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Translation of the
Tekovské Šarluhy chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Slovakia
Edited by Yehoshua Robert Buchler and Ruth Shashak
Published by Yad Vashem
Published in Jerusalem, 2003
Published by Yad Vashem
Published in Jerusalem, 2003
Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem
This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot Slovakia: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Slovakia,
Edited by Yehoshua Robert Buchler and Ruth Shashak, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.
JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of
the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material
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Translated by Jerrold Landau
Donated by Aaron Slotnik
It is a town in the district of Želiezovce, region of Tekov, in southcentral Slovakia.
Tekovské Šarluhy was first mentioned in a document from 1156 as a settlement under the ownership of the archbishop of Esztergom. It received the rights of a city in 1508, and then started to conduct market days and fairs. It was conquered by the Turks in the 16th century, and its residents were taken captive. It passed from regime to regime during the battles and was partially destroyed. After the Turks retreated from the Hungarian lands at the end of the 17th century, Tekovské Šarluhy was resettled, and its economic and demographic growth was renewed. Its population was mainly Hungarian, with a minority of Slovaks, and its economy was based on trades and agriculture. A new branch of economy developed in the 18th century the raising of purebred horses, whose fame spread throughout the monarchy.
Tekovské Šarluhy remained a small town with a village character even in the 20th century. During the era of the interwar Czechoslovak republic, most of its residents were Hungarian. (In the census of 1930, Hungarians comprised 75% of the population). Tekovské Šarluhy was annexed to Hungary in November 1938, and was under Nazi German occupation. It was liberated in 1945 by the Soviet Army, and its name was changed to Tekovské Lužany.
History of the Community
For hundreds, of years, Jews were prohibited from residing in the entire region of Tekov. Only after the repeal of the ban during the 1830s did the first Jews settle in Tekovské Šarluhy. Most of them came from the region of Nitra. Their numbers increased slowly throughout the latter half of the 19th century. They numbered slightly more than 60 individuals during the 1880s. Their numbers reached approximately 120 at the outbreak of the First World War.
The Jewish community of Tekovské Šarluhy was very small at its outset. Immediately after its founding, apparently in the 1880s, it defined itself as Orthodox. In the first year, it had a cemetery and a mikva. Public worship was conducted in a prayer room in a private house, which was renovated with the passage of time and served as a Beis Midrash. Jews from 14 nearby small settlements of the area also belonged to the local community. After it grew somewhat at the end of the 19th century, Rabbi Yehoshua Falik HaLevi Jungreis served as the rabbi. He maintained a small Yeshiva, with about 20 lads. Rabbi Jungreis moved from Tekovské Šarluhy to the important community of Santov in Hungary. He was succeeded by Rabbi Yosef Abeles, who perished in the Holocaust in 1944. At the beginning of the 20th century, the community established a synagogue and opened a primary school, in which children from neighboring communities also studied. The language of instruction was Hungarian. The community also had a facility for the slaughter of fowl and two butcher shops. Some of the institutions were joint between the Jews of Tekovské Šarluhy and the nearby village of Malé Šarlužky, which also had a small community (see later).
Several Jews of Tekovské Šarluhy were drafted to the AustroHungarian Army during the First World War. Immediately after the war, social unrest broke out in the town, directed against the Jews. Jewish homes and businesses were broken into, and a great deal of property was destroyed and pillaged.
In the census of 1921, the first after the war, 124 Jews were enumerated in Tekovské Šarluhy. The population reached a peak of 180 in 1930 (although only 146 were registered as Jewish by nationality). In 1922, the community had about 200 people, with 411 taxpaying heads of families, some from neighboring settlements. The community employed four permanent employees: Rabbi Yosef Abeles, a shochet and prayer leader, and two teachers. It continued to maintain an elementary school with four grades, with the language of instruction being Hungarian and Slovakian. In the 1930s, 38 students, some from nearby villages, studied there. Alongside the Chevra Kadisha [Burial Society], which had been established long ago, various charitable and benevolent societies operated in the town. These included The Organization of Jewish Women, the Bikur Cholim (Society for Visiting the Sick), and charitable organizations. Zionist activities took place in Tekovské Šarluhy during the 1920s and 1930s. The national Jewish party participated in elections to the local council. In 1928, it had 85 votes and earned two seats on the council.
