FW: Hanusovce nad Toplou #hungary


Louis Schonfeld <Lmagyar@...>
 

The following is a transcription of an oral report, in Slovak, given to
Marian Brown and Sylvia Wittman by Hanosovce museum director, Mgr. Agata
Krupova about the history of the Jews >from that town. The tape was
transcribed into English by Slvia Wittman of Prague, and therefore the
English may be a bit rough. However, it is very understandable as it is,
and no
editing has been done. Please see my comments at the end.LS

SLOVAKIA - SEPTEMBER, 2000

TRIP TO HANOSOVCE NAD TOPLOU, THE BIRTHPLACE OF MOSES HIRSCH HUEBSCHMAN,
MY GREAT, GREAT GRANDFATHER

TAPE #1, NUMBERS 398 - 427

Marian: We are in Hanosovce nad Toplou in a museum in a very lovely
chateau in a lovely office talking to the Director, Mgr. Agáta Krupová,
and she is
going to tell us a little about the history of this town where Moses
Huebschman was
born in either 1807 or 1809 -- my great, great grandfather.

Sylvie (translating the Director's words): This is a town and it was a
town. The city was Catholic and the Hungarian nobility was uprising.
In 1717
the Protestants had it and then it was given back to the Catholics. So in
the
period of Joseph II the Protestants build another church

TAPE #2, NUMBERS 1 - 227

Sylvie: We were saying that the city is based on agriculture, that the
city began in the 14th century, originally a Catholic city, then it was
Protestant in the times of uprising against the Hapsburg empire, then
it was Catholized
again by force in the period of Joseph II. In the period of the Edict
of
Tolerance, 1781-84, the city was again getting a new Protestant church.

Marian: Where did the Jews come from?

Sylvie: The book that the Director handed to me says that the Jews who
came to Hanusovce were namely running the Korcsma, Inns or pubs, and the
ones who
were doing handel which means the exchange business. They were also
carpenters, bakers, glass makers, and they worked with wires. They most
probably came
in the second half of the 18th century in the period of the enlightened
emperor Joseph II. As I said after the Edict of Tolerance.

Here is a picture in the book of a Jewish seal of the Jewish community
in
the second half of the 19th century in Hanusovce. We also know the
names of
the rabbis since 1786. Here is Rabbi Moishe Frankel and most probably it
was
he who started the local chevra kadisha meaning Society of Holiness that
was the
burial brotherhood. In 1888 there was a small Jewish religious
community of 338
members and in 1930 they had only 270 members. In the period of the
second World War in 1942, they deported all the Jews and also the rabbi,
Ergon
Adler.
The synagogue in Hanusovce was made out of wood and there are very few
of
these that survived. In the year 1850 the mayor of the Jewish
community was
Bertran ben Zion who built a new synagogue. The Hanusovce town de Juffe
donated a
piece of land and also 5,000 dehal and 50 florins (?). To build a
synagogue they
also need donations >from bigger Jewish community in Saros County. The
synagogue was demolished during the second World War but we know >from the
walls that
were surrounding the synagogue that it was 8.5 by 11 meters. It was
similar to
the synagogue in SarisskeLuky (Sebes Kellemes). It had a beautiful
facade 5-6
steps 3 meters long, etc.

In 1941 some crazy engineering student, seduced some workers to burn
down
the synagogue. Here there is also a Jewish synagogue 40 x 45 meters.
It had
a special wall entry and the new cemetery has a separate entry. Al the
stones are oriented to the east and the cemetery is right in the city.
It is not
destroyed at all. The old people >from Hanusovce remember the Yeshiva
where the
bochar were studying to be the rabbis. So here is a word calling the
Synagogue
Buzsna. Buzsna is a Polish or Ruthenian word. It means that the Jews
had
to come either >from Poland or >from the area of the Ruthenians because
it is
not a Slovak expression, no a Jewish expression. The Director is saying
something very interesting. The local dialect has a lot of words coming
from
Ruthenian, Polish, German and even, English. Certain food dishes they
call
"dinnerAmerica" and this comes >from dinner because they had a lot of
people who emigrated
to American, made money and came back to buy a piece of land. They mixed
the
English they learned with local dialect.

