The Jewish religious community in Körmend was split between those who followed a more traditional path and those who wanted a more progressive path. 
There was a congress to determine whether the synagogue in Körmend would affiliate with the Orthodox or the Neolog.  The Neolog supporters won and from 1868 on the synagogue in Körmend was Neolog.  In 1888 a new synagogue was built on the Szechenyi-Dienes street corner.
          Ignaz LEBOVICS was a cantor.  He was not born in Körmend, but went there with the mission of beginning an Orthodox synagogue.  To support his family he went to work at the famous Wood Fabrik FRIM. 

          Ignaz married Frida MENDELSOHN and they had 6 children--Gisella b. 1914, Sara b. 1919 (died at the age of one month), Magda b. 1920, Rozsi b. 1923, Bela b. 1924 and Morics b. 1931, all born in Körmend.  They were a poor family--Frida kept a small flock of geese.  They were also very religious.

          Ignaz died in 1936 of pneumonia.

          Gisella married in 1937 and moved to Budapest with her husband.  Miraculously, they escaped deportation and survived the Holocaust.  After the war, they had a daughter and went to Austria, then Paris, where Gisella's husband had siblings, to live. 

          Rozsi also survived the Holocaust.  She married Perec KAUFMANN after the war.  They lived in München for a time, where they waited with great impatience for a chance to leave.  Soon, they moved to America with their son Ray.  Another son, Fred, was born in the U.S.

          Magda, Bela, Morics and their mother Frida were not as fortunate.  In 1944, Magda was in the Salgotarjan ghetto.  Gisella's daughter, Magda's niece, has a postcard sent from the ghetto from Magda to Gisella, one of very few family mementos.  Magda was deported to Stutthof (near Danzig) where she died.  Morics and his mother Frida were deported to Auschwitz June 17, 1944.  Bela was sent to a work camp in Köszeg, then to another work camp in Szent Kiraly Szabadja near Lake Balaton.  Gisella's daughter also has a postcard from Bela sent from Szent Kiraly Szabadja.  An inquiry to the International Tracing Center revealed that Bela was deported to Mauthausen, where he perished.

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© Copyright 2008 Judy Petersen

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