Theirs is a sublime profession, meaning more than defending the accused: it is a search for truth, which is the embodiment of a divine idea.
Their work is the realization of the words of the prophet Ezekiel:
Do justice and righteousness (Ez 45:9)
Our jurists, who were born or worked in Pápa, served this sacred ideal. The memory of these champions of truth should be commemorated:
Dr. PÁL BAKONYI
was born in Pápa in 1868. He worked in the capital as the managing director of the suburban train HÉV and the editor of the periodical Magyar Jogélet (Hungarian Legal Life).
Dr. BÓDOG HALMI
was the son of art teacher and artist Dávid Herz. He was born in Pápa in 1879. After getting his diploma as a lawyer, he became a judge serving on the Court of Appeal. In addition, he wrote several articles on legal and literary matters. He also wrote books: Marosházi történetek (Stories from Marosháza), Ady költészete (The Poetry of Ady), Zsidó gyerek (Jewish Child), Őszi hervadás (The Withering of Fall).
attorney, the son of the Salamon Breuer, who served in Pápa and subsequently in Frankfurt as a rabbi. He was born in Pápa in 1883. He was a champion of orthodoxy, as seen in his books: Ein Kampf um Gott [Frankfurt a. M., 1920], Judenproblem [Halle (Saale), 1918], Messiasspuren [Frankfurt, 1918]. He was the co-founder and leader of Agudat Yisrael. He worked in Frankfurt, and later moved to Jerusalem.
Dr. KÁROLY KARDOS, attorney of the Pápa Jewish community, also in charge of the Zsidó Ápolda (Jewish nursing home).
Dr. ÁDÁM KENDE, government chief councillor, president of the Pro-Palestine Association.
Dr. VILMOS KORITSCHONER, county attorney general, participated in the Basel Congress together with chief rabbi M. A. Róth, president of the Chovevei Tzion, which was founded in Herzl's time.
Dr. SAMU LUSZTIG, also president of the School Board of the Jewish community.
Dr. ZOLTÁN BŐHM, president of the financial committee for the Jewish community.
Dr. IMRE GYÖRKI, the only attorney left practising in Pápa. He was in charge of the ghetto's so-called internal defence unit; he had to meet the head of the SS there. It was due to his efforts, that the list of martyrs was successfully compiled.
Dr. BÉLA BUXBAUM, during the Communist dictatorship of 1919 was the town commandant of Pápa. Later he moved to Eretz Yisrael, where he became the defender and legal adviser mainly of the ultra orthodox. He died in Jerusalem in the prime of his life.
Dr. MIKLÓS SHISHA, the president of the Galileo Circle in his youth, a fighter for the ideals of the Radical Party. He died in Milano.
Dr. VILMOS NEUMANN, secretary of the Buda Jewish community, then attorney at the firm Kolozsvári Faipar R.T. (Cluj Wood-Industry Ltd.).
Dr. VILMOS HIRSCH, his son Dr. JENŐ HIRSCH, and his son-in-law Dr. EMIL GUTH, Dr. ANDOR KAUFMANN, Dr. GYÖRGY KENDE, Dr. SÁNDOR GYÖRKE, Dr. SÁNDOR LENDLER, Dr. SÁNDOR HOFFNER, Dr. SÁNDOR STEINER, Dr. JENŐ FEHÉR and his brother Dr. DEZSŐ FEHÉR, Dr. SÁNDOR GOTTLIEB, Dr. MANÓ HERZOG and his son Dr. JENŐ HERZOG, Dr. MIHÁLY TÖRÖK, Dr. MÁRTON RÉVÉSZ and his brother Dr. GUSZTÁV RÉVÉSZ, Dr. NÁNDOR ROHONYI, Dr. LÁSZLÓ STEINHOF, Dr. JENŐ SCHEIBER, Dr. ANDOR WELTNER a professor at the Law School of Budapest.