The book says that as the Jewish community was growing they had their
shochet (kosher butcher). So they had a Yeshiva, kosher butcher and a
mikva.
So now I have in my hands a private book that a local man wrote about
the
history of Hanusovce and his memories of the city. He was not Jewish
and
he was not any big friend of the Jews. His name was Andre Skrinak and his
book
is called The Truth of Hanusovce, a History of a City, written in 1995,
the
time of the 50th anniversary of the end of the second World War. There
is a
section about the Jews which I will translate for you. H says that all
the shops
were in the hands of the Jews who pushed out all the others >from the
shops,
even the Hungarianized Christians. According to the census of the 14th
century,
there were two Jewish families living in Hanusovce. But the new
Czechoslovak
Republic was such a tolerant place, much better than the surrounding
countries,
that many Jews moved there. Hanusovce had a very strong Jewish center
with a rabbi,
synagogue, and a Yeshiva high school. The shops were divided in such a
way
that they wouldn't compete one with another. Not only the businesses
but also
the life of our ancestors (meaning the Christians) they had in their
hands!
This we can easily prove >from the information about their occupations:

Lefkovich, Maximilian Notary
Dr. Greenstein Voiteck Medical doctor
Altman, Mark Apothecary
Unitan, Alvin Rabbi
Bloomfield, Jacov Textile business
Friedman, Nathaniel Mixed goods shop
Friedman, David Educational tools
Friedman, Yoshe Agent
Gottesman, Samuel Agent
Ziebler, Moricz Mixed goods shop
Licht, Elgan Furs
Wall, Alexander Curing herbs
Wall, Adar (called Schmuel) Inn/Restaurant
Miller, Salamon Iron
Neuman, Izaak Butcher
Schachner, William Eggs
Schonfeld, Leopold Greens
Gutman, Ladislav Mixed goods
Zipser, Frankiczech Restaurant (the pub still exists)
Zerholtz, Alexander Real estate
Hindeman, Ladislav Cows and cutlery
Cohn, Ludwig Goldsmith

The poor Jews were apprentices but none of them ever worked in the
fields.
Rosenwasser Alexander was involved in the fields but to such a great
extent that he could be called a "great" farmer or someone who is running
a lot
of agricultural businesses. Bieder and Neuman were tailors. Chaim
(unfortunately I don't know his second name) was fixing shoes. Ladomer
had 16 children
and he was just schlepping around with a buggy behind his very skinny and
poor
horse. He was buying old clothing. I can't put the entire list of the
Jews in the period of the First
Republic of Masaryk. But at this time there were at least 20 person who
were Jewish
living in Hanusovce. They were not the poorest ones, however some of
the local
Christians looked down on them. According to the Masaryk First
Republic,
everyone had to go to school. That was the law. First four years and
then the Ministry decided six years which was the elementary education.

In the 19th century Hanusovce somehow was no longer considered to be a
city; it was considered to be a village. Their economy was based on
agriculture.
But they had one big plus and it was the Notary because the Notary was
working
for 40 villages and that is almost like a county. The Notary had power
in the
19th century. He made sure that your signature was your signature,
that
papers were original papers, He was recording all the marriages, the
metrics, and
practically all the census. He was the one who had to stamp and seal
every civil record, as well as all synagogue records.

Marian: Another thing I am thinking about is about my Huebschman
ancestors
and where they lived after they were married. My great, great
grandfather,
Moses Huebschman, born in Hanusovce, married Rachel Friedman >from Circ
and he
moved to that town with the wife's family. And again, his son, Marcus,
married
Marie Glueck, and he moved around a lot before he emigrated to Cleveland,
but he
also moved to the towns of his wife's family which at that point was
Sarisske
Luky.

Sylvie: This is a typical classic thing because every Jewish boy has to
study. He has to learn. When he marries, he typically goes to the house
of her parents and the parents support the two young people, either
because
he has to study or else he will inherit the business of the wife's father.
So
most of the men moved to the family of the bride.

Marian: Another question. How did people travel? By boat on the
rivers?
By horse?

Sylvie: The Director is telling me that Hanusovce is actually on the
crossroad of four passes and the main business roads are the road going
north to
Poland and the road going to the Ukraine. This is why . >from Presov it
is about
25 km and that is the distance a horse can travel without being
terribly
exhausted. After about 25 km you have to feed and water them and let
them sleep so
where would they go? To an inn. This is why the Jews had the inns like
your
ancestors. The horses were taken care of and the travelers slept and
ate
at the inn.

