The History of the Jews of Kisvarda

Mr. Istvan Nezo, a librarian in the Kisvarda municipal library, is the author of the book A Kisvardai Zsidosag Tortenete (Nyiregyhaza: Ardlea, 1998), which in English is The History of the Jews of Kisvarda. At the instigation of Michael Levine of Phoenix, it has been translated into English by Dr. Henry Tausk.

The book was originally published with the participation of Gabriel Erem (originally Eichler), the publisher of Lifestyles magazine in Toronto, whose family resided in Kisvarda for many generations.

This translation is valuable first of all to the descendants of those who lived in Kisvarda, which had a flourishing Jewish community before World War II consisting of many thousands of individuals. This community has perished. A very large proportion was murdered in the Holocaust, and hardly any of the survivors remained. All that is left is the magnificent synagogue, now a museum, and the large cemetery.

This book is also valuable to others of Hungarian Jewish descent, even if not from Kisvarda. It is fairly unique as a depiction in English of the Jewish communities of the provincial towns, which all had many similarities.

I would recommend that those who download the book make a financial contribution to help Mr. Nezo in his research. He can be reached at His mailing address is Városi Könyvtár, Flórián tér 19, Kisvarda. H-4600. The library's web site is in Hungarian, at

To download the book in Adobe Acrobat format, click here (400K). You will need the Acrobat reader, which is available for download free from

The author has done further research on local Jewish history, and at the end of 2003 he published a second volume under the title A Zsidosag Kisvardan (The Jews in Kisvarda). At 306 pages, it is about double the length of the original one that is available for download here. It has has considerably more biographical information on individuals, and therefore is particularly useful for genealogical research. (An English translation of this volume is not available yet.) We owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Nezo for the immense amount of work he has put into memorializing this vanished community.

 Compiled by Peter Spiro

If you have additional information or old photographs to contribute, please send them to me at the address below.

Updated December 8, 2009


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