ASZÓD, town in Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun county, Hungary, N.E. of Budapest. Jews, mostly of Moravian origin, settled in Aszód at the beginning of the 18th century. The first community
was established in 1724. Between 1746 and 1784 the number of Jews increased from 60 to 395, largely due to the influx of Jews from Buda who were expelled by Maria Theresa in 1746. A burial society was founded in 1747 and a synagogue was built in 1757. By 1840, the town had a Jewish population of 530 (24% of the total population). The community organized itself on a Neolog (Conservative) basis. The community was joined by the small congregations from the neighboring villages, including Bag, Boldog, Dány, Domony, Galgamácsa, Héviz, Hévizgyörk, Iklad, Kartal, Ócsa, Tura, Újfalu, Váchartyán, Vácrátót, Vácszentlászló, Valkó, Veresegyház, Verseg, and Zsámbék.
During the Hungarian Revolution of 1848–49 against Austria, the community contributed a considerable sum to the fund for the militia. By the mid-19th century there were only 330 Jewish residents (21%). In 1908 the community erected an imposing new synagogue. After World War I the census recorded 311 Jewish residents (9.5%), occupied in commerce, crafts, and industry. Aszód was the birthplace of Simon Hevesi, Budapest's chief rabbi during the interwar period. During World War II Aszód served as a major recruitment center for Jewish males called up for labor service.
According to the census of 1941, the town had a Jewish population of 278 (4.9% of the total) and 19 (0.3%) converts or Christians identified as racially Jewish. In 1944, the community consisted of 230 Jews, led by Adolf Glück, a lawyer, Rabbi József Berg serving as spiritual leader. Rabbi Berg was preceded in that position by
Benjamin Ze'ev Wolf *Boskowitz
(1785); Samuel (Weisz) Budapitz (1789–1818), the founder of the local yeshivah; Ẓevi Isaac Hirsch Hirschfeld (1830–60); Mark Handler (1866–70), father of
; and Joseph L. Schreiber (1881–1921).
Shortly after the German occupation of Hungary on March 19, 1944, the Jews were first concentrated in a local ghetto and later transferred to Rákoscsaba, an assembly point. From there they were deported in early July 1944 together with the Jews from the neighboring communities in Aszód district, including Bag, Domony, Galgagyörk, Galgahéviz, Galgamácsa, Hévizgyörk, Kartal, Tura, and Verseg.
Only 21 Jews returned to Aszód – two survivors of concentration camps and 19 labor servicemen. Their number grew to 32 by 1949, but in the wake of the Communist anti-Jewish drive they all left by 1956. The synagogue was demolished in 1954.
B. Vajda, A zsidók története Abonyban (1896), 13, 19–20; B. Bernstein, Az 1848–49 i szabadságharc és a zsidók (1898), 194, 269–71; M.M. Stein, Magyar Rabbik, 2 (1906), 10; 3 (1907), 6, 11; 4 (1908), 1–2, 4; 5 (1909), 3–6; E Karsai, Fegyvertelen álltak az aknamezökön (1962), 160; MHJ, 7 (1963), 91, 115–6, 430–2. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Braham, Politics; PK Hungaria, 160–61.
[Laszlo Harsanyi /
Randolph Braham (2nd ed.)]
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