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Jewish families from Hajdúnánás, Hungary.

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HAJDUNANAS

A SMALL TOWN IN THE HAJDU DISTRICT, EASTERN HUNGARY.

JEWS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SETTLE IN THE TOWN UNTIL THE MIDDLE OF THE 19TH CENTURY. NEVERTHELESS, THERE WAS ONE JEW IN THE TOWN ALREADY IN 1800, WHO WAS AN INN KEEPER. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE 19TH CENTURY, AT THE INVITATION OF ESTATE OWNERS, JEWS FROM SZABOLCS AND THE VICINTY BEGAN TO SETTLE IN THE TOWN AND THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPED AT A RAPID RATE. THE PRINCIPAL MEANS OF LIVELIHOOD OF THE JEWS OF THE TOWN WERE IN COMMERCE, EXPORT OF AGRICULTURAL CROPS AND SLAUGHTERED POULTRY; A FEW TRADESMEN, AND INDUSTRY ON A SMALL SCALE WHICH EMPLOYED MANY JEWS AND CHRISTIANS. RELATIONS WITH THEIR CHRISTIAN NEIGHBORS WERE GENERALLY GOOD. ONE EXCEPTION WAS IN 1882, WHEN FOLLOWING AN EPIDEMIC IN THE AREA, THE JEWS WERE ACCUSED OF POISONING THE WELLS. AS A RESULT MANY JEWS LEFT THE TOWN. IN 1868, AFTER DIFFERENCES OF OPINION WHICH AROSE BETWEEN THE MASKILIM (MODERATES) AND HAREDIM (ORTHODOX) AT THE JEWISH CONGRESS, THE COMMUNITY AFFILIATED WITH THE ORTHODOX STREAM (WHICH REFUSED TO ACCEPT THE DECISIONS OF THE CONGRESS). THE COMMUNITY OF HAJDUNANAS WAS ORGANIZED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE 19TH CENTURY AND ESTABLISHED RELIGIOUS, EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS. THERE WERE ZIONIST ACTIVITIES AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY. THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE RESIDENTS OF THE TOWN AND THE JEWS WERE NORMAL, AND DURING THE PERIOD OF THE "WHITE TERROR" (POGROMS AGAINST THE JEWS ORGANIZED BY RIGHT-WING MILITARY ELEMENTS IN THE YEARS 1919-21, AFTER THE FAILURE OF THE COMMUNIST REVOLUTION), THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES PROTECTED THE JEWISH INHABITANTS. DESPITE THIS A NUMBER OF FAMILIES, WHOSE CITIZENSHIP PAPERS WERE NOT IN ORDER, WERE EXPELLED. IN 1920 THE NUMBER OF JEWS LIVING IN THE TOWN HAD REACHED 1147. IN WORLD WAR I 12 JEWS WERE KILLED IN ACTION.

IN 1930 THE COMMUNITY NUMBERED 1131 JEWS.

THE HOLOCAUST PERIOD FOLLOWING THE "DISCRIMINATORY LAWS" OF 1938, WHICH AIMED AT LIMITING PARTICIPATION OF THE JEWS IN THE ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL FIELDS, MANY JEWS LOST THEIR MEANS OF LIVELIHOOD. A FEW OF THE YOUTH SUCCEEDED IN GOING ON ALIYAH TO ERETZ ISRAEL. IN 1940, SEVERAL WERE ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF PROFITEERING. IN THE SAME YEAR MANY JEWISH FORCED LABOR WORKERS WERE BROUGHT TO THE TOWN, AND WERE CARED FOR BY THE COMMUNITY. IN 1941, YOUNG JEWS WERE TAKEN FOR FORCED LABOR (WORK ON FORTIFICATIONS AND IN SERVICES TOGETHER WITH OTHER HUNGARIAN CITIZENS WHOM THE AUTHORITIES WOULD NOT PERMIT TO JOIN THE ARMED FORCES). THEY WERE SENT TO ASSIST THE HUNGARIAN-GERMAN WAR EFFORT ON THE RUSSIAN FRONT. THE MAJORITY PERISHED THERE. ONE FAMILY OF 6, WHOSE FATHER FELL IN ACTION IN WORLD WAR I, WAS EXPELLED TO KAMENEC PODOLSK (A TOWN IN GALICIA, WHERE IN THE AUTUMN OF 1941, ABOUT 20,000 JEWS WERE SHOT.) THEY HAD FLED FROM THE AREAS CONQUERED BY THE NAZIS, TO HUNGARY, AND FROM HERE WERE EXPELLED ON THE CHARGE OF BEING STATELESS, AND THERE MURDERED. ON MAY 14, 1944, AFTER THE GERMAN OCCUPATION, A GHETTO WAS SET UP IN HAJDUNANAS IN WHICH ALL THE JEWS OF THE TOWN WERE GATHERED. ONLY COMMUNAL REPRESENTATIVES WERE PERMITTED TO BUY FOOD AND WATER FOR THE GHETTO INHABITANTS. ON JUNE 17, THE JEWS OF HAJDUNANAS WERE SENT TO DEBRECEN WHERE ALL THE JEWS OF THE DISTRICT WERE CONCENTRATED, AND FROM HERE TRANSPORTED TO AUSCHWITZ ON JUNE 24, 1944. A SMALL GROUP WAS SENT TO AUSTRIA.

AFTER THE WAR, SOME 70 FAMILIES RETURNED FROM AUSTRIA, AS WELL AS A FEW FROM AUSCHWITZ. THEY REESTABLISHED THE LIFE OF THE COMMUNITY, BUT AFTER THE ANTI-COMMUNIST REVOLT IN 1956, THE MAJORITY OF THE JEWS LEFT THE TOWN. IN 1960 ONLY 5 FAMILIES REMAINED.

Official text written by Researchers of The Museum of The Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot