While very few have ever heard of this miniscule town, planted in the middle of the countryside, its significance is great. Trebic is the only Jewish UNESCO World Heritage site outside of Israel. Both the Jewish Quarter of the town and the St. Procopius Basilica are registered with UNESCO.
The Jewish Quarter includes synagogues, schools, homes, and businesses. There is also a very old Jewish cemetery (the oldest grave dates back to 1633!) with almost 4,000 tombstones.
Even a town as isolated as Trebic was still not immune to the horrors of the Holocaust. All of the city’s Jewish inhabitants were deported to camps during the War. Only 10 survived; none returned to Trebic. No Jewish population remains in Trebic today.
A lovely Czech woman was kind enough to invite us into her home to view the well that is in the middle of her house in the Jewish Quarter. The well has been there since the 18th century and was in use up until several years ago. The woman was a very talented ceramic artist and sold beautiful dishes, vases and figurines that she had fired herself to use as souvenirs.
We made it into Vienna in the early afternoon and walked around the Jewish Quarter in Vienna, visiting the Holocaust memorial there along the way. Our group placed a candle on the platform of the memorial in honor of the Austrian Jews murdered in the Holocaust (photo right).
It was a quiet day, but interesting nonetheless and a perfect day for gathering thoughts and preparing for the second half of the trip, which is primarily constituted of visits to concentration camps.