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[Page 1]


ספר

יזכור


Book of Remembrance



Csenger (Csenger),

Porcsalma (Portzelama),

And Adjacent Communities



Editor: Shlomo Friedman

Translator: Mrs. Leah Oppen



וְהָיוּ חַיֶּיךָ תְּלֻאִים לְךָ מִנֶּגֶד וּפָחַדְתָּ לַיְלָה וְיוֹמָם וְלֹא תַאֲמִין בְּחַיֶּיך


“And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear night and day, and shalt have no assurance of thy life.”

Devarim 28:66


Tel Aviv תשכ"ז 1966



[Page 2]


Dedications


This book was written in Hebrew in 1966 and was translated from Hebrew into English by Mrs. Leah Oppen. Mrs. Renee Fishkind undertook to have this translation made in the hopes that it will be more widely read. This effort is dedicated in the memory of her grandmother Mrs. Helen (nee Gross) Klein (of Csenger) and her grandfather Bernarth Klein (of Porcsalma).


Helen (nee Gross) Klein
Aug 30, 1896 – July 18, 1983
 
cse002.jpg [20 KB] - Helen and Bernarth Klein
  Bernarth Klein
1894 – April 2, 1975


Renee Fishkind's cousin Renee Stern acquired a copy of the Hebrew version of this book from the New York Public Library. Their grandmothers were Gross sisters born in Csenger.


[Page 6]


Preface

by Avrohom Yungreis

The son of Horav Osher Anshel Halevi Yungreis ZTL
Rov of the holy community of Csenger, Hungary and
It's surrounding cities


עֵת לִבְכּוֹת וְעֵת לִשְׂחוֹק עֵת סְפוֹד וְעֵת רְקוֹד

“There is a time to mourn and a time to dance (rejoice)”

(Kohelles 3:4)


With trembling and awe we are approaching to relate with a “pen of mourning” (Pen in Hebrew is “eyt”, and time is “eys” as quoted in the above possuk in Kohelles), about the rivers of blood and piles of earth, about those who were annihilated by the sword, and those who perished from hunger; of the fathers and sons, mothers and young children and infants.

It is beyond the limits of our language with its twenty two letters to be able to describe adequately, and to find suitable expressions with which to relate to you the great tragedy that befell our people. There is no flowing ink which can be sufficient enough to commemorate them, to be qualified for use as a “pen of mourning”, with the blood and tears of the author.

It is quite natural that the refugees who survived in Eretz Yisroel and in the lands of the Diaspora desire to commemorate their beloved families and cities of origin through setting up live monuments in the form of a “Memorial Book”.

It is a sacred obligation not to forget, and also not to allow to be forgotten the memory of those who were tortured to death, in a horrifying manner; those holy martyrs who commanded us to live and to convey to the future generations, about our period of history with its abundance of atrocities.

This took place despite the fact that the martyrs committed no wrong at all. How could the human race close their eyes and ears, and stand and observe how these nations were כִּי אָכַל אֶת יַעֲקֹב וְאֶת נָוֵהוּ הֵשַׁמּוּ “devouring the children of Yaakov and destroying their dwelling places” (See Tehillim 79:7).

There remained from our community and its surroundings only mountains of ruins and rubble. That's all that is left from our city with its majestic shuls, aside from the cemeteries who house the departed ones, among many of whom were very holy people. The memories of our communities are implanted in the depths of our hearts, as long as we live. However, our children are not aware of the life that flourished in our cities. They feel that there is no past, and only a future encountering them. They are only connected to the future, and it seems that it was decreed on us, the generation which is between the past and future, that we should be situated between the two periods of history.

We are tied with one thousands strings to the past, with a bond which can never be severed.

The community of Csenger with its surrounding cities, that originated many hundreds of years back, and was annihilated with the rest of Hungarian Jewry, had met its bitter end in the large unmarked grave of the six million European Jews, in the gas chambers among the pure souls that ascended Heavenward via the poisonous gasses, and its bones and ashes are spread throughout the German death camps.

To our great sorrow, the life of the community of Csenger was terminated, and in its place reins a deathly silence. The life of our holy and pure Rabbi that was the shepherd of his flock, who tended to them and their needs with kindness and devotion, calmly and truthfully, and with utmost generosity, was cruelly severed.

The righteous and great scholars of the city have disappeared, and likewise the distinguished and generous members of the community who were so kind to the poor people of the city, have vanished. The pleasant and beloved people who would gather every day to converse in topics of Torah every evening before the times of the prayers are no longer among the living.

Our brothers who took part in our joys and sorrows, from the nearby and far villages, have perished. The yard and the street where they used to lead their horse drawn carriages that filled up the surrounding area of the shul, in the early hours of the morning when they came to say Selichos, are now empty.

