Jewish Mementos in the Zala Comitatus

Jewish Zalalövö

This large town was located on several important trade routes and already attracted Jewish settlers in the middle of the 18th century. In 1746 3 Jews lived here, in 1778 there were 87. The census of Jews of 1782 mentioned the synagogue of the Lövő Jews which is proof of the existence of a Jewish community. Its first rabbi was Jakab Anhalzer. In 1848 the Lövő community counted 176 persons, 44 families, and in 1851 two teachers taught at the school under the supervision of the rabbi. The Jewish school had to close after World War I.
The Lövő community joined the congressional communities in 1868 and in 1885 became the centre of the district. In 1929 the Jewish community had 305 members. In 1930 a synagogue was built, financed by the community itself. There was an active Chevra Kadisha and a women’s association. In 1941 around 100 of the 3356 inhabitants of Zalalövő were Jews (the proportion of Jews that belonged to the mother community was higher). In April of 1944 the Jewiwsh community counted 191 members, its rabbi was Adolf Bender and Izidor Wieder was president. The Zalalövő Jews were brought to the Zalaegerszeg ghetto on May 16, they were transported in several groups together with the other Jews from the district, theirs was the last train going to the ghetto. The index of names made on the day the ghetto was populated counts 100 Jews from Zalalövő, another one counts 102.

The 9 survivors of the Holocaust returned to find the synagogue in ruins and the cemetery destroyed. The synagogue has since been rebuilt. In 1946 there were still 19 Jews in the town, they later moved to Budapest or emigrated. In 1949 the congressional community counted 17 members with Mór Weltlinger as president. The community had only one town.

In the fields of the town, alongside the street to Körmend, lies the Jewish cemetery which to this day is in good condition. The World War II memorial in the centre of the town guards for eternity the names of the Jewish victims.

by Johannes Scholem Graf & Alexandra Vogt