“Puspokladany” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Hungary

47°19' / 21°07'

Translation of the “Puspokladany” 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.
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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 451-452]

Puspokladany

A town in the Hajdu district, sub-district of Puspokladany,
28 kilometers from Debrecen. In 1941 the population was 15,204.

Jewish Population

YearNumber% of Total
Population
1840150.3
18692653.7
18807418.8
18905505.6
19106004.7
19205964.5
19306314.4
19415523.6
19461851.2
1949115-
1960--

Until the Second World War

As in other places, the inhabitants of this town had the right to decide if they wanted Jews, or other outsiders, to settle in their town. For a generation the whole area was closed to Jews. In other to sell their products and get whatever they needed from outside the area, the people preferred Greeks, Germans, or Slavs. Only in the beginning of the nineteenth century, when these limitations were abolished, did Jews begin to settle in Puspokladany.

The majority of Puspokladany Jews were artisans, and a minority made their living through trade. Most were poor. There were no Jews in the free professions, and very few of them were well to do.

Their community was organized in 1840, when the entire Jewish population consisted of a handful of families. During the split in the Hungarian Jewish community in 1869, the community of Puspokladany defined itself as Orthodox. They really were Shomrei Mitzvot. Some followed Hassidic practices. Hassidism became stronger in Puspokladany when many Hassidim came from the Maramaros area, fleeing from the Czarist armies that invaded the area during the First World War. The Marmaros Hassidim opened a special klois, but they influenced the whole community's religious life. The majority of them remained Yiddish speakers, and the Hungarian culture was foreign to them. They were also distinguished from others by their distinctive dress. Most of them did not get Hungarian citizenship, and the authorities persecuted, insulted, and humiliated them.

The synagogue was built about 1880. In 1935 it was burnt in a fire that broke out in the town, then reconstructed in1937.

There were a Hevra Kadisha, mikva, Women's Association, a Young Men's Association, Talmud Torah, cheder, yeshiva, and an elementary school established at the end of the nineteenth century in Puspokladany.

The first rabbi of Puspokladany was Josef Rosenberg (1869-1905). He wrote the book Yad Yosef. The first part was printed in Pressberg, 1863, the second half in Ungvar in 1870, and the third part was printed in Munkacs in 1906. During the 1930's and '40's, the rabbi of Puspokladany was Rabbi Yitzhak Binyamin Mendelowitz.

The attitude of the Puspokladany Jews to Palestine was the usual in a traditional community. Zionist activity was prohibited. In truth, there were yeshiva boys, not a few, who sympathized with the Mizrachi movement, but they all had to hide their Zionist sympathies from their directors and teachers. Otherwise they would have been expelled from the yeshiva.

During the First World War, 87 of the Jews of Puspokladany served in the army. Thirty-three of them were killed on various fronts, and their names were inscribed on the memorial to the heroes of Puspokladany built by the town.

During the period of the White Terror in 1920, the community was endangered by pogroms, after a group of thugs came to the town, but the secretary of the municipality was successful in convincing their leader that the Jews did not take part in the leftist evolution.

The Holocaust

In 1940 the youth of Puspokladany were conscripted into forced labor. Others from Szolnok were also brought there, and they were sent to work in the railway station. The inspectors' attitude to the forced laborers was very cruel, and some were murdered. The authorities checked citizenship papers, and those from Marmaros were sent to Kamenets Podolsky, and murdered there.

In November 1942 Puspokladany was a concentration site for the Sixth Battalion of the forced laborers, and the community, and despite its own difficulties, opened a kosher kitchen for them.

In March 1944, when the Germans entered Puspokladany, three leaders of the Jewish community were arrested, along with five Jewish merchants. They were placed in the concentration camp of Szentgyorgy, near Debrecen.

During the second half of May the Jews were concentrated in a ghetto that included the community buildings, synagogue, and houses of six Christian citizens, who moved into Jewish houses in the center of the town. Two hundred more Jews from Foldes and Tetetlen were also put into this ghetto, and there was much overcrowding. Because of this density people also lived in the synagogue, and a special shack was built for prayer. But in comparison to other communities, the situation of the Puspokladany was tolerable. They were permitted to take food with them, and the town secretary distributed bread among the ghetto Jews. The members of the Jewish council were permitted to leave the ghetto to organize food supplies. On the contrary, young women wee persecuted, and fifty of them were taken to work on local farms, and nine other were forced into prostitution.

The non-Jewish population of the Puspokladany Jews displayed open enmity, and rejoiced in their suffering. When the Jews were forced to wear yellow stars, there were gentiles who informed on Jews who did not wear them.

During the middle of June the Puspokladany Jews were to the Debrecen ghetto. After a few days some were taken to Austria, and others to Auschwitz.

After the war 185 survivors returned to Puspokladany and reconstructed community life. The rebuilt the synagogue and cemetery, but when they felt the hate of the non-Jewish population, they began to leave the town. The majority of them left after the uprising of 1956, and in 1960 no Jews were left in the town.


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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