Jewish Mementos in the Zala Comitatus

Jewish Hahót

Jews started to settle in Felsõhahót, located close to a busy mail route, at the end of the 18th century. In 1890 the highest number of Jews, 128, was recorded here. The orthodox Jewish community was founded in 1870, its first rabbi was Ignác Schwarzenstein. The Jewish community had two synagogues, both them have been torn down now. Both were built with donations by the members of the community, the first one in 1872, the other one in 1904. In 1885 Jewish communities from the surrounding villages joined the Hahót community. Hahót became the centre of the district. In 1929 the Jewish community counted 120 persons, 35 families. According to a report by the jewish community in April 1944 it had 78 members. The president was Béla Gründfeld, rabbi Jenõ Schück kept the register. Of all the religious leaders in the Zala comitatus the Hahót rabbi was the only one to survive the Holocaust as a laborer. On May 17, 1944 head judge Vilmos Horváth ordered the Jews of the notorial district of Hahót to relocate to Pacsa by 12:00 on May 20, from there they were deported to Zalaegerszeg on June 20. The Jewish community was not revived after the Holocaust, in 1956 there were only 6 Jews living in the town. Some of the tombstones of the former cemetery are still around and in the Roman Catholic cemetery there is a World War II memorial holding, amongst others, the names of the Jewish victims. The victims’ religions are commemorated by a cross on one side of the memorial and a star of David on the other.

by Johannes Scholem Graf & Alexandra Vogt