“Sarospatak” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Hungary

48°19' / 21°35'

Translation of the “Sarospatak” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Hungary

Edited by: Theodore Lavi

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1975


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for permission to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

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.


[Page 523]

Sarospatak

Town in the Zemplen District, on the Bodrog River,
near Nyiregyhaza. The population is 1941 was 13,213.

Jewish Population

YearNumber% of Total
Population
17353 (families)-
1840437(individuals)8.7
186980112.1
188072412.6
190095611.6
19101,03311.0
19301,0969.7
19461531.2

Until the Second World War

The first Jews settled in Sarospatak during the first half of the eighteenth century, brought there by local estate owners. There is even a Jewish tombstone from 1780.

The majority of Sarospatak Jews made their living through trade, a minority were artisans, and the rest made their living in agriculture or through the free professions. In 1930 there were 90 merchants, 17 artisans, 6 farmers, 4 melamdim, 3 physicians, and four lawyers.

During the whole nineteenth century, there were agreeable relations between Jews and Christians. There is a legend that the Jews prevented the destruction of the town in 1848. It was said that when the Russian soldiers entered the town, the Protestant students of the Seminary threw stones at them. In reaction, the Russians aimed their cannons at the town. But the notables of the Jewish community went to appease the Russian commander, and indeed he was placated. In the twentieth century Jewish-Christian relations were spoiled, for these students greatly influenced the middle class.

The Jewish community was organized during the 1780's. During the split of the Jewish communities in Hungary, Sarospatak defined itself as Orthodox. A Women's Association, which was established in 1880, was concerned with welfare.

The school was established in 1885, and the language of instruction was Hungarian. A Talmud Torah and Yeshiva were established there. In 1930 the Yeshiva had 25 students, and the Talmud Torah had 50.

Philip Fisher, a noted rabbi, active about 1930, translated the writings of Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsh into Hungarian.

Even in 1938 the Jews of Starospatak suffered from non-stop inspections of their documents. Four families, who didn't have enough time to prove their Hungarian citizenship before a certain date, were expelled over the border and murdered by Ukrainians. Close to the High Holy days of that year, many wealthy members of the community were arrested, including community leaders. They were marched through the city streets like prisoners, arrested, and placed in a concentration camp.

In 1940 the Jews could not sell wine, tobacco, et cetera, or own a radio without a special license.

The Holocaust

Starospatak was a center for forced labor regiments, and from there the conscripts were sent to the Ukraine. A thousand Jews doing forced labor were compelled to build an airport near the town. Those who ran the camp were arbitrary in their treatment of the Jews.

When the Germans entered the town in 1944, a temporary ghetto was established in the Jewish school on April 15. The wealthy members of the Jewish community were tortured there in order to find out where their valuables were hidden. After a few days a train to the ghetto of Satoraljauhely transported them, a place notorious for its terrible conditions. From there they were taken to Auschwitz in four transports, which left Hungary between May 15, and June 2.

After the war about 100 men and women returned to Hungary, and the community reorganized. But slowly some left, and many immigrated to Israel. Now only nine Jewish families remain in Sarospatak, and the total number is about 20.


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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