While editing this book, the daughter of Margalit Köves, from Pápa, and Sándor Gondos, Haifa, received her diploma as an attorney in Jerusalem.
The tolerant decision of the Pápa District Court must be commemorated: with regard to the great number of Jewish attorneys, there were no court proceedings held on Saturdays.
Pápa was rightfully called the Athens of the Transdanubia. In terms of culture, it surpassed many larger towns of the area. In a town of 20,000 there were two High Schools, four higher elementary schools, three teacher training institutions, a Protestant theological seminary, and an agricultural training college. It was a cultural town of long standing already in the middle of the nineteenth century.
The Jewish community had an eight-class elementary school, four for boys, four for girls. In addition, they had a yeshiva renowned nationwide and the only Jewish higher elementary school of Transdanubia. Nevertheless, Pápa Jews took most pride in the fact that the major proportion of Jewish teachers came from their town. They internalized the ideal of torah im derech eretz here and spread it wherever they went. They educated Jewish children all over the country in the spirit of faith and morality. For them it was not just a job, they considered it a profession, a sacred mission: to teach Torah, morality, learning, and humanism.
These were the teachers who came from Pápa, or were connected to the town through their childhood, studies, or professional work:
First, the teaching staff in the four grades of the orthodox elementary school for boys:
Principal Mór Pfeiffer wrote a Hebrew grammar entitled Mitzpeh, meaning watchman. It was in fact an acronym for his name. This is what he wrote in the foreword to his grammar, in the tones of a self-respecting Jew:
A nation lives in his language, but we think that people also live in their language (although for the time being they lack the attribute of a nation, since they are deprived of their ancient homeland), so I compiled this grammar in order that the Jewish people may live in their language as well!
taught in Pápa for decades until his retirement. Later he became a principal, and in addition to the elementary school, he also taught in the trade school (Iparos Tanonciskola) and was the religious education teacher of the Public Teacher Training Institute (Állami Tanítóképző). In old age he moved to his children in Israel, and was buried there.
also worked here. His tombstone in the Pápa cemetery tells that he went to synagogue services every day and also attended the daily shiur on Mishna. Together with his wife, the daughter of the Miava rabbi, they brought up their children in a religious spirit.
taught at the boys' school. He was an outstanding mathematician, and also taught calligraphy at the higher elementary school. His kind heart destined him to become the organizer and leader of Malbish Arumin (Kreuzer Association), which provided clothes for the poor.
the tireless organizer of the Pápa Girls' Association taught at the girls' school, together with
who was known as a deeply pious woman, and
MRS. AMBRUS, NÉE RÓZA SCHOR,
The Torah and Gemara teachers, alongside the teachers of secular subjects, were the following:
rabbinical court member HERMANN ECKSTEIN,
whose witty Biblical commentaries were still remembered by his students 50 years later.
Religious education teacher ARYE PANETH
taught introduction to the Talmud. He was a descendant of the famous rabbinical family of Dés.
the principal of the higher elementary school, wrote a religious education text-book for the girl's elementary and a monograph on the town of Pápa, describing in it the history of the Jewish community. After his death,
became the principal and he remained in that post until the school's closure. Together with his colleague Károly Láng they edited a collection of popular Jewish sayings entitled Peh el Peh.
also taught here, later in High Schools at Beregszász and at Buda. Together with principal Blau they wrote an operetta in 3 acts, entitled Queen Esther, which was performed successfully by the school's students. The songs written on the basis of the ancient text were sung by Pápa Jews for many years.
until his recruitment into the army, was an excellent science teacher, loved by his students.
a teacher of History and German, who had previously taught in the status quo school of Bonyhád. After the school's closure, he went to teach at the trade school (Városi Ipari Iskola) and also worked as a correspondent for the news agency MTI.
Other members of the teaching staff were the following:
an outstanding Hebrew scholar, whose modesty was surpassed only by his knowledge.
