the mass confusion some Jews, including Weiler, who survived the war in a partisan unit, managed to escape from the Ghetto. 

Ukrainian Collaboration:  An Analysis
        The other unit of the ZOB had trained young Brody Jews for partisan activities in the nearby forests. Thus, even though there were few survivors among the Jews who had remained in Brody, there were survivors among those who had left the city to join the Soviets or to fight with partisan forces. The Ghetto Fighters House in Israel has the names of Brody partisans:
Brody Partisans (To search, enter Brody for City of Birth)
        Additionally, there were Brody Jews who survived because of the efforts of Righteous Gentiles who risked their lives and those of their families to hide and protect their Jewish neighbors. Below are the stories of some of these survivors and their protectors.
"Genocide in Brody" and Some Righteous Poles

"To Memory and to Warning:  the Son of Righteous Gentiles Remembers"

A Ukrainian Awarded Righteous Among the Nations Status

"I could not send them away," the Liselotte Hassenstein story

Interview with Joseph Ferber from Brody


"They Say the Town of Brody is No More"

The Story of Holocaust survivor Henry Friedman

         "Poland" (a poem)

Information about, and Photos of, Brody Residents and Brody (Type Brody in the Search window.)   

     The Synagogue That Couldn't Be Destroyed

        The Nazis succeeded in destroying much of the Jewish population of Brody. Much of the town itself was destroyed in the Battle of Brody. This was a terrific battle that took place between the Galicia Division, Ukrainians who were fighting on the side of the Germans in the hope of winning Ukrainian independence, and the Soviets. The Galicia Division was badly beaten, with tremendous loss of life. But neither the enemies of the Jews nor the bombardment of battle could completely destroy Brody's 17th-century fortress synagogue. To this day, its shell remains and can be viewed by travelers.  Recent photos of this synagogue, as well as a 1914 photo of Brody's marketplace and a photo of Brody's cemetery, showing vegetative incursion there, can be viewed at Jewish genealogist Miriam Weiner's Routes to Roots Web site.

        Miriam Weiner's Photos of Brody

Brody's Jewish Cemetery

        Brody has had three Jewish cemeteries. The site of the oldest one now has a warehouse on it. Another one located inside the town has become a football field in what is now a residential neighborhood. This former cemetery site no longer appears to contain any gravestones. Here are some maps showing the Jewish cemetery, with at least one supposedly dating from the 18th century but appearing to show the same location for the cemetery as on newer maps, so draw your own conclusions:

        Brody Jewish Cemetery Maps

The newest Jewish cemetery is outside the town in an agricultural setting. It was built during a cholera epidemic and contains tombstones that go back to the first half of the 19th century. These stones are unusually tall, some of them more than six feet.  The cemetery and its stones have been threatened by erosion as well as vegetative overgrowth. Additionally, until recently the cemetery lacked a protective fence or wall but is now fenced. In 1996, Ukraine declared a moratorium on privatization of sites identified as Jewish cemeteries and banned construction at these sites. According to news received in August of 2002, the US Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad was given a grant to allow clearing of unwanted vegetative growth from the cemetery.
Gravestone Deciphered in Brody Cemetery Project

This undertaking was directed by Meylakh Sheykhet of L'viv, who also discovered a larger area for the cemetery than previously identified.  

A project to photograph and transcribe information from approximately 5,500 gravestones dating from 1834 to 1939 in Brody's existing Jewish cemetery was initiated in 1996 by Dr. Neil Rosenstein and Dr. Ben Solomowitz, with Rabbi Dov Weber joining later. Although this project was completed, information from the full survey is no longer available. Information from a portion of the stones is provided here.

        Partial Data from a Brody Cemetery Database

Another survey was more recently undertaken by Ami Elyasaf of Israel, and that survey and the transcribed information from more than 6,000 gravestones whose inscriptions could still be read is now available. Photos of the stones are available also by clicking on the small stone photo at the beginning of each record:

Fuller Data from a Brody Cemetery Database

Brody Rabbinical Families Project

Visiting Brody

        A Visit to Brody ("Brody Between the Lines," by Ruhama Elbag)
        Your own trip to Brody might also include a visit to the branch in Brody of  the Historical Museum of Lviv, located at:

        Maidan Svobody Str., 5
        Brody 293000
        Lviv Oblast
        [Telephone number: (8-266) 4-27-90]

         Dr. Ben Solomowitz visited this museum during a 1992 trip to Brody and reports that he saw many artifacts 400-500 years old as well as many old photos of Brody and a diorama of the town in the 1700's, with the synagogue prominently featured and its fortress architecture in stark contrast to the architecture of houses in the area.

