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Jews may have settled in Szobrancz as early as the late 17th century. The first reference to Jewish residents appears in the May 15, 1739 Jewish Conscription of Ung County, which recorded only one Jewish family. The head of that household was Marko Joseffovics (Marko the son of Josef), a distiller of whisky (palinka, slivovitz or vodka). By July 1746 there were two Jewish families-- Marko Joseffovics and Hersko Abrahamovics (Hersko the son of Abraham).

 

By 1828 Szobrancz had 106 Jewish residents. The 1828 Land Census does not list most of their surnames but many of the families can probably be identified from the given names:

 

Mordko

Iczko

Mosko

Hersko

Berko

Benyo

Hartman

Major

Iscik

Moscovik

Szabo

HAUSER

In 1848, many of the same families were still residing in Szobrancz along with some new ones who had moved from nearby communities such as Vajnatina, Felso Rybnicse, and Ublya and from Homonna in Zemplen megye.  But there are also household heads born in Lengyel (the Hungarian name for Poland) including Isak Moskovics, 35, and Mozes Moskovics, 48, who may have been brothers:

 

Balogh

KLEIN

Friedman

Braun

Lejboviss

Smulyovits

JakuBovits

Reider

Leibman

Prezno

SCHWARZ

Kasztenbaum

Moskovics

CZEIGER

veinstein

Henger

KRONOVICS

Chaimoviss

GRUNWALD

MARKOVISS

VINKLER

 

A few new Jewish families, including the one headed by my great-grandfather Miksa Neuman, who was born in Szeretva in the Kaposi district to the south, appear in the 1869 records.

 

VIDDER                 

BRAUN

MarKOVISS

Ehrenreich

ROZENBLUTH

NEUMAN

Berkovitz

SMULYOVITS

KASZTENBAUM

By the end of the 19th century about half of the large leaseholders in the Szobrancz district were Jews including Aron Herskovics, Samuel Jozepovits, Mosko Grunvald, Hermann Propper, Jozef Moskovits, Jakab Rosenbluth, Lipot Rosenbluth, Abraham Roth, Salamon Herskovics, Fulop Akkermann, Henrik Weisz, Mihaly Guttman, Jakab Juszkovits, Izsak Lipkovits, Ignacz Vider, Mihaly Vidder, Bernat Schwarcz, Emanuel Schwarcz and my great-grandfathers Miksa Neumann and Markus Moskovits.

 

Nevertheless, during the same period, many families began leaving Szobrancz.  Some moved to Ungvar and Nagymihaly, larger cities that provided greater opportunity to earn an income, but many left for the United States and Canada.

 

Hamburg and Bremen passenger manifests from the last two decades of the 19th century and well into the next list many Szobrancz families including Epstein, Feldmann, Adler, Lein, Altmann, Blum, Burger, Ecker, Ehrenreich, Friedmann, Glancz, Gutmann, Jacobovitz, Jager, Klein Landsmann, Lebovits, Lefkovits, Moskovits, Rosenberg, Rosenblut, Weinberger, Weissman, and Zucker. 

 

Fathers often left first with wives and children following a year or more later after papa sent back enough money to pay for passage. Unmarried young men and women also emigrated. Many, who gave their occupation as tailor, went to work in the sweatshops of Manhattan. Although most of the immigrants from Szobrancz settled in New York City, others went to McKeesport and Cleveland, which had substantial Hungarian Jewish communities.

 

Some families, especially those with businesses and professions, chose to remain in Szobrancz.  By April 22, 1944, most of the men had been conscripted into the Hungarian Labor Battalion.  Those who remained were transported to a ghetto created in an Ungvar brickyard.  Less than a month later, they were deported to Auschwitz.

 

After the liberation about 200 Jewish survivors of the camps and the labor brigades, some of them from near-by settlements, returned to Sobrance. In 1949 most of the Jews of Sobrance emigrated to Israel. After emigration ceased in 1950, only 65 Jews were left in the town and kept the community going until the 60's. Today there are no Jews living in Sobrance.

 



 

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Created and compiled by Vivian Kahn

 

Copyright   Vivian Kahn, 2014, revised 2015.  All rights reserved