The majority of the Jews of Tekovské Šarluhy earned their livelihoods from commerce, and the minority from trades and services. In 1921, the Jews had 2 grocery stores, a textile shop, two taverns, two warehouses for lumber and fuel, two butcher shops, and a bakery. There were also two Jewish merchants of agricultural products, a builder, several farmers, and two members of the free professions the local physician Dr. Samuel Bass and an engineer.
The Holocaust Era
Immediately after the annexation to Hungary in November 1938, several Jews who lacked Hungarian citizenship were deported to the Slovakian areas. Already by that time, the local residents asked the district authorities to close down the Jewish businesses and to expropriate their property. The authorities took steps to isolate the Jews from the gentile population, who were overtaken by an antiSemitic spirit at that time. In 1940, many Jewish businesses were closed. In 1940 and 1941, Jewish men were drafted to work units under the auspices of the Hungarian Army and sent to labor camps outside of Tekovské Šarluhy. Their family members were left without breadwinners and were lacking a morsel of bread. After the German conquest of Hungary, the Jews of Tekovské Šarluhy were affiliated with the Jewish council of Levice (see entry).
The community still numbered 198 individuals (41 families) at the beginning of 1944. The head of the community was Hass, and Rabbi Yosef Abeles still continued in his position. Aside from him, the community employed three other people, and 35 students studied in the school.
In the middle of May 1944, the authorities gathered the Jews of Tekovské Šarluhy, approximately 110 individuals, in the synagogue and several nearby buildings. They were transferred to the Ghetto of Levice, from where they were deported to the Auschwitz Death Camp along with the rest of the residents of the ghetto. A few Jews of Tekovské Šarluhy escaped and joined the exiled Czechoslovak Army or Slovakian partisan groups.
After the War
After the liberation, approximately 30 Jews who survived the work units and various camps returned to Tekovské Šarluhy. They renewed communal life, and rehabilitated several of the communal buildings. They established a community and set up public worship along with Jews from neighboring settlements. The Bnei Akiva youth movement set up pioneering hachshara [preparations for aliya] for the youth. In 1947, the local Jews donated 3,000 koruna to the Keren Kayemet LeYisrael [Jewish National Fund] for the planting
of the Forest of the Martyrs of Czechoslovakia in the mountains of Jerusalem. 34 Jews lived in Tekovské Šarluhy in 1949. Most of them made aliya to Israel, and the remainder moved to larger cities with the passage of time. Today there are no Jews in Tekovské Šarluhy. Several of the former communal buildings are still standing.
The Jews of the Village of Malé Šarlužky
The village of Malé Šarlužky, which neighbors Tekovské Šarluhy, established a small Jewish community that had its own synagogue, cemetery, and mikva. Approximately 100 Jews lived in the village at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1920, there were 120 Jews (98 of whom were registered as Jews by nationality). After the annexation to Hungary in November 1938, the Jews suffered new decrees each day, similar to those suffered by their brethren in other places of the region. 80 Jews (20 families) still remained at the beginning of 1944. At the beginning of June 1944, the Jews of Malé Šarlužky were deported to the Levice Ghetto along with the Jews of Tekovské Šarluhy. They were deported from there to Auschwitz on June 15.
Yad Vashem Archives, M48/704708, 723, 750, 763, 772, 936.
Cohen, Sages of Hungary, pp. 379, 387, 485, 498.
Fuchs, Yeshivas of Hungary, II, p. 144.
BarkányDojč, p. 217.
Braham, The Politics of Genocide, P. 623.
MHJ, Vol. XVI.
Schweitzer, pp. 461463.
Allgemeine Jüdische Zeitung, no. 2 (1938).
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