Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ujpest. Synagogue and Holocaust Memorial.

Ujpest was a small city formed on the edge of Pest in 1838.  Its name means "new Pest."  It was established by Isaac Lowy who owned a shoe factory and wanted to move to Pest.  Because he was Jewish he could not obtain a settlement permit, so he decided to create a town to house his factory,, buying land from Karolyi nobles.  The deed included the right to religious freedom, to self-government, and to engage in business.  In 1866, financed by the Lowy family, a neo-logue (Conservative) synagogue in the "Romantic Moorish" style was built.  It has seats for 1000 people.

Many of the Jews of Budapest survived until 1944.  However, because Ujpest was not part of Budapest, its deportations began earlier.  In all about 20,000 Ujpest Jews died.  Today there is a memorial wall in the synagogue complex that lists the names.   We weren't able to gain access.  But outside the wall there is a sculptural memorial which narrates the story of Ujpest's Jews.

Preparing to leave:

Brutalized by the Arrow Cross:

Deported to the camps:

 Rescued by the Russians:

 Some details

Ujpest is now part of Budapest proper; the last stop on the M3 line.  It's a nice little town, with a beautiful city hall and a sad piece of history.



Unknown said...

Debbie, It just occurred to me that you might like to read Julie Orringer's Invisible Bridge. It's a novel inspired by her family's experience in WWII Hungary. Her cousin in married to one of my friends and was born in Hungary around 1950 or so.

Love your photos and narrative.


Debra Journet said...


I have read and thought it was amazing. I didn't know it was inspired by her family, but it makes sense. Because I kept thinking "how can she know all this so intimately?" Thanks for reading my blog!

Susan Griffin said...

Thanks for this.

Douglas Sharps said...

Wonderful phots!

Douglas Sharps said...

I wonder how long Hungarian nationalists will allow this to remain in public view.

Debra Journet said...

The memorial has been up since right after the end of the war. The sculpture is 1948 and the wall was dedicated by President Zoltan Tildy who was president from 1946-1948. They seem to have a pretty active congregation judging by the looks of their website. (Of course I can't understand a word it says!)