So how did they travel? With horse and buggy or on horses. And they
also
traveled in the Post trucks. In the 19th century, there was a big
wooden
truck, four horses, and one section would be for people to travel and
another
section would be for the postal letters and packages. Like in America,
stagecoaches which was the post also. Again about the inns, or Korcsma,
the count owns
it and rents it to a Jew. The Jews is running production of the
alcohol, the
production of soda water (a very old thing). He doesn't have it only as
a
restaurant but also as an inn with rooms, stables for the horses - a
total
cavaransari like in Turkey. He serves food and is very independent from
the Jewish community. He is not viewed by the leaders of the Jewish
community
as a "righteous Jew" because he was often open on Saturday because he
deals all
the time with gentiles, etc. >from this inn, later it converts to the
post
office which has horses and also an inn and a restaurant. And then the
same
building converts to the post office exclusively.
mod. - There are many forms of anti-Semitism. After all, the concept, if
not the term, has been around for several thousand years. Andre Skrinak in
his
book called The Truth of Hanusovce, a History of a City, written in 1995,
exhibits an overt form of verbal
anti-Semitism (see above). There are more subtle forms of anti-Semitism. I
would like to point out two statements made
WITHOUT MALICE that INADVERTENTLY exhibit this more genteel form of
anti-Semitism. However, before I do, I would like to
state that just as it is possible to witness expressions of
anti-Semitism
without Jews (as Poland is often time accused), it is also possible to
express anti-Semitic statements without being an anti-Semite. This can
happen when the culture in which one lives has absorbed anti-Semitic
stereotypes, information and falsehoods. For example: 1. "In the period
of
the second World War in 1942, they deported all the Jews and also the
rabbi, Ergon Adler." In 1942 it was possible for
those who were there to state that the Jews were deported. By 1945, the
war
was over and the Jews didn't return; they knew, by then, that they had
been murdered, not just deported. I
have heard >from people in various parts of Eastern Europe, in responding
to the probing question of what ultimately happened to the deported Jews,
the
chilling response that they all left for America and Israel. That is one
way to avoid culpability in the matter of the murder of the Jewish
population
of Hanusovce, not to mention, a satisfactory method of legitimizing the
theft
of all their property.

Disconcerting statement number 2: "The synagogue was demolished during
the
second World War." Followed by the statement: "In 1941 some crazy
engineering student, seduced some workers to burn down the synagogue."
I
can accept the latter sentence, even though all societies try to blame
aberrant behavior within their midst by defining the offending person as
insane, how does a crazy student seduce workers to burn down the
synagogue? The answer is simple - lawlessness against Jews and their
institutions
were permitted by the authorities. And what is worse, the other residents
of
Hanuscovce who were not crazy and were not workers allowed them
to do it. There is no record of the populace trying to stop them or even
to attemt to douse the flames once the fire started. More startling are
the
words of the preceding sentence, "The synagogue was demolished during the
second
World War". Why was it demolished? Was it in the way of a proposed
superhighway? Did the authorities try to move the building first, prior
to
demolishing? Did the Jewish population object? No, they were already
gone
or confined. Did the non-Jewish residents object? There is no record of
such
a protest. LS
--
--
Marian Brown
Cincinnati, Ohio

Searching SLOVAKIA: GLUECK, Hazlin/Kohanovce/Kurima/Bardejov/Sarisske Luky
Cleveland, OH 1879; HUEBSCHMAN, Circ/Hanusovce nad Toplou/Presov,Sarisske
Luky >
Cleveland, OH 1879; HEIMOWITZ, Lemesany > Cleveland, OH 1873; HOLSTEIN,
Kosice/Rozhanovce > New York, NY 1887; LISSAUER, Budulov, Janok, Peder,
Kosice >
Oklahoma/Texas 1883; NEWMAN, Bohdanovce, Licartovce, Presov > Cleveland, OH
1873; PAUKER/PARKER, Dravce/Spisska Nova Ves; TURK, Turna nad Bodvou,
Bodrogkeresztur, Sarospatak, Satoraljaujhely > Oklahoma 1879; ZINNER,
Huncovce,
Dravce, Spisska Nova Ves > New York City & Oklahoma 1895

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