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Jews settled in Nyirtass about 1750 under the protection of the Eszterhazys as peddlers serving the neighboring village. Eventually, they became merchants even exporting to other countries, manufacturers, estate managers, clerks, and transporters. Nyirtass had an innkeeper and three estate owners. The congregation established in the 19th century in 1868 declared itself Orthodox. The first synagogue was built near the beginning of the 19th century. In 1910, with a rabbi, a chevra kaddisah, a well known yeshiva and a  cheder, a new synagogue was built. Five Jews died fighting in WWI. In 1918, Hungarian soldiers returning attacked and looted the Jewish stores and stores, shouting "While we fought, the Jews stayed home to get rich." During the "White Terror" (1919), the rabbi and congretation leaders were imprisoned for a week and released. Between the two World Wars, Jewish residents became increasingly separated from Christians. The film "Jud Suss" shown in the village in 1942 stirred up conflict. The mob broke windows of Jewish homes and demanded expulsion of Jews from the village. When the Germans entered Hungary in 1944, all Jews were confined to their homes and had their stores looted. In April 1944, they were confined to the ghetto except for three married to Christians. On the last day of Passover, 170 elderly, women, and children were crammed into the synagogue with a minimum of belongings and little food. After three miserable days, they were transfered to the ghetto in Kisvarda and then to a lumberyard outside the town for ten days. On  Shavuot, the first transport and two days later the second went to Auschwitz. Rabbi Elimelech Segal Lowi (1908-1944) perished with his followers. After the war, five women and two men returned from the camps and fourteen men from forced labor. Christians had taken their homes and demolished the mikvah and synagogue. The hostile reception from the populace encouraged them to abandon the village. [February 2009]


Cemetery: Caretaker is István Kernács, Táncsics utca 2. [March 2009]


Last Updated on Sunday, 14 June 2009 21:01
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