What Brody Used to Look Like and Looks Like Now

Nachman Krochmal's Short History and Description of Brody Now

Old Brody

       Below are photos of pre-war Brody. Though some of Brody has been rebuilt, some of these old views probably also closely resemble what Brody looks like today. 

        YIVO's online catalogue with photos of 19th- and 20th-century Brody:

         Tomasz Wisniewski's historic postcard views of what Brody used to look like.
         Arcek's Rudolfa Gymnasium
         Prager Bank
         Golden Street
         A Palatial Residence        

         Some more historic postcards and photos, including several not shown above, are also at the following sites:       
         Brody Then and Now, a Video
A number of Brody maps, diagrams, and photos can be found at Andre Locher's Castle of Oron site, the URLs to two pages of which are below.  Although some of these graphics have been taken directly from this Brody KehilaLinks site or the Brody yizkor book site,  there are others that did not have their provenance at JewishGen and will be of interest to Brody researchers. Monsieur Locher wrote to let me know of his site and his borrowings.

Modern Brody

        Below are photos taken by Ben Solomowitz during a trip to Ukraine in 1992.

Modern Brody
        Here are several more photos of Brody taken by Sabina Braunthal during a trip to Brody with husband Gerard Braunthal in the summer of 2001.
Brody Today
        And here are Brody photos at a site called Flickr:
         Brody Flickr Photos

        Frederic Blum visited Brody in 2002 and took these photos in the Jewish Cemetery
Jewish Gravestones 

        Some of Andreas Inhofner's photos of Brody from a 2002 visit are below:

A Tour through Brody

A Tour of the Brody Jewish Cemetery    
        Wolf-Erich Eckstein visited Brody in 2010 and photographed a truly extraordinary headstone: 

         Tombstone of Abraham Jacob Hilferding (Notice the "Translate" link at the end of the article about the stone. Clicking on this link will enable you to bring up the article in English or another desired language.)
Photos of Brody at a Russian Site

A Site with Many Photos of Brody, as well as Information

Yad Vashem's Online Photos 

In Brody, New Signage at Fortress Synagogue ruin & New Recognition of Jewish History (Fine article with many links to other information.)

Brody Research

        The Mormons have filmed the records from some of the metrical books for Brody. The available Brody Jewish records are for births and marriages from 1815-1871 and for deaths from 1815-1826 and 1829-1861. These records are on microfilm (numbers 2405310-15), and the films can be ordered and viewed at any Church of the Latter Day Saints in the United States which has a Family History Center. If you wish, you can search the Family History Web site directly at  (For a place search, you will need to enter "Austria, Galizien, Brody (Brody)" in the window you will see.) Alternatively, you can search for a family member at, a search site the Mormons prepared especially for JewishGen.       

        In Europe, nineteenth-century vital records for Brody are located at the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine, City of L'viv:

           Diana Pelts, Director

           Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv

           Soborna Pl., 3-a

           Lviv, 79008


           Phone:  (380/0322) 72-30-63;
           FAX:  (380/0322) 72-35-08

         In these Archives are birth records for Brody from 1815-1871, marriage records from 1815-1871, and death records from 1815-1861 (the death records for 1827 and 1828 may, however, be missing). There are also land tax records which give the occupations of the heads of households taxed, as well as maps devised for the purpose of taxing properties. Researchers of land records should find the following explanation of column headings helpful.

Brody Land Tax Record Column Headings
According to Miriam Weiner, the land tax records encompass the years 1785-1884, though, too, these have been reported to go through 1888. To see the location of various properties in Brody in the year 1844, viewers may consult the 1844 cadastral map provided at this site in the section headed "Brody in the 19th Century." Brody school records are also archived in the Central State Historical Archives in L'viv. Weiner reports that these are from 1872 only, but they have been reported by another researcher to extend from 1840-1900. (Weiner has found 1932 Brody school records archived in Ternopol.) To see what the address of the L'viv Archives looks like in Ukrainian, click on the link below and scroll down to the appropriate place. The address for the State Archives of L'viv Oblast, Ukraine, is also given here, though what Brody Jewish records, if any, are housed there is uncertain.

