“Albert-Irsa” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Hungary

47°15' / 19°37'

Translation of the “Albert-Irsa” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Hungary

Edited by: Theodore Lavi

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1975


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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot Hungary: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Hungary,
Edited by Theodore Lavi, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.


This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.


JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.


[Pages 153-155]

Albert-Irsa

A community that combined two neighboring villages, Alberti and Irsa in the -Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun region,
Monor district, 15 kilometres from Budapest. In 1941 the population was 4,232 in Alberti, and 7,393 in Irsa.

Jewish Population

YearNumber
174622
1784/85226
1851510
1869540
1930240
1941145
194930

Until the Second World War

The first Jews settled in Albert-Irsa in 1746. They were permitted to rent houses for themselves, and make their living selling beer, alcoholic drinks, and other commodities. In 1750 Albert was transferred to the ownership of Judge Almasy. During this time there were 75 Jews already there. I1770 there were already there 21 Jews who owned buildings, a fact that pointed to a strong economic position. The Jewish settlement developed and was based on the economic, social, and religious aspects.

At the end of the eighteenth century, during the Napoleonic Wars, the Jews of Albert-Irsa did their best to show to show their loyalty to their government. A document from 1797 expressed thanks to the Jews of Albert from the nobility because of their monthly donations for weapons, and also promised to tell of the loyalty of the Jews of Albert to their emperor. But a year later we find an additional document, whose contents contained a complaint from the Dayan of this community to the governor of the district. It said that the Jews of Albert-Irsa refused to pay the tolerance tax, with the encouragement of the landlord. In answer to it, the governor ordered the Dayan to punish severely those who refused to pay.

In 1849 the Emperor's office levied a high fine on the Albert-Irsa community because the Jews took part in the War of Independence under the command of Kossuth.

Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the members of the community paid a heavy tax to the landlord in order for him to protect them. Even heavier was the tolerance tax, which was between 800-1,200 forints annually in the Albert-Irsa community. This sum of money was taken from every member of the community according to his means, except these taxes were levied on the Jews of A, as well as army taxes, taxes on meat and wine, and of course taxes for managing the community.

The majority of A's Jews were merchants. The minority were industrialists and artisans. In1770 the community included ten merchants, two saloon owners, four manufacturers of alcoholic beverages, a tailor, a shochet, and two Jews without specific professions. In 1929 there were 39 merchants, three farmers, a teachers, four self-employed workers, and two with undefined professions.

The attitude of local non-Jews to the Jews was reasonable most of the time, and both sides had strong economic connections among themselves. Because of the lack of documents, we don't know exactly when the community was organized. On the contrary, the regulations of ???the community, which was renewed in 1772. According to the regulations the leadership was made up of seven members. Its jurisdiction included suits judging between its members, and it strictly differentiated between members and non-members. One who was not a member was not recognized in the synagogue when it came to the Aliyah to the Torah, or Kaddish, permitted to buy meat in the butcher shop before all the other members finished their purchases. One who left this town had to pay a migration tax, according to a sum fixed for him personally by the community leadership. The governor of the Pest District confirmed these regulations.

In 1840 when the Jews wee also permitted to settle in the cities, many of Albert-Irsa's Jews moved to nearby cities without abolishing their right to remain members of the community. Thus, for example, we find Jews who lived in Felegyhaza and paid taxes to A's community. (By the way, Felegyhaza took for itself the regulation of a community.)

In February 1881 the community defined itself as status quo. A small group seceded and organized an orthodox community, which existed eight years, until 1889, when the Chief Rabbi of A, Zigmund Buchler, united the two communities.

The Hevra Kadisha was established in 1784 by the first rabbi of Albert-Irsa, Avraham Preszburger. To be a member of the Hevra Kadisha was a great privilege, and involved active participation as a candidate for three years. A minimum of ten members took part in every funeral, dressed in black clothing. On the Seventh of Adar the members came to the synagogue and cemetery wearing triangular hats.

The first synagogue was built in Albert. When the Irsa community replaced of Albert in leading the united community, they began planning to build a second synagogue in Irsa. It was inaugurated in 1809. At the same time the first synagogue did not have enough places for all those who came to pray there. In order to obtain donations for enlarging the building, the community decided on a high tax for selling kosher wine, which meant it became expensive. Owners of vineyards were permitted to sell wine from their vineyards only through the institutions of the community. Those who tried to circumvent these regulations were excommunicated and expelled from the community.

