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“Reca (Rete)” – Encyclopaedia
of Jewish communities, Slovakia
(Reca, Slovakia)

48°14' / 17°28'

Translation of the
“Reca” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Slovakia

Edited by Yehoshua Robert Buchler and Ruth Shashak

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 2003


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Acknowledgments

 

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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot Slovakia: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Slovakia,
Edited by Yehoshua Robert Buchler and Ruth Shashak, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.


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(Page 537)

Reca (Rete), Slovakia

Translated by Jerrold Landau

Donated by Meg Power

(Hungarian: Réte. Known to Jews a Reite.
A rural settlement in the region of Galanta, district of Bratislava in western Slovakia.)

 

Year Population Jewish
Population
Percentage
1736 -- 7 --
1746 -- 20 --
1768 -- 2 families --
1828 1,025 9 people 14.6[1]
1880 1,070 97 9.3
1910 1,067 72 7.0
1919 1,120 60 5.3
1930 1,331 39 3.0
1941 1,304 30 2.3

It is a town in a fruitful agricultural region known as “the isle of wheat.” It was first mentioned in 1256 as an estate that belonged from a jurisdictional perspective to the palace of Bratislava. Later, it was the property of several Hungarian noblemen in succession. The population of the town was mainly Hungarian, with a Slovak minority. They were Catholic. They worked in agriculture, and some of them worked as employees in the estates. There were no major changes in the way of life in the town even during the era of the Czechoslovakian Republic. In November 1938, Reca was annexed to Hungary, and at the end of the Second World War, in the beginning of April 1945, it was liberated by the Soviet army and restored to Czechoslovakia.

History of the Community

The first Jews, refugees from Moravia, came to Reca at the beginning of the 18th century, but they apparently did not remain for long. In the first Jewish census of 1727, no Jews were enumerated in Reca. In a document of 1735, two Jewish residents of Reca were mentioned – a peddler and an innkeeper – along with their families (12 souls in total). In 1746, six Jewish families from Moravia lived in the town (20 souls), but in the tax registry of the Bratislava district from 1767, only two Jewish heads of families were mentioned, a butcher and a peddler. The total of their taxes was 14.5 florins. (According to other evidence from that time, other Jews lived in the village, but they apparently got out of paying the head tax and therefore were not included in the registry.) The Jewish population of the town remained small during the 18th and 19th centuries. The population reached its peak of 120 souls only after the First World War. Later, after the growth of urbanization and emigration, primarily among the young, the Jewish population of the town again declined.

We surmise that the Jewish community of Reca was founded in the latter half of the 18th century. With its founding, Jews from other settlements in the area joined it. The first gravestones in the local Jewish cemetery are from the 1770s. At the end of the 18th century, the Jews of Reca build a synagogue in the style of Moravian synagogues. During the 1830s, Rabbi Yehuda Asad, the author of Yehuda Yaaleh, served as the rabbi of Reca. He was one of the great Halachic decisors of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Later he served in Dunajská Streda (see entry). After him, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schön of Nitra (see entry), the author of Minchat Pitim served for 50 years until his death in 1882. During his tenure, at the time of the schism of Hungarian Jewry in 1869, the community of Reca joined the organization of Orthodox communities. The next rabbi, Rabbi Moshe Klein, was the final rabbi of the community.

Immediately after the First World War, the community numbered 1200 Jews, from Reca and environs. This consisted of 28 heads of households who paid taxes. In 1922, Gabriel Frank was the head of the community. The annual budget was 5,000 crown. The community had a synagogue, a cemetery, a mikva (ritual bath), and a communal home with apartments for the shochet (ritual slaughterer) and religion teacher, and a poultry abattoir. A Chevra Kadisha (burial society) and additional charitable organizations were active in the town. There was no rabbi in Reca after the war, and the community belonged to the rabbinate of Senec (see entry). During the 1930s, less than 40 Jews remained in Reca, but the community continued to exist.

The Jews of Reca primarily earned their livelihood from commerce, including the cattle and agricultural product business. Several of them were involved in the raising of poultry. They marketing their products in Bratislava (see entry).

With the annexation of Reca to Hungary in November 1938, the population consisted of 25 souls from Reca and environs. The community was headed by Edward Stern. Throughout 1941, several Jewish men of Reca were enlisted to forced labor in the “work groups” of the Hungarian army.

In the middle of May, 1944, the Jews of Reca and environs were imprisoned in the synagogue. After a few days later, they were brought to Senec, where they were kept separate fro the gentile population. On June 12th, 1944, they were sent to the Nové Zámky Ghetto (see entry) and they joined the June 15th transport to Auschwitz.

Jews did not return to Reca after the war. The Jewish cemetery is abandoned and forlorn, and many of its monuments are destroyed.

Cohen, Sages of Hungary, pp. 317-327, 343-344, 398-399, 455.
Fuhs, Yeshivas of Hungary, Volume I, page 75.
Bárkány-Dojč. Pp 61-62.
MHJ vols. VII XVI
Shchweitzer, pp. 574-575



Translator's Footnotes
  1. Obviously, this percentage is incorrect. Return

 

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