KAPOSVAR (Hung. Kaposvár), city in S.W. Hungary. In 1784 there were 15 Jews living in the town. The numbers increased to 95 in 1840; 1,078 in 1869; 3,505 in 1920; and 2,341 in 1941. A Jewish elementary school functioned from 1840 until the Holocaust. The synagogue was erected in 1862. Like those in all the surrounding communities the Jews of Kaposvar were inclined toward *assimilation. In 1860 A. Freystaedtler, a Jew, leased an estate from Count Esterházy and endeavored to employ Jews. At the beginning of the 20th century, many banks were owned by Jews, as well as several large factories and flour mills. A Jew served as deputy mayor for 20 years. Anti-Jewish attacks were made in 1848. The antisemite G. *Istóczy and some noblemen who had been dispossessed of their estates were responsible for anti-Jewish outbreaks in the town. Rabbis of the community included A. Ehrental (1852–54) and S. Kuttna (1853–71).
In 1940 all Jewish men were moved to a labor camp and after the German invasion in March 1944 around 6,000 Jews including refugees were concentrated in a ghetto around the synagogue in May. On July 4 all were deported to *Auschwitz. After the liberation of the town (December 1944) by the Red Army, Jewish men from the surrounding labor camps began to return to Kaposvar. Only about 200 of those deported from Kaposvar survived. There were 450 Jews living in the town in 1945 and 574 in 1949. After the revolution of 1956, many of them left the country, and by 1959 only 261 Jews remained in Kaposvar.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.