         Addresses for Archives in Western Ukraine

Photos of Metrical Books in the L'viv Archives
         It appears additionally that there are "All Galicia" books which list occupations of Brody residents for 1860-1899 at the L'viv Historical Library. [See the 1897 Galician Business Directory, Brody Portion (by occupation), in the section on the 19th century, above.] In L'viv also, at the Jewish Emigration Society (JEAS), are emigration records which include Brody Jews, but these are 20th-century records covering the years 1920-1939.

         There are also 1941-1942 Jewish ("mojzeszowe," meaning Mosaic) death records ("zgony") for Brody at the Civil Registry Office in Warsaw, since these date from a period when Brody was part of Poland. The fond in which these records are located is: 506/0 Urzad Stanu Cywilnego w m. st. Warszawie - Archiwum. Write to:

 Urzad Stanu Cywilnego m. st. Warszawy
 02-678 Warszawa
 ul. Smyczkowa 14

 Phone:  (22) 847-48-21
 FAX:  847-88-36

         For more information, including locations of a number of selected 20th-century Brody Jewish records, see Miriam Weiner's book Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories, or the Archive Database at:
The Routes to Roots Foundation Web Site
         In addition to records from more than 5,000 gravestones encompassing the years 1834 to 1939 in Brody's existing Jewish cemetery, Ami Elyasaf of Israel and his team have indexed and put online thousands of surnames from Brody 19th-century Jewish vital records. These surnames are the ones found in Brody birth and death records from 1816-1861 and marriage and divorce records from 1816-1871. [See the information directly under Brody Research, above, to find out the years for which vital records are available from the Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and the L'viv Archives.] Ami's Brody Cemetery and vital records information is available by searching at:
Additionally, Ami has a site with a link to a database of Brody homeowners' surnames and corresponding house numbers culled from 19th-century records:
Ami Elyasaf's Brody Page
        You can also search for Brody information with:
Logan Kleinwak's Search Engine for Online Historical Directories (Put Brody, Galicia; Brody, Poland; or Brody, Ukraine into the Search window.)
        In her book Finding Your Jewish Roots in Galicia: A Resource Guide, Suzan F. Wynne indicates that the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem both have early 19th-century bet din (Jewish court) records for Brody on microfilm and the Central Archives also have a microfilmed 1870 voters list for Brody.

        The Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway, New York, NY 10027 (Phone: (212) 678-8000; Web site:, has a Brody Communal Register (in Hebrew) covering the years 1800-1817; and the Central Archives for the History of Jewish People, Hebrew University Campus, Sprinzak Building, Givat Ram, has Tax/Voter lists for Brody for the 1870's. Address them further at: P.O. Box 1149, Jerusalem 91010, ISRAEL--Phone/FAX: 972-2-5635716; E-mail:   

        Additionally, the Leo Baeck Institute, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011 (212-744-6400 or, has in its archives a number of documents, manuscripts, and memoirs of potential interest to Brody researchers, especially those conversant with German. These may be examined at Leo Baeck on Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and on Friday until 2:30 p.m., except on holidays.

        YIVO, also at 15 West 16th St., New York, NY 10011-6301 (entrance on 17th St.), has lists from the Alliance Israelite pertaining to the great emigrations from Brody in the 1880s (Record Group 406), as well as a great deal of other material of interest to Brody and Galicia researchers. To make appointments, address Aviva Astrinsky, Librarian (212-294-6134 or or Fruma Mohrer, Archivist (212-294-6143 or Additionally, The Jewish Encyclopedia has articles about distinguished Jews who were born, lived, or died in Brody, Galicia. This is now online (; and entering only "Brody" in the search window will bring up the relevant articles.

        Information on Brody Jews who came to the United States and are buried in 13 different Brody Landsmanshaftn plots at various New York and New Jersey cemeteries has been transcribed by Ada Green and is now available at the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR): The data covers plots in Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island (New York) and in Iselin and Woodbridge (New Jersey). A complete list of Landsmanschaftn plots in the New York area is available at the Web site of  the Jewish Genealogical Society of New York. Go to: For Brody Landsmanshaftn plots, simply put Brody into the search window. 
        Austrian researchers, and researchers whose ancestors moved to the area of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that has now become the country of Austria, can find help at the following Website:
Beginner's Guide to Austrian-Jewish Genealogy
        Additionally, in her book Jewish Roots in Poland: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories, Miriam Weiner devotes several pages to the Majdanek Museum Archives. According to Ms. Weiner, it is possible to obtain information, free of charge, about former prisoners of this camp by sending a written request to:

            Archiwum Panstwowego
            Muzeum na Majdanku
            ul. Droga Meczennikow
            Majdanka 67
            20-325 Lublin

Be sure to include as much information as you can about the person being sought (full name, birthdate and place, parents' names, address before arrest or deportation, and--if possible--the date of arrival at Majdanek).