ADOLF FARAGÓ and
ANDOR BIHARI taught science.
Teachers of the Protestant High School and the teacher training institute were paid by the hour, with the exception of Lajos Pollák (Pál).
Besides secular subjects, great importance was attached to religious education as well. It was taught 2 hours a day by LAJOS BAUM and ORE WEISZ.
or Uncle Marton; the religious education teacher was a household name in Pápa. His biography deserved a whole chapter.
Teachers born and/or educated at Pápa had a good name all over the country, sacrificing themselves for the future generation, working with self-denial in the noble profession. Here is their list of names:
JENŐ ÁBRAHÁM had a diploma in teaching and became a graphologist. He worked under the pseudonym A. Brahms. Besides analysing character, he could also discern health problems by examining people's handwriting. He lost his life in the Shoah, which he had predicted.
His brother, SÁNDOR ÁBRAHÁM, the principal of the neolog elementary school at Szarvas, perished in forced labour service.
The brothers of Principal Lipót Buxbaum were also excellent teachers:
ÁRMIN BUXBAUM worked in Pressburg/Pozsony [now Bratislava].
BENJÁMIN BUXBAUM was the principal of the orthodox school in Cluj/Kolozsvár, the capital of Transylvania.
YEHUDA BUXBAUM was the principal of the Jewish school in Eisenstadt/Kismarton, one of the so-called Sheva Kehilot in Burgenland.
JÓZSEF BUXBAUM (BENCE)- son of the Pápa school principal, taught at the Erzsébet School at Miskolc. He works at the Budapest University Library.
MARGIT BUXBAUM-the youngest member in a family of teachers, and the daughter of school Principal Lipót Buxbaum. Before her marriage, she taught at the girls' school at Pápa. Mrs. Lessinger née Margit Buxbaum lives now in Tel Aviv, where she moved to before the Shoah..
belonged to the great old guard of teachers, fought in the 1848 Hungarian War of Independence, ended his service as a captain and returned to the Jewish elementary school to teach.
had a job at Dombóvár. After her marriage, she moved to Szolnok where she died at a young age.
was born in 1879 and was educated at Pápa. He was the founder and the editor of a Jewish paper called Zsidó Néplap. He was a pioneer of the Zionist idea in Hungary. In 1907 he started a new weekly called Zsidó Élet. He also worked as a teacher at a Jewish secondary school for modern languages and sciences at Vágújhely. He gave several lectures in Pápa at the invitation of the Chovevei Tzion Association, in the days of chief rabbi M. A. Róth.
was the last (female) teacher of the Jewish school at Lengyeltóti. Later she married Károly Láng, also a teacher.
taught at the Jewish school of Jászberény, from where he was taken for forced labour service. He did not return.
opened a private school at Tolnahőgyész.
taught at the Jewish school of Mosonmagyaróvár, located at the border, and saved many Austrian Jews.
both elementary school teachers, were also from Pápa.
taught at the higher elementary of Pápa, and later worked in the Department for the Protection of Children at Budapest.
taught at the Pápa Jewish school in 1848, volunteered for the National Guard and fought near the River Drava.
was originally from Tapolcafő, and went to teach at Vésztő, Békés County.
taught in Budapest.
taught at Pápa in the 1860s. His daughter Ilma was a teacher in Debrecen, who taught several generations of pupils together with her husband, principal and teacher Zsigmond Kuti. Their son Dr. Sándor Kuti was a lawyer and a poet.
taught at Pápa at the same time as Horovitz. His son József was the brother-in-law of Frigyes Karinthy's father.
taught at Jewish schools at Nameszto and Marcali.
taught at the Cong. Isr. School of Békéscsaba. He was wounded in World War I.
taught at the public school of Feketeardó, where a large number of her students were Jewish. After a trip to America, she returned to her hometown, where she taught English. Her students remembered her with gratitude.
