The City Council of Zenica has voted unanimously to return the city’s synagogue to the Jewish community of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The decision was adopted by the City Council on the initiative of Mayor Fuad Kasumović. The building had been managed since 1968 by the Museum of the City of Zenica, which supported the City Council’s decision.
Speaking on this historic move, Mayor Kasumović said that “unfortunately, a Law on Restitution is not in place yet in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so the City will remain the owner of the building. ”
“Given that the decision was adopted unanimously, we are sending a message of unity, but also one reaffirming that Zenica has always been and remains a multiethnic city,” Kasumović added.”
Designed by engineer Miloš Komadina in the Neo-Moorish style, the synagogue dates from 1903, and was last restored in 2011.
The synagogue served the Zenica’s Jewish communityt between 1903 and 1941. 185 members of the Zenica Jewish community were killed in the Holocaust, and those who survived and returned to their homes were unable to rebuild the demolished synagogue by themselves. Later, the building was used as a printing house and a furniture store.