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Yad Vashem A Jewish Community in the Carpathian Mountains- The Story of Munkács

Commemoration of the Munkács Community

A Jewel in the Hearts of All

  • Laying of the memorial wreath for Subcarpathian Rus' on Israel's Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day, 2006. Right, Tuvia Klein and his sister Rivka Ze'evi (Klein), both Holocaust survivors from Munkács
  • Memorial at the site of the Munkács Jewish Cemetery, 2004. The memorial bears a lamentation to the destroyed Jewish community of the town. Pictured: Suzanne Yaron (née Ickovics), born in Munkács
  • Remnants of the Munkács Jewish Cemetery, photographed in 2004
  • Tuvia and Olga Klein with their granddaughter Shelly Osmo-Perry during a visit to Munkács, next to the memorial plaque on the building once used as the Great Synagogue (Shul)
  • Tuvia Klein reciting the kaddish (memorial prayer) over the grave of his maternal grandfather, Menachem-Mendel Wettenstein, at the Kerepec Jewish Cemetery. In the 1970s, the authorities moved the tombstones from the Munkács Jewish Cemetery to this one, which was built alongside the town's Christian cemetery.
  • Former Munkács residents in Israel at the Munkács Martyrs Memorial Grove – the JNF Matyrs' Forest. Left to right: Kalari Frank, David (Dim) Kopolowitz, Kalari and Ari Peled, Tuvia Klein
  • Memorial stone for Menachem (Miki) Frank z"l, at the Munkács Martyrs Memorial Grove – the JNF Matyrs' Forest
  • Chana Oren-Schönfeld by the memorial stone for her husband, Menachem Oren (Bergenbaum) at the Munkács Martyrs Memorial Grove – the JNF Matyrs' Forest.
"Despite the tumult of infighting and differences among the religious, nationalist, Zionist and socialist world views… Munkács was viewed as a jewel in the hearts of all. After the war, everybody yearned for what once was, and all the survivors of this wondrous community constantly recalled and praised the town in which they were raised and educated".
(Peretz Litman, Hana'ar Mi Munkacs [Hebrew], p. 22)

The Association of Former Munkács Residents in Israel, with the support of former Munkács residents around the world, built a number of monuments in Israel and Munkács in memory of the community's victims.

Commemoration in Israel

Every year, just before the festival of Shavuot, the former residents of Munkács gather to commemorate the annihilation of the community and the deportation of its Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Israel Association eventually formed the "World Organization of Subcarpathian Jewry and Hebrew Schools," that later became the "Organization of Former Subcarpathian Residents in Israel." When the Subcarpathian Rus' communities joined together in one organization, the former residents of Munkács joined in their memorial services. Today, the annual Memorial Day is held on one of the days of deportation – 3 Sivan.

In the past, the former residents of Munkács would also meet on Chanukah, Purim and Tu Bishvat, accompanied by members of the next generations, from different religious streams, for a moment of joint commemoration.

In 1959, as part of the Encyclopedia Shel Galuyot [Hebrew], and at the initiative of the former residents of the region, a Yizkor Book of the Jews of Subcarpathian Rus' was published, which includes the story of the Munkács community. The book was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Chaim Kugel, the first director of the Munkács Hebrew Gymnasium. Since then, other memorial books, research works and memoirs have been published by Subcarpathian Rus' survivors, among them some from Munkács.

Two monuments were erected in Israel, one in the Holon cemetery and the second in the JNF Martyr's Forest, where 30,000 trees were planted in memory of the Jews of Munkács and the surrounding communities who were deported to Auschwitz in May 1944. In the forest are also ten memorial stones, each one dedicated to one of the main personalities that left their marks on the Munkács community.

The Association of Former Subcarpathian Residents in Israel is still active in commemorating their communities and supporting research and work on the region's Jewish populations.

Commemoration in Munkács

On the site of the former Jewish Cemetery in Munkács is now a walled area bearing memorial stones. In 1997 the former residents of Munkács erected a monument there, on which is engraved a lamentation to the destruction of their community. In the 1970s the tombstones from the Munkács Jewish Cemetery were brought to the Kerepec Jewish Cemetery, erected next to the local Christian cemetery.

The online exhibition was made possible through the generous support of:

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.