started her teaching career at Büdszentmihály; then she taught at the orthodox girls' elementary school in Budapest. Together with her husband Jenő Paneth, they educated the children of religious families in the capital.
the principal of the congressional elementary school at Szombathely was the pride of the teaching staff.
went far from her hometown to teach in Árva County.
opened a private school at Tolnahőgyész.
was the principal and the teacher of Tab, Somogy County.
worked at the orthodox school of Bonyhád.
daughter of the teacher Károly Láng, worked at the Jewish school of Siófok. She returned from the hell of Auschwitz and became a secretary at the Rabbinical Seminary of Budapest. She died in the capital in tragic circumstances.
first taught at the Jewish elementary of Vésztő, then at the United Higher Elementary of the same town. After the liberation he discharged rabbinical duties in the neighbouring communities that were left without a rabbi.
first taught at Fertőszentmiklós; later he worked in the capital.
taught at the Jewish elementary of Marosludas.
worked at Balatonlelle, then at Nagykanizsa.
after getting his teaching diploma, worked as a secretary of the Jewish community and also conducted the choir in the temple at Keszthely, where his wife played the organ.
was the principal of the status quo school at Nyíregyháza, and collected the witticisms of outstanding Talmudic scholar Akiva Schreiber of Pápa under the heading Kive Pope. He also published in popular form legends about the prophet Eliya.
the wife of Principal Nussbaum also worked at Nyíregyháza, while her sister
worked at Erzsébet school before her marriage.
started his career at Liptószentmiklós, before going to the capital.
taught at the orthodox girls' school in Budapest; she was in charge of the institution that provided food for poor children. She is one of the few survivors from the large number of Pápa teachers. Together with her husband, engineer Jenő Réti and her family, she lives in Bnei Brak.
in recognition of his excellence as a teacher, Adolf Frankl (MP in the Upper House of the Hungarian Parliament) put him in charge of his grandchildren's education. He moved to his daughter at Kibbutz Nizanim in Israel. There he was very popular and beloved. He succeeded to gather thekibbutz members together during holidays, where he conducted the services.
Mrs. Opman taught at Beregszász.
taught at Pápa in the days of Lipót Lőw, and then, according to the chronicles, he joined the National Guard.
worked at Hőgyész, then reached Pápa. He was the only survivor of the teaching staff of the Pápa school. His sister,
taught at Kiskunhalas.
started his teaching career at Tolnahőgyész. In World War I, he was taken prisoner by the Russians. After 5 years spent at the Solikama POW camp, he returned home. He worked at the status quo elementary school in Debrecen until the deportation. As an excellent teacher and the manager of the day-care centre, he was very popular. He was awarded the golden diploma for his work. He lives in retirement in Debrecen.
Taught at the Jewish school of Kaposvár, after the Shoah he moved to Budapest, working with handicapped children. He was awarded the golden diploma for his teaching.
was born in Nagymihály, nevertheless, he considered Pápa his real home town. He had two brothers living in Pápa. One of them had afine voice and served as a chazan for the community. Their parents were also buried there. He worked as a teacher at the school of the Buda Jewish community. He was the first to teach his students modern Hebrew. Later on, he left school and became the owner of a popular boarding-house called Noémi. He lives in Nahariya as a retired white-collar worker.
worked at Siklós as perhaps the last chazan and teacher simultaneously.
taught at the Jewish school of Dévaványa, Somogy County.
taught at the orthodox Jewish higher elementary school for girls in Budapest.
also taught in the capital.
taught Hungarian at the Evangelical Girls' High School of Békéscsaba and remained a pious member of the Neolog Jewish community of Békéscsaba.
was a teacher and worked as a comptroller at the rabbinical seminary of Budapest.
a native of Pápa, the beloved Auntie Elza of the orthodox Jewish elementary school in Budapest, even after her retirement continued educating abandoned children and orphans.