In order to eternalize the memory of our martyrs, so that they will not be forgotten, even after we ourselves are no longer alive, it is our sacred duty to relate our knowledge and feelings about the years that have passed to the future generations, and to tell them whatever we know either by speaking or in writing, so that they should also know the history of their ancestors which spans many generations. Thus, we will sanctify the memory of our martyrs, together with our own history among the future generations.

We do not have the means to erect structures and monuments to perpetuate the memory of our cherished martyrs. Let this book serve as a witness to the souls of our dear ones. When this book which commemorates the city of Csenger and its neighboring communities, and their illustrious past and bitter end will become distributed publicly, we will thereby be kindling a candle of eternity for their departed souls, and lighting up their lives with love and pity.

Let this modest book come and express our pain and sorrow, which is the pain of the few remnants of Csenger, the embers which escaped the great fire, those who are orphaned and widowed, who carry on the memories of their loved ones in their hearts wrapped with sorrow, and clothed with sadness.

May we merit to go to the cemetery of the city of Csenger, which is the only testimony left to the past of this glorious community, and to those cities that are next to her, which are the resting places of very righteous and learned people, who were renowned for their greatness and piety, and who together with the city of Csenger formed an inseparable bond.

Please Hashem, do not let these dear remnants of our community be killed by the German murderers, our enemies. (The author means that their memories should not be erased).


נָתְנוּ אֶת נִבְלַת עֲבָדֶיךָ מַאֲכָל לְעוֹף הַשָּׁמָיִם בְּשַׂר חֲסִידֶיךָ לְחַיְתוֹ אָרֶץ

“They fed the dead bodies of Your servants to the birds of the sky,
and the flesh of Your righteous ones to the beasts of the earth”

(Tehillim 79:2)


Please, Hashem, guard the resting places of the departing ones who merited to be buried according to Jewish law, in their own merit and also in the merit of the fathers and sons, children and infants, that were offered upon the fiery altar in order to sanctify Your Holy Name; those whose ashes are scattered in the lands of the impure even now in the present time.

Thus, may it be Your Will

Avrohom Yungreis,
Yerusholayim




[Page 9]


The Memorial Book


The Eternal Candle


וְנִקֵּיתִי דָּמָם לֹא נִקֵּיתִי וַיהוָה שׂכֵן בְּצִיּוֹן

“Even if I will cleanse them of other sins I will not cleanse them of the bloodshed of the Jewish people”

See Rashi's explanation which is that even if Hashem will absolve the nations of any other crimes they committed,
he will definitely punish them for the crimes they committed against the Jewish people.

וְנִקֵּיתִי דָּמָם לֹא נִקֵּיתִי וַיהוָה שׂכֵן בְּצִיּוֹן

“And I will hold as innocent their blood that I have not held as innocent; and the LORD dwelleth in Zion.”

(Yoel 4:21)


In the memorial gathering that took place for the martyrs of Csenger and its surrounding cities, I suggested to write a memorial book, thereby putting to everlasting memory, the names of our martyrs of the community of Csenger, and Portzelama and the neighboring cities, that were killed in a cruel and hair raising manner, together with the six hundred thousand Hungarian Jews, who made up part of the six million Jews that were murdered as a result of an organized evil plan that was devised by the head of the impure people, the Nazi enemies and all their accomplices to their crimes.

I know that the time has come, now that it is twenty two years since the sun has set on the community of Csenger, to relate about the nature of this holy community. The time has come to give over to our children and the ensuing generations, the history which is forbidden for us to forget until the end of days.

The time has come, lest we forget what has transpired. Even now, it was with great difficulty that we gathered the names of the martyrs from people who knew them in all parts of Eretz Yisroel, and I worked very hard to reach the point which I have presently reached. We want to present this book both to the readers who hail from our city, and to those who want to let their minds and their inner selves join the memory of our city in solitude.

The contents of this book that we present before you, contain beneath their folded pages our efforts to rescue from the depths of forgetfulness, the images of the cities of Csenger, Portzelama, and the adjacent communities, as we remember them. These are cities that once existed, and have vanished, and will no longer be present.

The city of Csenger and its affiliated towns excelled in the observance of Judaism, in a manner which was both original, and energetic. It had a heritage of hundreds of years, among a Jewish population that was always concerned with, and who devoted their energies to the existence of Klal Yisroel, and its future.

If this book which is before us has succeeded in adding on to the sack in which the tears which were shed on the destruction of European Jewry are gathered, it will be the reward of our efforts, and the fulfillment of the debt and obligation which we owe our martyrs.

Shlomo Friedman
Editor


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