“Mateszalka” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Hungary

47°57' / 22°20'

Translation of the “Mateszalka” 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 348-349]

Mateszalka

A city in the Satmar district, on the Kraszna River,18 kilometers
from the city of Nyiregyhaza. The population in 1941 was 10,036.

Jewish Population

YearNumber% of Total
Population
175310 (families)-
1784/85325 (individuals)-
1819/20127-
18402388.9
186963817.1
189093220.3
19001,00818.6
19101,12819.0
19201,27019.4
19301,62117.7
19411,55515.4
1946150-
1949238-
195998-

Until the Second World War

The first Jews settled in Mateszalka in the middle of the eighteenth century under the patronage of the estate owner, Sandor Karolyi, who settled Jews on his estate in order to develop it. His son, Ferenc Karolyi, inherited a part of his father's estate in 1784, which included most of the town. He continued his father's practices, and encouraged Jewish settlement in the town.

After the First World War part of the district was annexed to Romania. Mateszalka became the most important town in the area, and this caused its Jewish community to develop greatly.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, there were four grocers, four merchants, and four artisans, including two tailors. There were also two butchers and three saloon owners, a few clerks, et cetera in the Jewish community.

The community was Orthodox. In Mateszalka there was a Jewish elementary school (in 1928 there were four teachers), a Talmud Torah and sometimes a yeshiva. Near the synagogue was a shtibl for Hassidim, which had its own building. Six rabbis served the community. The last rabbi of Mateszalka, Rabbi Shalom Grunbaum, was lost in the Holocaust.

The Holocaust

In 1941 the men were taken for forced labor.

When the Germans entered Hungary in 1944, Mateszalka and some areas in its vicinity were declared a military zone. The Russian army was then in the Carpathian Mountains, close to this town. One of the biggest concentration camps in Hungary was built in Mateszalka. Jews from the towns of the Marmoros district, among them Raho, Nagybocsko, Korosmezo, Okormezo, Bustyahaza, and Tecso were sent to it. There were about 17,000 people in this camp. The attitude of the policemen to the arrested Jews was most brutal. Tortures, hunger, density, and diseases were their lot. At the beginning the arrested were kept outside. After a short time, they were crowded into a few little houses, some dilapidated. The community dished out meager food rations every day, plus soap and bread. The arrested stood on lines to get the food. At last they were brought to the railroad station, and were put into closed railroad cars, about eighty people to a car, and the railroad took to them to Auschwitz.

The remnants of the Jewish forced laborers returned to the city after the war. A few months afterwards a very few survivors returned from Auschwitz. The Jewish population in Mateszalka in 1946 was 150. There were also Jews from neighboring hamlets. In 1949 the number was 238.

The Jews who returned to Mateszalka renovated the synagogue and the mikva, hired a shochet, and reorganized the little community. After the rebellion of 1956, the survivors began to disperse. Many moved to Budapest or to Debrezen, and others immigrated to Israel. 98 Jews remained in Mateszalka, about a third of them children, in 1959.


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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