        JewishGen's Links to Organizations That Can Help Find Holocaust Survivors (Click on #15, Holocaust Research.)

        More Information on How to Find Holocaust Survivors

        Yad Vashem and Its Remembrance Projects

        The Best Site for Jewish Genealogical Research

        Where to Find the Brody Yizkor (Memorial) Books

        Selected Portions of An Eternal Light:  Brody, in Memoriam

        Photos, Books, and Archival Documents on Brody at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum  (Click on "Search the Collections," and enter "Brody" into subsequent search windows.  You may need to click on the name of a collection to get a search window.)

To Find Other People Researching Brody

        A Map of the L'viv Oblast Showing Brody
        The IAJGS International Jewish Cemetery Project

        A Special Interest Group for People with Roots in Galicia

        To Find Information on Other Shtetls

        B rries Kuzmany's Site
            B rries Kuzmany's "The City of Brody in the Long 19th Century" (This book has been translated into English.)
            B rries Kuzmany's List of Publications (Many can be downloaded.)
Three articles on Brody in English from The Galitzianer can be downloaded from B rries' site. An easy way to get to them is here.


        The author wishes to acknowledge, first of all, her considerable debt to Andreas Inhofner of Vienna, who acted as Consultant for these pages. Mr. Inhofner steered the author in the right direction at all times, and his historical  knowledge and understanding were of immense value in enabling the successful completion of this project. Through Mr. Inhofner, the author also learned of the "Tante Adele erz hlt" manuscript and was put in contact with author Adele Landau Mises's descendant John Kallir, who kindly translated and donated the chapter "A Day in the House of My Parents." Mr. Inhofner also contributed the interesting photo tour through Brody and the tour of the Brody Jewish Cemetery that appear here. 

        The author is very grateful to Professor John-Paul Himka, of the University of Alberta, for permission to publish his fine article, "Ukrainian Collaboration in the Extermination of the Jews During World War II: Sorting out the Long-Term and Conjunctural Factors." Special appreciation must also go to Yitzhak Zorne of the Organization of Former Brody Residents in Israel, who provided the three Brody Jewish survivor stories that appear in these pages, and to Moshe Lubianiker, who forwarded them and who, through his resourcefulness and persistence, was able to aid in establishing contact with the copyright holders so that permission to use these accounts could be secured. The author is grateful to the former Brody Jewish residents and their heirs who gave permission for the publication of these survivor stories; and thanks are also due Gina Lanceter, of the Organization of Former Brody Residents in the United States, who provided information and support. The author is additionally grateful to Boleslaw Kulczycki for his two accounts of the rescue of a number of their Jewish neighbors by his Righteous Gentile parents and to Sabina Zimmer for forwarding the article about her stepfather, Righteous Gentile Walter Ukalo, as well as to author Meyer Lieman for permission to publish this article. And thanks are due Jenny Lazar for forwarding information about Otto and Liselotte Hassenstein and the story of Liselotte, a righteous German, as well as to Susanne Hassenstein for permission to publish Liselotte's story.  The short history and highlights of Brody from an early geography book that appear in the first section of this Web site, the 1844 Brody cadastral map, the Brody portion of the 1897 Galician Business Directory, the outline with information on column headings in Brody land tax records, and the 1890 Brody school records were all sent to the author by Dr. Robert Sherins. Thanks must go to him for these many contributions as well as to translators Helen Bienick, Ann Sommer, George Wilk, and Gerard Braunthal for permission to publish their work. Additionally, the author is grateful to Janice Kinsler Smith, the genealogist and friend who helped with the formatting of the Brody School Records document so it could be published at this site.

