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Abony, Hungary

ABONY, town in Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun county, Hungary, located southeast of Budapest. One Jew settled there in 1745; the census of 1767 mentions eight Jews. The Jewish population ranged from 233 in 1784 to 431 in 1930, reaching a peak of 912 in 1840. The Jewish community was organized in 1771 concurrently with the organization of a Chevra Kadisha. The community's first synagogue was built in 1775. The members of the community consisted of merchants, shopkeepers, artisans, peddlers and, starting in 1820, tenant farmers. From 1850 onward Jews were able to own land. A magnificent new synagogue was built in 1825 that was mentioned in a responsum by Moses *Sofer. A Jewish teacher was engaged for the community in 1788, and a Jewish school was opened in 1766 and moved to a separate building in 1855. In 1869 a Neolog community was established in town. It was in Abony that the Austro-Hungarian kolel of Jerusalem was established in 1863. Among the rabbis of Abony were Jacob Herczog (1837–57), author of Pert Ya'akov (1830); Isaac (Ignác) *Kunstadt (1862–82), author of Lu'ah Eretz, 1–2 (1886–87); Béla Vajda (1889–1901), author of a history of the local Jewish community; and Naphtali Blumgrund (1901–18). In April 1944, the Neolog community of 275 was led by Izsák Vadász.

According to the census of 1941, Abony had 315 Jewish inhabitants and 16 converts identified as Jews under the racial laws. Early in May 1944, the Jews were placed in a ghetto which also included the Jews from the following neighboring villages in Abony district: Jászkarajenö, Kocsér, Tószeg, Törtel, Újszász, and Zagyvarékas. After a few days, the Jews were transferred to the ghetto of Kecskemét, from where they were deported to Auschwitz in two transports on June 27 and 29. In 1946, Abony had a Jewish population of 56. Most of them left after the Communists took over in 1948 and especially after the Revolution of 1956. By 1959, their number was reduced to 19, and a few years later the community ceased to exist. The synagogue is preserved as a historic monument.


B. Vajda, A zsidók története Abonyban és vidékén (1896). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Braham, Politics; Zsido Lexikon (1929), 3–4; PK Hungaryah, 127–28.

[Alexander Scheiber /

Randolph Braham (2nd ed.)]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.