The Jews of Cigand
When the World Was Whole
Some of you might have read the above titled book, written by Charles Fenyvesi. It's his family history, covering about three centuries of Jewish life in Hungary.
As I recall the stories told by my parents about the Cigand of their (almost idyllic) childhood, I can't help but think of this book title. Cigand used to be home to many Jewish families up until their deportations. Until then, they lived peacefully and amiably with their Hungarian neighbours.
A non-Jewish researcher of Cigand's history, Csaba Patko, himself a resident of Cigand, wrote the following, in 1989:
"Jews, who have settled the area (Bodrogkoz), were mostly trades-people and small merchants. In general, there was a peaceful co-existence with the local (non-Jewish) residents. The Jews, with their wide-spread activities, exerted great influence on the development of our village, Cigand, during the 18th to the early 20th centuries. According to my sources, with the exception of their holidays, they served the residents by laboring hard and working long hours. They were not very rich and many of them were poor. They helped each-other. Certain merchandise, such as spices, salt, sugar, tobacco, petrol oil, small agricultural tools and households items, which the locals (non-Jews) couldn't get at nearby markets, they could only obtain from them (the Jewish merchants)."
How did this "whole" world, peaceful and mutually beneficial co-existence, fall apart so suddenly, so quickly and almost without warning? This is not the place to discuss it.
What we know is that there were over 300 Jewish souls in this small village in the Spring of 1944. We also know that only about 80 survived the Holocaust.
Below you will find copies of my father's handwritten list of the Jewish families prior to the deportations, which began the day after the last day of Pesach of 1944. (April 16, 1944)
By clicking the icon below, you can view or download an Excel workbook, containing the English transcription of the handwritten pages and other notes left by my late father. The workbook has 3 tabs (look at the bottom): Victims - Survivors - Descendents.
Click on the images below to view the full size pages in PDF format.
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