        Appreciation is due Sabina Braunthal and Frederic Blum for their valuable photos taken in Brody and Brody's Jewish Cemetery; and special thanks are due Dr. Neil Rosenstein, whose projects will benefit all Brody researchers and who generously allowed the author to publish part of his Brody Cemetery database and also contributed the photo seen above of an actual gravestone found in the cemetery. Additionally, the author is extremely grateful to Dr. Ben Solomowitz, who not only has served as Dr. Rosenstein's partner in the Brody Cemetery Project but also donated the fine photos of Brody and Brody metrical books that appear at this site and supplied some of the information in the section on Brody research. The German Army map, which originally came from the collection of Tomasz Wisniewski, was also sent to the author by Dr. Solomowitz. The postcard showing the 17th-century Brody fortress synagogue is from the Judaica collection belonging to Tomasz Wisniewski, who has kindly allowed its reproduction at this site. Additionally, Tomasz Wisniewski generously donated the four Brody postcards that appear at this site under Modern Brody and are part of his Judaica Collection.  

        Thanks are due Stefan Wisniowski for help with Brody's early Polish history and Anne Feder Lee, who sent material translated from the Almanac of Jewish Communities in Poland, Warsaw, 1939, and called the author's attention to Shores of Refuge, by Ronald Sanders, the book from which most of the information about Brody as a migration center comes. Thanks also to Lou Horowitz for calling the author's attention to the S. Ansky selection from the Yale University Press' edition of The Dybbuk and Other Writings. And thanks are due Gerard Braunthal for his many important contributions to the Brody Research section.

        The historic photo showing former Brody citizen Dr. Albert Nussbaum with a patient and surrounded by other physicians in the Department of Dermatology, University of Vienna, appears by courtesy of the Institut fur Geschichte d. Medizin der Universit t Wien (Institute of the History of Medicine, University of Vienna); and the photo of Adele von Mises at the beginning of her essay, "A Day in the House of My Parents," appears by courtesy of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York.

         Last, the author is also very grateful for the permissions from various publishing houses to reproduce work published by them and to all the people who allowed linking to images appearing at their Web sites. And the author is extremely indebted to Richter Albert Gideon Jr., grandson of the artist known as "Gideon," and to Gideon himself for allowing the use of images of the beautiful paintings and sculptures that appear in the above sections on the Holocaust.  Details about Gideon's Holocaust works seen in these pages can be viewed at, as can other pieces in Gideon's extraordinary collection. 

Other images appearing through the kindness of their owners:

        The lovely picture postcard from Brody at the beginning of these pages is from the Ukrainian Web site InfoUkes ( and was provided by the Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society. It can be found at the following InfoUkes page:        
The animated menorah is from, though this link appears now to be non-operational.

          Last, a scanned image of the beautiful painting "Friday Evening in Brody," by Isidor Kaufmann (1853-1921), was sent to the author of this site by Ami Elyasaf, and permission to display this image was kindly given by the painting's owner, Benjamin E. Perl of London, in whose collection this painting resides. Later, Benjamin Perl provided an even clearer image, and this has now been put at the site.


(In addition to sites with links in the above Acknowledgements section,
following are some, but not necessarily all,  of the other sources consulted.

Information was also derived from personal interviews and correspondence.)

Books, Articles

Arad, Yitzhak.  Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 1987.

"Brody," Encycopedia Judaica, Volume 4. Keter Publishing House Ltd., Jerusalem, 1972.

Brown, Lewis. The Wisdom of Israel, Random House, New York, 1945.

Eckman, Lester and Lazar, Chaim. The Jewish Resistance: The History of the Jewish Partisans in Lithuania and White Russia during the Nazi Occupation 1940-1945, Shengold Publishers, Inc., New York, NY, 1977.

"Gelber, Nathan Michael," Encyclopedia Judaica, Volume 7. Keter Publishing House Ltd., Jerusalem, 1972.

Gitelman, Zvi. A Century of Ambivalence: The Jews of Russia and the Soviet Union, 1881 to the Present, Schocken Books, Inc., New York, in cooperation with YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 1988.

Himka, John-Paul. "Ukrainian Collaboration in the Extermination of the Jews During World War II: Sorting out the Long-Term and Conjunctural Factors," Zwoje, Volume 16, Number 3: Maj-Czerwiec (May-June) 1999.

Kronik, Aleksander and Sack, Sallyann Amdur. Some Archival Sources for Ukrainian-Jewish Genealogy, Avotaynu, Inc., Teaneck, NJ, 1997.

