• Szekszárd Holocaust Memorial
In 2004, a memorial was dedicated to the murdered Jews of Szekszárd in front of the former Szekszárd synagogue.

Image: Szekszárd, 2004, Former synagogue, today »House of the Arts«, Stiftung Denkmal
Szekszárd, 2004, Former synagogue, today »House of the Arts«, Stiftung Denkmal

Image: Szekszárd, 2004, Holocaust Memorial, Stiftung Denkmal
Szekszárd, 2004, Holocaust Memorial, Stiftung Denkmal
Szekszárd, population 33,000, is the capital of the Tolna county in south Hungary. The Szekszárd Jewish community was established in the first half of the 19th Century. In 1869, it became part of the Neolog movement in Judaism. In 1882, when the Hungarian public was gripped by a wave of anti-Semitism following a supposed ritual murder of a Christian girl in the village of Tiszaeszlár, an angry mob looted Jewish shops in Szekszárd.
The Great Synagogue was consecrated in 1897. Most of the town's several hundred Jews were assimilated. In 1941, there were 510 residents of Szekszárd who were deemed Jewish according to the Hungarian anti-Jewish legislation, about 3.5 percent of the population. Already in 1940, Jewish men were drafted for forced labour for the Hungarian army. A camp for the forced labourers was established in the town; later, they were transferred to the eastern front. Only few survived – according to eye-witness accounts, some were beaten to death by Hungarian soldiers.
On March 20, 1944, one day after the German Wehrmacht occupied Hungary, a »Judenrat« - Jewish council - was installed in Szekszárd. At the same time, the expropriation of Jewish property began. Already that spring, 15 Jews were deported to the Mauthausen concentration camp. Since the mayor of Szekszárd was opposed to the idea of establishing a ghetto in his town, about 380 Jews from Szekszárd were forcibly resettled to ghettos in the region. The Hungarian authorities and the German SS deported them from there to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp at the beginning of July 1944.
Image: Szekszárd, 2004, Former synagogue, today »House of the Arts«, Stiftung Denkmal
Szekszárd, 2004, Former synagogue, today »House of the Arts«, Stiftung Denkmal

Image: Szekszárd, 2004, Holocaust Memorial, Stiftung Denkmal
Szekszárd, 2004, Holocaust Memorial, Stiftung Denkmal
The exact number of victims is not known.
Image: Szekszárd, 2004, Dedication of the Memorial, Stiftung Denkmal
Szekszárd, 2004, Dedication of the Memorial, Stiftung Denkmal

In 1949, the Jewish community of Szekszárd had 121 members, yet in the following years it shrank significantly. The synagogue became derelict. In 1971, the municipal council purchased the building. After many years of renovation, the building was reopened in 1984 as a »House of the Arts«. In 2004, 60 years after the deportations, a Holocaust memorial was dedicated on the square in front of the former synagogue. Designed by Hungarian sculptor László Szatmári Juhos, the memorial consists of a white concrete stele, affixed to it is a bronze negative relief portraying a family with expressive traits.
Image: Szekszárd, 2004, Dedication of the Memorial, Stiftung Denkmal
Szekszárd, 2004, Dedication of the Memorial, Stiftung Denkmal

Image: Szekszárd, 2004, Holocaust Memorial, Stiftung Denkmal
Szekszárd, 2004, Holocaust Memorial, Stiftung Denkmal
Name
Holokauszt-emlékmű
Address
Szent István tér 28
7100 Szekszárd
Open
The memorial is accessible at all times.