“Karcag” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Hungary

47º19', 20º56'

Translation of the “Karcag” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Hungary

Edited by: Theodore Lavi

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1975


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Acknowledgments

Project Coordinator

Francine Shapiro

 

Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem
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. Pages 479-480.


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.


[Pages 479-480]

Karcag

Translated by Shlomo Sné

Edited by Francine Shapiro

Town in the Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok district,
35 kilometers from Szolnok

 

Jewish Population

YearNumber%
18907364.0
19008864.2
19101,0774.7
19209974.4
19309103.8
1941778 
1949363 

 

Until the Second World War

The first Jews settled in Karcag about 1820. The oldest gravestone in the cemetery is from 1840. Jewish settlement there increased until World War I, and then there was a decline in the number of Jews.
About half of the Karcag Jews made their living as merchants. The rest were artisans, or practiced the free professions.

Between the two world wars, there were a few farmers and a printing house owner, who printed Hebrew books among other things.

Relations between Jews and their neighbors were usually pleasant, although

social relations did not develop.

The community was organized in 1843, and the Hevra Kadisha was established 15 years later. During the split of the Jewish communities in Hungary in 1869, there were no more than 30 members, some ultra-Orthodox, and some Neolog.

Under the influence of Rabbi Shlomo Schück, the community defined itself as Orthodox. It included Jews of five other small settlements, which numbered some 200 families: 80 in Kunmandaras, 15 in Tiszaszentimre, 12 in Kenderes, 18 in Abádszalók, 70 in Kisujszállás, and others in Kunhegyes.

The only communal institution was the Hevra Kadisha, whose activities were limited to burial services until 1880. At a later time other social activities developed in Karcag. There was also a women's association (which was established in 1882), and Ozer Dalim (established in 1916 to help the poor). At the beginning of World War I the 18 member- Poalei Zion Association was founded. The synagogue was established in 1898, but before this prayers were recited in a small building built in 1870.

Among the rabbis of Karcag was the notable Mordechai Amram (Marcus) Hirsch (1855-1858), Rabbi Shlomo Zvi Schück (1868-1916), who wrote on Halachic topics, and disseminated sermons in Hungarian and German. Among them was Christen über Juden 1882, (also in Hungarian), a written defense against the blood libel. The booklet aroused concern in Christian circles. His son, Moshe Aharon Schück, (1916-1940), who was wrongly labeled a spy at the beginning of World War II, died during his trial. In 1941, the community published a memorial book about him.

A Jewish school was established in 1870, and in 1889 it was transferred to a building of its own.

After World War I, during the White Terror, a band of hooligans came into the town and created a pogrom in the community. About 80 Jews caught by them were cruelly tortured.

In 1938 when the Discrimination Laws were published, and many Jews were prevented from making a living, the community established a communal fund for agricultural and home industries.

 

The Holocaust

In 1940 Rabbi Schück was labeled a spy. (See above). The community leader, the cantor and two members of the community board were also accused. As was mentioned above, the rabbi died during his trial, and the rest of the accused were given jail sentences.

When the Germans entered the town in the summer of 1944, all Jewish institutions were abolished immediately. About ten prosperous Jews were arrested. On April 24 all the Jews of Karcag were concentrated in a ghetto established at the edge of the town near the cemetery. The ghetto included some 30 little houses, with two-three rooms. After a few days the Jews of neighboring towns were also brought there, so the ghetto numbered 1,300.

On June 10 they all were moved to Szolnok, and crowded into the premises of a sugar factory, including the majority of the Jews in the district. From there they were transported, some to Auschwitz, and the rest to a concentration camp in Austria, near Vienna, and from there to Bergen-Belsen and Theresienstadt.

After the war about 70% of those sent to Bergen-Belsen and Theresienstadt returned. Only a few returned from Auschwitz. Those who returned rebuilt communal life, reestablished the Hevra Kadisha, and the women's association for charity. A Jewish elementary school was opened, and there were 26 pupils in 1946-47. From that time the number of Karcag Jews diminished. Some of them moved to Budapest, and others immigrated to Israel. Only a few Jews remained.


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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