Kuzmany, B rries. Brody: Eine galizische Grenzstadt im langen 19. Jahrhundert, B hlau-Verlag K ln Weimar Wien [Vienna], 2011.

Lichtblau, Albert and John, Michael. "Jewries in Galicia and Bukovina, in Lemberg and Czernowitz," 1996. Available at:  (Part I, 2.2. Contradictions and Countertendencies)

Lunzer, Heinz and Lunzer-Talos, Victoria. Joseph Roth: Life and Work in Pictures, Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne, 1994.

Mokotoff, Gary. How to Document Victims and Locate Survivors of the Holocaust, Avotaynu, Teaneck, NJ, 1999. See:

Rosen, Adam J. "Hasidism versus the Haskalah: A Review of the Nineteenth Century Conflict Between Two Major Movements of Jewish History in Galicia and in Russia," Binghamton Journal of History, Spring 1998.

Sanders, Ronald. Shores of Refuge: A Hundred Years of Jewish Emigration, Schocken Books, New York, 1988.

Solomowitz, Dr. Benjamin H. "Some Discoveries in Galician Records," Avotaynu, Volume 13, Number 4, Winter 1997.

Weiner, Miriam. Jewish Roots in Poland: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories, the Miriam Weiner Routes to Roots Foundation, Inc., Clifton, NJ, 1997.

Weiner, Miriam.  Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories, the Miriam Weiner Routes to Roots Foundation, Secaucus, NJ, 1999.

Wigoder, Geoffrey, ed. Encyclopedia of Judaism, MacMillan, New York, 1989.

Wynne, Suzan F. "Demographic records of Galicia, 1772-1919," Avotaynu, Volume VIII, Number 2, Summer 1992.

Wynne, Suzan F. Finding Your Jewish Roots in Galicia: A Resource Guide, Avotaynu, Inc., Teaneck, NJ, 1998.

Web Sites (in addition to those for whom Web addresses have already been supplied above in the Brody Research or Acknowledgements section); 20th-century History:

Aktion Reinhard Camps:


American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise:

Jewish Virtual Library:

Bőrries Kuzmany's Web Site:

(Jewish Enlightenment)

Federation of East European Family History Societies:
FEEFH Map Library:

Ghetto Fighters' House:
( (Type Brody in the Search window.)

Guide to Ukraine:


Holocaust History Project:

Holocaust Research Project:

Illinois Institute of Technology's Voices of the Holocaust:

InfoUkes Inc.:

The Jewish Museum, London, England:

The Jewish Encyclopedia (published 1901-1906):

Mike Rosenzweig's Jewish-Polish Heritage Web Site:

Polish Genealogical Society of America:
(Map of Galicia)

Polish Jews World Wide Web Home Page:

Polish Roots Web Site:

Roman Zakharii's Web Site on Brody:

Routes to Roots:

Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance:
Use the search window to search for Brody, Poland or Brody, Ukraine.)   

Stone & Stone Second World War II Books:
(Can search for books about Ukrainian collaboration and resistance during World War II)

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

Yad Vashem:


YIVO Institute for Jewish Research:

Other Resource Works That May be of Value to Brody Researchers:

Goberman, David Noevich. Evreiskie nadgrobiia na Ukraine i v Moldove (Jewish Tombstones in Ukraine and Moldova), Imidzh, Moskva, 1993.

Gregorovich, Andrew. Jewish-Ukrainian Bibliography:  a Brief Selected Bibliography of Resources in English, 2nd edition, Forum, Toronto, 1998.

Lichtblau, Albert. In cooperation with the Leo Baeck Institute, New York and the Institut Geschitchte der Juden in sterreich (Institute for the History of the Jews in Austria). sterreichisch-judische Lebensgeschichten aus der Habsburgermonarchie (Austrian-Jewish Life Stories from the Habsburg Monarchy), B hlau Verlag, Vienna, Austria, 1999.

Rosenstein, Emmanuel and Rosenstein, Neil. Latter Day Leaders, Sages & Scholars, Computer Center for Jewish Genealogy, Elizabeth, NJ, 1983.

Wunder, Meir. Meore Galitsyah: entsiklopedyah le-hakhme Galitsyah (Encyclopedia of Galician Rabbis and Scholars), Makhon le-hantsahat Yahadut Galitsyah, Yerushalayim, 1978.

Please send comments, corrections, and suggestions for additions to
Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld

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