Hungarian Jewish Artifacts Saved from Auction Block

An ornamental detail from the Dohány Street synagogue in Budapest, in the complex which houses the Hungarian Jewish Museum. (Pasztilla)

The Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives (HJMA) and the National Library of Israel (NLI) announced the joint purchase of seven documents from the 19th and 20th centuries, related to Jewish life in what is now Hungary.

The documents include thousands of birth, death, marriage and other records from six different Jewish communities, including a number pertaining to prominent Hungarian Jewish figures, and many from the Holocaust period – immediately prior to the Nazi occupation and following the war.

Not available anywhere else or yet digitized, these documents will present valuable contributions to historical and genealogical research.

After appearing in the catalog of a Yerushalayim auction house in August 2021, the items were removed from auction at the request of activists and organizations dedicated to the preservation of Jewish heritage. Following the joint purchase, the NLI and HJMA have committed to digitizing and making high-resolution scans of these documents freely available, as well as preserving the originals under the highest standards of archival storage.

Included in the acquisition:

  • Pinkas Hevra Kadisha (Ledger of the Burial Society) of Ujhel (Sátoraljaújhely), during the years of the Second World War (1942-1946)
  • Pinkas Hevra Kadisha of Mishkoltz (Miskolc) (1934-1942)
  • Marriage Register of Mishkoltz (Miskolc) (1851-1881)
  • Register of Births and Cicumcisions from Putnok (1858-1884)
  • Register of Births and Circumcisions from Onod (1886-1913)
  • Pinkas Hevra Kadisha of Debrecen (1896, 1946-1948)
  • Ledger of Income and Expenditures of Bussermin (Hajdúböszörmény) (1910-1943)

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