Jewish Mementos in the Zala Comitatus
Jews first started to settle in the town of Pacsa in the middle of the 18th
century with permission of the landlord Count Festetics who sympathized with the
Jews. By the end of the century 20 families, 78 persons, lived here. In 1870 the
number of Israelites was the highest with 195 Jews living in Pacsa, after that
their numbers started to decrease steadily. In 1836 the Jewish community had a
synagogue but, just as the newer one built in 1884, it burned down. In 1889
another synagogue was built to replace the latter but it has been deconstructed.
In 1858 a primary school was opened, it was in service until 1858. Mózes
Schwarz fulfilled the rabbi duties from 1857-1889, after his death Dajan took
over these tasks for a long time. In 1869 the Jewish community declared itself
neological. In 1885 the surrounding Jewish communities joined the Pacsa
community. In the 1920s the steam mill, Sándor Kohn’s egg and butter export
business and the brick factories of Jenő Korein and Lajos Grünfeld were
important elements of the Pacsa economy. Aladár Kovács and Ignác Krausz
leased the Malatinszky property, which spanned 1000 ledgers, Ferenc Wolf had a
vinyard in Pagonyvár. The census of 1941 counted 257 persons in 20 towns of the
Pacsa district. 63 Israelites were registered in Pacsa, another 5 were also
qualified as Jews. A report to the Central Council of Hungarian Jews in 1944
mentions 222 members (in Pacsa and surroundings), Rezső Baron was president,
Alfréd Duneitz was the rabbi (Dajan kept the register).
The well-kept Jewish cemetery has a memorial for the commemoration of the victims, its marble plate displays writing in Hebrew and Hungarian, under the Menora it reads: “It is because of them that our eyes are dull.” In the centre of the town a column was put up for the Jewish Honvéd Soldiers of 1848-49, the World War I memorial commemorates the Jewish heroes, the memorial for the Second World War also commemorates the Jewish martyrs.
by Scholem Alejchem & Alexandra Vogt