[Tîrgu Lăpuş, Romania]
Translated by Susan Geroe
On October 15, 1944, the Soviet Army liberated Magyarlápos. On the same day, people hiding in the woods returned to the community. Later, little by little, stranded young men from retreating labor battalions also returned. They opened up their parents' homes, but were yet unable to move in. They were incapable to start a new life alone. They pooled together into collectives, ate together, and also jointly, they reopened the store of Rosenfeld Armin. It was in this manner that they awaited with great expectation until the end of the war, when in May 1945, the German concentration camps were liberated and their famished survivors, in rags, started to linger back home. With the exception of a few middle aged men, solely young kids returned. There were hardly any adults among the women who returned either. Everyone admired one exceptional case: Nemes Izsak, who was over the age of sixty, returned with his adopted daughter and five sons. He was about the only one of his breed, a blessing for the community in a way, since the house of Nemes Izsak was a home that stood always open for everyone, its owner invariably ready to offer advice, guidance, and help.
Although the number of returning survivors reached seven percent, in Magyarlápos, that translated to no more than fifty persons. They couldn't stand the destroyed environment, and the local population. Some moved to Des a few days after their return, because it seemed easier to start a new life in a larger community. Those who stayed started to reorganize the community once they were able more or less to make a living. They renovated the synagogue, and placed a memorial plaque on its wall. They employed a kosher slaughterer not that much for the sake of ritual slaughtering, because these young people, even though from previously observant families, lost most of their faith. The shochet, however, symbolized belonging to the community. In those days, he was the only spiritual leader, and he also performed wedding ceremonies, which became increasingly frequent.
This community, made up of young people, could not even be referred to as having lost its ground, for thus far, it has never been master of its own fate. Yet, they were unable to grow roots in that scorched, poisoned land. Even though each one of them saw the future in an independent Jewish national community, nobody had time or strength specifically to start up Zionist organizations. First, with support from the Des community, small groups left illegally through Germany, and then went to Israel via Cyprus. Later, after the great aliyas of the 1950s, only a few of them remained in the community.
Today, only five Jewish families live in Magyarlápos. Their Jewish activities consist in maintaining the synagogue, where they gather during holidays, but there are not enough people for a minyan. They also take care of the cemetery.
The days of the Jewry of Magyarlápos are numbered. They will have no legacy in Lapos. However, those who came to Israel, melted in the great Jewish resurrection and through their children, they upkeep all that was beautiful and noble, that which seemingly was destroyed, but lives in their descendants, from generation to generation,
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