Civitas Fortissima Day

 

 
They gave their life for their hometown and the country.

 

 

(We publish here the English translation of the article by Angela Nagy from the Webpage of Circle of Friends of Balassagyarmat)

There is an article of the same author which was published in the Hungarian jewish periodical "Új Élet" (New Life). It can be reached here (only in Hungarian).

 

In the end of World War I, Austro-Hungarian Empire fell apart, the new countries which has been formed started to fight to acquire territories. Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Serbia tried to gain hungarian territories.
Forces of the Czech Legion crossed the demarcation line at the river Ipoly, on 15th January of 1919, and occupied Balassagyarmat to annex it to the newly formed Czechoslovakian Rebublic.  They occupied the railway, because here, in the left bank of the river, lied the railway line, which  was an important part of the traffic system from Bratislava to Kosice. Employees of the station joined forces with the citizens of the town and a military unit led by Captain Zsigmond Vizy and Rudolf Bajtz, and with a unit from  Spisska Nova Ves (Igló), which had machine guns, attacked Czech military and reconquered the town on the 29th of January. This was an act of heroism, which went against the orders of the Secretary of War, was completely voluntary, and was aided only by the local citizens, and managed to save a piece of hungarian territory for our country.

 

 

The list of the war heroes, who died in the figths of 29th January, 1919:

Balázs Czakó soldier, Ferenc Dancsok corporal, József Havaj citizen, Márton Hrubecz citizen, József Nagy sergeant, József Petrovics locomotiv engineer, András Rózsa ticket inspector,  József Vancsó tinker, Lajos Virág lance-corporal, Sándor Weisz merchant.

 

 

The fact, that they managed to liberate the local train station, which was a strategically very important location, helped to maintain the hollow of river Ipoly as part of Hungary, and the heroes, who died defending it, now rest in the local cemetery. They gave their life to ensure, that Balassagyarmat can remain a part of the already lessend, "stumpy" Hungary.

 

 

 

The commemoration, which served the goal to remember to these brave heroes started on 28th January , 2011, at noon, at the local art-relic jewish cemetery.

The Municipality of Balassagyarmat, the Civitas Fortissima Circle, The Jewish Community of Balassagyarmat and the István Kertész Foundation joined together to remember the jewish war heroes, who died in  World War I, and invited the citizens of the town to participate on the commemoration.

 

Béla Majdán historian summed up the era in short, and spoke about the part the jewish citizens of the town played in this homesaving battle.

he remembered to Sándor Weisz merchant, who joined the forces which drove the Czech army out of the city, got wounded in the fight, and his wound got infected. He died two weeks after the battle, but his parents asked the man, who made his gravestone, to write the date 29th January 1919 on it, because they felt it was important.

He also recalled to Miklós Kondor (Kohn) pilot, who also served as a professional officer, leader of the machine gunner unit from Igló, who rushed to aid his fellow citizens against the czech army.

 

Pál Fröchlich, Dezső Harmat, Márton Schwartz, Samu Schäffer, Ervin Vértes and Élias Wieder, who died during World War I, and in the home-protecting fights of 1919, are also rest in our cemetery. We would like to emphasize it here, that 136 member of our town's jewish community participated in the fights of the 1. World War. 46 of them died. (For more information please visit the link: our war heroes)

 We also mention it here, as a memento of the assimilation of the jews in Hungary that a relative of Sándor Weisz, Ervin Vértes (Weisz) also died serving his country on the battlefield of Russia, at age of 21.

We can read the following epigraph on his black granite tombstone:

"Pro Patria

 This tombstone guards the memory of

Ervin Vértes ,

only son of his parents,

 cadet of the 16th Regiment of the Hungarian King's Army

He died a heroic death for his country in 1915, at age of 21."

Mr. Lajos Medvácz, mayor of Balassagyarmat, Mr. József Bauer, Chairman of the Jewish Community of Balassagyarmat, dr. Zoltán Szakács, chairman of the 'Civitas Fortissima Circle' and leaders of the town's churches and organizations all participated on the event and all saluted at the grave of Sándor Weisz .

Students and teachers of the local Bálint Balassi High School, the St. Imre Catholic Elementary and High School and the Albert Szent-Györgyi High School and Technical College placed a stone and a flower on the gravestone, as a sign of their respect.

 


 

 

Béla Majdán historian, secretary of the Kertész István Foundation (on the left)

Mrs. Éva Imre Borenszki and Mr. Róbert Vadkerti, directors of local high schools and their students (in the middle)

 

 

Mrs. József Bauer (left), Secretary of the Jewish Community

Pastor Zsigmond Molnár of the Calvinist Church, Prebend dr. Stella Leontin Parish priest, Ms. Anna Pozsonyi Lutheran  presbyter (in the middle)

Mr. József Bauer, Chairman of the Jewish Community of Balassagyarmat, dr. Zoltán Szakács chairman of the 'Civitas Fortissima Circle', Mr. Lajos Medvácz, mayor of Balassagyarmat (right)

 

 

 

- : -

 

TOMBSTONES OF THE OTHER WAR HEROES ARE STANDING AT THE LOCAL CATHOLIC CEMETERY.

 

 

 

THIS GRAVESTONE

GUARDS THE MEMORY

OF THE WAR HERO

RÓZSA ANDRÁS

WHO WAS AN ASSISTANT

OFFICER AND WHO DIED ON  29.JANUARY 1919, AT AGE OF 40

THIS GRAVESTONE WAS RAISED 

BY THE EMPLOYEES OF THE 
TRAIN STATION.


WE BELIEVE IN THE 

RESURRECTION

 OF HUNGARY

 

THIS GRAVESTONE 

GUARDS THE MEMORY

OF THE WAR HERO

PETROVICS JÓZSEF

WHO WAS AN ASSISTANT 

OFFICER, AND WHO DIED 

ON 29. JANUARY 1919, AT AGE OF 40

THIS GRAVESTONE WAS 

RAISED BY THE EMPLOYEES

OF THE TRAIN STATION

 

 EVERYTHING FOR OUR 

COUNTRY

 

 

 

 

THE SO CALLED „PALÓC MADONNA”  AND THE  „MEMORIAL CROSS OF WORLD WAR I”  GUARDS OVER THE WAR HEROES, WHO ARE BURIED IN THE CEMETERY

AMONG THEM THE BODIES OF THE CZECH SOLDIERS WHO DIED ON 29TH JANUARY 1919 IN THE FIGHT  -

THE CITY MUNICIPALITY  NURSE THE STONES SINCE ALMOST A CENTURY.

 

- : -

 

If you are interested to read more about the Civitas Fortissima Museum, which opened on 28th January 2011 in the local Cinema, one night before the commemoration,  or about the commemoration itself, you should visit the following link. You can also check out pictures of the event on that page under the sublink: Fényképalbumok.

 

Published by: Nagy Angela