son of Manó Singer who participated in the War of Independence, made a name for himself in the teaching profession. He was born and educated in Pápa. He became the principal of the orthodox Jewish higher elementary in Budapest. He edited the Ungarische-Jüdische Schulzeitung, translated and published in 7 volumes the world famous works of Pestalozzi. His religious education book , called Hittani Hármaskönyv, or חוט המשולש, became a widely used textbook in all the orthodox Jewish schools of the country. He edited the Látogatók Lapja in 3 languages.
a university professor and a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, was born in Pápa. His textbooks in mathematics and algebra were used in all the schools of the country.
school principal in Bucharest, born in 1848, (according to old yellowed documents) also considered Pápa his hometown. He also edited the periodical Revista Israelit.
a teacher in Baja born in 1820, also came from Pápa. He fought in the War of Independence (1848/49) until the very end.
His works: A zsidó nemzet története (The History of Jewish Nation), Magyar-német-francia köszöntő (Hungarian-German-French Words of Welcome), Zsoltárok (Psalms).
an excellent educator, the principal of the Protestant girls' boarding school ( higher elementary and teacher training institute), the editor of the Pápai Hírlap and a leading member of the Calvinist presbytery, whose Jewish roots became known only during the Holocaust, committed suicide together with his wife, to avoid imprisonment in the ghetto.
born in Pápa in the 1840s, worked as a teacher together with his brother Henrick in Jánosháza.
born in Pápa in 1871, worked as a teacher also in Jánosháza.
the daughter of Adolf Öszterreicher, living in Israel, came from this family of teachers and taught mathematics in the schools of Kiryat Motzkin.
the outstanding principal of the orthodox school in Sátoraljaújhely also studied in the High School of Pápa.
taught geography at the Jewish High School of Debrecen.
the grandson of Fülöp Koritschoner from Pápa, carries on his educational work in Israel as the principal of a high school in Ness Tziona.
Sadly, we must say farewell to the educators of Pápa listed below:
JAKAB WILLNER, teacher
RENÉ BIHARI, née SEELENFREUND, teacher
LINA GRÜNBERGER, teacher,
who perished in the hell of Auschwitz, together with all their students, because they lived in an age
when man got so debased
that he killed with lust, out of his own accord, not only when commanded.
[quoted from Töredék (Fragment) by Miklós Radnóti]
There is an ancient Greek saying: He who is hated by the dwellers of Heaven, will be made a teacher.
According to Hungarians, teachers were considered the day-labourers of the nation.
Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor, stated the following: It is due to the work of teachers that we could win the war.
However, on a universal level, out of all the nations and their sages, Judaism places teachers on the highest moral standing:
that is, you should respect your teachers as you fear God.
May the memory of those who died, who were murdered, be blessed and may the sun of happiness shine on the life of those that were saved!
The biblical Bezalel was the inspired master of art. Inspiration led the children of later generations to reach for the chisel and the brush. Out of painters born in Pápa the following names are recorded:
was born in 1844. His humorous conversation pieces painted in Munich brought him fame. For ten years he worked as a caricaturist for the Fliegende Blätter, a satirical German weekly circulated world-wide. He invented a method for duplicating, named after him Spitzer-tipia. A complete series of his pictures can be found in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. He died in 1919 near Munich.
born in 1846 in Pápa, was an inspired artist. He worked at the side of Mihály Munkácsi in Paris. Later he lived in London, working as a highly popular portrait painter for the English aristocracy. His painting entitled the Joachim Quartet is world-famous. In 1885 he moved back to Budapest. In 1899 in Saint Petersburg, he organized an exhibition of Hungarian artists for which he was awarded the Order of Saint Ann's Knighthood by Tsar Nicholas II. He died in Budapest in 1910.
went to Pápa at the age of 22, where he taught art at the local Protestant High School and the Public Higher Elementary for Girls. Several of his paintings can be found at the local City Hall and High School. He painted two unique frescos for the mortuary of the old cemetery. One of them depicted the ascension of the prophet Elijah, flying to Heaven on a chariot of fire. The other distressing fresco is The Resurrection of the Dead, based on the vision of the prophet Ezekiel.