In 1830 thirty youngsters were organized into a Hevrat Bocherim, and established a synagogue of their own. They added lectures in religious subjects to their prayers. Afterwards the association changed its named to Hessed Neurim. Members were very strict about moral life, and publicly disgraced every member who broke any rule.

The charitable institutions in Albert-Irsa were: a Talmud Torah, which was established in 1804 by 143 Jews who wanted to dedicate time for learning Torah, and help those who studied Torah. There was the Hevrat Sadikut, an association for godfathers, organized in 1810, whose purpose was to nominate godfathers by lot for babies from poor families. Gmilut Hessed, a fund for the poor was organized in the first half of the nineteenth century. (Evrionei Irenu) took care of needy people of all kinds. The Women's Association, organized at the end of the nineteenth century, organized fiestas, and the revenue was given to poor people.

Of the Rabbis of Albert-Irsa we shall mention Elazar Ben-David Karpelesz from Prague, the disciple of Rabbi Yeheskel Landau, the author of Noda B'Yehuda. He was removed from his position after three years.

Amram Gaon Rosenbaum, 1814-1826, was very famous as a very brilliant scholar. He went from Albert-Irsa to Eretz Yisroel. Haim Kitsee (1829-1840) was a Dayan in the community before he became its rabbi. After his death a manuscript on Halacha in 80 volumes was discovered. Only a book of questions and answers of Halachic problems was published from it. (Sighet, 1913). ??Yon Burned (1853-1872), who was afterwards the rabbi of Debrecen, Sigmund Buchler (from 1886), who wrote the history of Albert-Irsa's community, who was the first to give sermons in the synagogue in Hungarian.

Education

The cheder was established at the end of the eighteenth century. After the new synagogue was built, the cheder was transferred to the old building. In 1851 the cheder became an official school. In this year there were 57 pupils. In 1861 there were 92 pupils, but many families continued to send their children to the old cheder, and rich families hired private tutors for their children.

The Zionist movement had no deep roots in Albert-Irsa. The reason for this was assimilation, which was widespread among local Jews, plus enmity of the local authority, although there were people who secretly supported Zionist parties. As we mentioned, Rabbi Amram, the Gaon Rosenbaum, went to Eretz Yisroel .

Famous Community Members

We shall mention Menachem Bleyer (died in 1900) who was the rabbi in Poroszlo and in Tiszaeger, and was famous for his book Kvod Lalevanon (Munacs, 1903). Adam Pulitzer (1835-1920), a physician and researcher who was nominated in 1895 to be a professor at the University of Vienna. The lawyer, Dr. Shalom?? Eulenberg (born in 1853), was famous for his journalistic struggles against anti-Semitism during the blood libel in Tisza-Eszlar. He was a member of the municipal council of Budapest, and one of the Neolog community leaders in Pest. In 1918 the Hapsburg Emperor granted him the title of court councilor.

The Holocaust

The situation of the Jews became worse and worse during 1939, after the promulgation of the Discrimination Laws. Many lost their jobs, and heads of the families were taken into compulsory work camps, and then sent to the Russian front. From there many didn't return. Those who remained in the towns, and whose business licenses were taken from them were compelled to make their living by selling merchandise on the black market, and this made them another target of ill-will or pursuit.

The tolerant attitude of the population of the locals to the Jewish community changed during this era. They didn't hide their satisfaction with the laws, which allowed them to humiliate Jews. Many inhabitants, especially youngsters, were organized into radical right -wing parties. The walls of the buildings were full of anti-Semitic slogans, and the press and the movies supplied racial propaganda. The windows of the synagogue were shattered again and again, and the Jews suffered from terror, frightened before the Germans arrived.

On April 4, 1944, the Jews of Albert-Irsa were ordered to put a yellow star on their sleeves, to be closed in their homes, and to surrender their jewelry and valuables. At the end of May they were taken to the ghetto at Mono, and at the beginning of July, they were transported from there to Auschwitz.

A few dozens of the Jews of Albert-Irsa returned after the war, and tried to renew community life. But they very quickly scattered in every direction.


This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.


JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

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