The Győr Jewish Community during the Holocaust
The Murder of Győr's Jews during the Holocaust
In mid-May 1944, the Jews of Győr were imprisoned in the ghetto. By the beginning of June, more Jews were brought to the ghetto from surrounding settlements. On 7 June 1944, the authorities began to brutalize the ghetto residents in order to find out where they had hidden their valuables. From 7-10 June 1944, the ghetto residents were taken to barracks in the outskirts of the city, near the banks of the Danube. The Jews were ordered to bring only the clothes they were wearing. At the barracks, the prisoners were given soup three times a day. A Jewish order service was responsible for relaying the commands of the Hungarian authorities to the members of their community, for carrying out the commands and for representing the community vis-à-vis the authorities.
On Friday evening, 9 June 1944, the rabbis of the two communities, Neolog Rabbi Emil Roth and Orthodox Rabbi Ben-Zion Snyders, held joint Sabbath prayers with the participation of thousands of ghetto residents. The Germans cut the prayers short, and the next day they beat and abused the two rabbis as well as members of the Jewish council.
By mid-June 1944, the ghetto residents, some 5,000 souls, were deported on two transports to Auschwitz. This was part of the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews to be exterminated in Auschwitz between May and July 1944. Only a few Jewish men aged 18-48 survived the deportation of the Jews of Győr – they had been recruited for forced labor until early June 1944. Other survivors included Jews with non-Jewish spouses. Because of their special status, this latter group were ordered on 12 February 1945 to move to a different ghetto, which had been established at the "Realgimnazium" High School in Győr. On 26 March 1945, two days before the Red Army reached Győr and liberated the city, these Jews were shot and their bodies thrown into the Danube.
After the Holocaust, hundreds of Jews who had been expelled from the city returned to Győr, and renewed Jewish communal life. In 1949, there were 459 Jews in the city. Following the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, many of the Jews left Győr, and today, as far as is understood, only a very few Jews remain in the city.