it when people who speak professionally nothing to do with Jewish museums and Jewish cemeteries, send us pictures and stories of how they have experienced "Jewish places". Especially nice
Hedda Pflagner, a dear friend who often comes to our events to the museum, called me 2 months ago, after our last newsletter, and told me that she discovered a tiny, very idyllic Jewish cemetery in Hungary in 2007 (with graves of families Austrian, Rechnitz, Prince, Rosenberg and Pollak etc., visited) this in 11 years time and again (and photographed) and would travel back there in the next few weeks ...
A few weeks later Hedda sent her pictures and her story that we want to faithfully reproduce here:
The Jewish cemetery of Karmacs in Hévíz (Hungary).
My personal history with this place.
Im May 2007 I accidentally discovered a completely overgrown square surrounded by trees and when you came closer, something like wall remains on a hike.
From the size was not really seen what was behind this wall remains, which lay near a small side street that leads from Hévíz (near Keszthely at Lake Balaton in Hungary) to Sümeg, maybe two kilometers from a small village that calls itself Karmacs, away from mass tourism and unimpressive. In the midst of rolling hills and canals that run through fields and small woods in an area by the Hévíz thermal lake like a network, the remote area.
My curiosity was piqued. I climbed over the crumbling remains of walls - and could not get over the wonder. I found a forgotten small Jewish cemetery in front of whose grave stones but clearly visible and the inscriptions were still legible. I made my way through brambles and thorns, and gave me the peaceful, sleeping atmosphere that gave off this place. Many names I could decipher, and made the first photos and involuntary thoughts came up, which was likely to happen with people whose ancestors once lived here had. Because most inscriptions testified that the people who are buried here, were born in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, were still before 1938, died.
No one was here to take care of the ancestors, and so this peaceful area must be forgotten.
We have found an answer to Hedda's question about the fate of 14 Jews were deported in 1944 by Karmacs to Zalaegerszeg and from there to Auschwitz and murdered. They are largely the same surnameThat we find in the cemetery: Pollak, Empire, Stroch, Rosenberg, Weisz ...
When I next time in october 2007 was in the area, I was looking for the cemetery again. He was deserted just and united front of me, only that now autumn had set and the vegetation had become lighter and allowed more vistas. The fields were all around broke ailing and the leaves of the surrounding trees had accepted colorful fall foliage.
Then there was a long pause.
Finally, in June 2011, My path led me back to the small cemetery.
Something had happened.
Part of the shady trees was gone, but inside overgrown remains the weed that was green and juicy shot up and almost completely obscured the lower grave stone residues. Thorn hedges but there were no more. Everything looked so even more forgotten than before.
Im November 2013 I noticed finally that the cemetery had been "rediscovered". The remains of walls were repaired, they had only two trees left standing, and suddenly there was a gate and a memorial stoneWho apparently said (I do not speak Hungarian) that they had renovated the cemetery in November 2012 found. The floor inside was cleared and looked clean and decent.
Still, everything seemed somehow naked and no longer invited as one to let stories in her head, where I imagined that people had found their last resting here and what had happened to their descendants.
Again, long time passed.
Im february 2018 I visited the quiet place again.
It was bitterly cold and damp fog had gone through the winter landscape.
This time I went there by car - now I know quite well where the cemetery is located and how to reach!
Everything was the same, only the zeal of care seemed to have abated somewhat. How else can one explain that the entrance gate jammed and had apparently ripped the wood from the enclosure in order to be able to climb inside? Even a piece of the wall had been knocked down and it was created a big hole. The thorns entwined at least on the outside back up against the wall.
I also got in through the hole in the ruined door and turned out the old, already known grave stones my honor.
When it snowed in the days that followed, I drove back again.
A gentle snow whitewashed everything in a cold but peaceful white ...