Historical notes on the Selinger family Cover Image

Povijesne bilješke o obitelji Selinger
Historical notes on the Selinger family

Author(s): Branko Ostajmer
Subject(s): History
Published by: Hrvatski institut za povijest
Keywords: Selinger family; Jews in Croatia; Našice; Ðakovo; Osijek; Slavonski Brod; Zagreb

Summary/Abstract: The two centuries-long history of the Selinger family reflects the history of Croatian Jews in Croatia, their “golden age” and their tragedy. Many members of this family – including descendants of its female branches – left a significant and valuable mark in science, economics and politics. These individuals certainly deserve to have their work explored, while the compiling of their resumes is important to obtain a better understanding of many important events and processes in Croatia, especially in Slavonija. We could set aside Viktor Selinger (Podgorač, 1838 – Slavonski Brod, 1906) a trader and entrepreneur, prominent cultural and political activist who sponsored many cultural and humanitarian associations. His two sons excelled in two distinctly different fields: Hugo (Podgoraè, 1866 – Vienna, 1928) took on and further developed his father’s business, especially after its relocation and transfer to Zagreb, and Lavoslav (Ðakovo, 1870 – Novi Sad, 1938) who, driven by his restless spirit, dedicated himself to the profession of journalism, an activity not greatly appreciated in his time. In his half-century-long career, he worked for several newspapers as a messenger, reporter, associate editor, owner and publisher. With the start of World War II and the founding of the Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska) and the senseless racism which became implanted into its foundation, the threat of the “final solution” hung over the entire Croatian Jewish community, including the Selingers who with their lives and livelihoods had become deeply rooted in Croatian society. Many members of the Selinger family fell victim to the “final solution”, while others saved their lives as refugees, for the most part never to return to their homes. After the painful and traumatic experiences of WWII and the Holocaust, the surviving members of the Selinger family searched for a new life in the United States of America, Israel and other places around the world. Amongst the descendants of the Selinger family, there were indeed notable individuals who, owing to their skills and accomplishments, rose above mediocrity. Dr. Otto Z. Sellinger (Zagreb, 1929) completed his PhD in Biochemistry and had a prominent scientific career; he is also a world renowned collector of classical Belgian stamps and postal history. Prof. Dr. Reuben Eldar (Osijek, 1926), a doyen of world medicine, a prominent expert in neurological rehabilitation and quality of medical care, is a descendant of the Selinger family from its female line. He returned to Croatia on a mission of the World Health Organization in the early nineties of last century and his work made not only immeasurable contributions to the proper handling and improvement of the process of rehabilitation of war victims, but also to the professional education of health experts in Croatia.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 10
  • Page Range: 290-340
  • Page Count: 51
  • Language: Croatian