a pupil of Károly Kernstock, was born in 1887 in Pápa. He worked as an artist in Germany, where he belonged to the society of Käthe Kollwitz. His pictures were a selection of masterpieces
Yuval, the forefather of musicians playing the harp and the flute, is mentioned in the Bible as early as Genesis 21:3. In the days of King David Jewish music flourished. In the Temple the songs of the Levites were accompanied by instrumental music. Music has been silenced since the destruction of the Temple, as a sign of national mourning. In the Middle Ages even listening to music was forbidden, with the exception of weddings. Nevertheless,
born in 1825 in Pápa, was an outstanding composer. He composed Hungarian songs in the folk style, csárdás music, and pieces for the cimbalom.
born in 1858 in Pápa, attracted attention with his first one-act opera, the performance of which was a great success in the Tata theatre of Count Eszterházy. His songs in the Hungarian style were very popular. Several of his operettas are characterized by an abundance of melodies.
a world-famous composer, whose opera The Queen of Sheba was included in the repertory of opera houses all over the world, was born in Keszthely, nevertheless, his life was connected to Pápa. His father Ruven Goldmark, the chazan of the Keszthely Jewish community, married the daughter of the Pápa chazan, so the great composer often came for a visit to see his relatives in Pápa, the family of bookseller Nobel.
Not only composers and musicians were inspired by the love of music. Jewish parents in Pápa readily provided musical education for their daughters, who learnt to play the piano. Piano teachers Mrs. Lendler and Elza Neumann taught many girls to love music.
son of our co-religionist Mihály Székely of Pápa won himself a distinguished place among contemporary Israeli artists. In 1945, he set out from Pest to bring 40 boys and girls to Kibbutz Matzuba. In addition to being an enthusiastic member of the beautiful kibbutz near the Lebanon border and its chief gardener, he became an internationally recognized artist, whose pictures attracted due attention at exhibitions in Brussels and Paris.
The drawing on the cover of our memorial book attests to his masterful skills as well. (The sad news of his death came while this memorial book was about to be printed.)
born in Pápa in 1867, was an engineer. He designed the bridge over the Danube at Győr, a major project. Several of his bridge construction plans were published in Hungarian, German, and American technical journals. In recognition of his work, he was made a ministerial councillor.
born in Pápa, was a chemist at the Swedish Nobel factory. Later he became the managing director of the Central de Dinamit in Paris.
born in 1851 in Pápa, was an economist. He was a legal adviser for the Austrian Centralboden Bank, and an economic editor of the Freie Presse.
Writing has always been a part of Jewish skills. The first Jewish periodical in Hungarian was published in Pápa in 1847, edited by Rabbi Lipót Lőw, entitled
born in 1850 in Pápa, became a famous journalist. He worked for the Neue Freie Presse, a widely circulated German daily, and was the editor-in-chief of the Pester Lloyd. In recognition of his work he was appointed a member in the Upper Chamber of the Hungarian Parliament in 1912.
the son of Mrs. Rosenthal née Franciska Reiner, the highly cultured teacher of the Jewish elementary school in Pápa, was born in 1873 in Pápa. He was a writer, a journalist and a reviewer. For some time he was the editor of a literary weekly the Hét. His play A hit was performed at the folk theatre. He was the director of the Society for Fine Arts, and as such, he was a recognized authority as a reviewer. On one occasion he came into conflict with the powerful prime minister of the era, Count István Tisza. The Count wrote a dismissive review of The Majális by Pál Szinnyei Merse, and Rózsa defended the painting against him.
nee Manci Köves, a talented contemporary journalist and writer from Pápa, continued her literary work in Israel. Her novel The lady is responsible for everything is to be published in German. Her ceramics attract favourable attention at exhibitions abroad.
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