Brody is a town in Galicia, the westernmost region of Ukraine, only 90 kilometres from Lviv. The city's history is closely linked to that of the Jewish community, one of the most important in Galicia. which inhabited it until the years of World War II. Then it was swallowed up by the Shoah between July 1941 and May 1943: almost all of Brody's approximately 10,000 Jews met their death in the Nazi camps of Belzec and Majdanek.
The ruins of Brody's great synagogue are a testimony to that past, the traces of which are still visible in the streets and houses of a typical Jewish town in this region, populated until the mid-20th century by merchants, artisans, intellectuals, men of religion, poor people who constituted the fabric of this Jewish world, now cancelled.
Andrea Riccardi, together with a delegation from Italy, stopped in Brody as a sign of homage to the Jewish tradition of Ukraine and to the victims of the Shoah on his return from Kiev. Besides the synagogue, the remains of the Jewish cemetery tell of a rich history of faith and culture that saw the city of Brody as one of the centres of Chassidism, a popular movement for the spiritual renewal of Judaism that arose in the 18th century and became rooted in Ukraine.