ESZTERGOM (Ger. Gran), city in N. Hungary, on the Danube; it had the oldest Jewish community in Hungary. This is mentioned for the first time during the 11th century, when Kalonymus b. Shabbetai lived in Esztergom; he is known for the severe legal decision which he pronounced against two merchants of Regensburg who arrived in Esztergom after the beginning of the Sabbath (Zedekiah Anav, Shibbolei ha-Leket, Hilkhot Shabbat, para. 60; see also Rashi to Beẓah 24b). The community lived in a closed Jewish quarter under the protection of the archbishop, granted by him in 1294, and the royal court, and had grown to 1,000 persons before the expulsion of the Jews from Esztergom in 1526. Jews resettled in Esztergom during the 18th century, and numbered 870 in 1850, 1,540 in 1910, 1,300 in 1930, and 450 in 1941, attached to a labor camp in 1942 along with thousands of other Jews. On June 13–16, 1944, they were deported to Auschwitz via Farkan. Only 52 survivors returned and there were only ten Jews living in Esztergom in 1970.
F. Knauz and L.C. Dedek, Monumenta Ecclesiae Strigoniensis, 3 vols. (1874–1924); V.E. László, in: R.L. Braham (ed.), Hungarian Jewish Studies, 2 (1969), 137–82.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.