Dr. József Somló
Dr. József Somló (1883-1944)
Lawyer, politician. He was born in Balassagyarmat on 22. February 1883. His father Mór Brett was the school principal of the Israelite Elementary School.
He changed his name to Somló in 1899. It is interesting that his cousin, Elza - Mrs. Árpád Huszár - (1901-1944, father's name: Izrael Friedmann, mother's maiden name: Franciska Brett) also magyarized her name to Somló.
He was a well-known personality of the city's public sphere. In September, 1911 the City Council bought his house at Óváros tér (Old City Square) for 29.000 Koronas for temporary placement of the offices of the prefecture until the new City Hall has been built. He got into politics in 1910 with a pure socialdemocratic program and conviction in the beginning which he was represented as local Party president. He was particularly impressed by the works of Ferdinand Lassalle, one of the prominent figures of the socialdemocracy of Germany whose opinion was against the Communist Marx and Engels with the idea to increase the power of the working class by acquiring of the right of voting.
He was the leader of the National Council of Balassagyarmat form November 1918 until January 1919.
First actions of the National Council focused on keeping the peaceful nature of the changes and enhancing public safety.
Dr. Jozsef Somlo served as Chairmain of the National Council until his resignation in 7 January 1919. Czech troops occupied Balasagyarmat at dawn on 15. January but two weeks later the Czech army was driven out of town by the citizens of the city together with the Hungarian armed forces. In February 1919 at the funeral of the heroes of the "Civitas Fortissima" ("the Bravest City") he held the funeral speech together with Abbey Parish Dr. Jeszenszky (because many of the killed were members of the Socialdemocratic Workers' Guard)
During the first period of the Soviet Republic he was a member of the county directorate (together with Lajos Murár and Gábor Révész) but as he didn't see any reason for taking hostages in the county (which was ordered from above) he was removed from hisn post with arms on 4. May 1919. with a suspicion of taking part in an attempt of a right-wing putsch. After the fall of the Commune on 2. September 1919 he was arrested again charged with incitement.
The examining magistrate court of Balassagyarmat terminated his pre-trial detention on 11. November 1919, and released him immediately. Because of his activities he was banned from thepractice of the law for a year.
In 1934-he became part of the City Council again. In the 1930s he owned a smaller estate in the nearby village of Herencsény.
In 1944 he was deportated, his fate is unknown. His name is on the list of the Hungarian Labor Batallion Victims. His wife, Sára Himler (1887-1944), his sister, Franciska Brett (1876-1944) as well as his daughter, Mrs. Bela Vogel - Dr. Mária Somló (1908-1944), physician and his six-years-old granddaughter Éva Vogel (1938-44) were perished in the Holocaust.
- Dr. Tamás Zonda: Prominent citizens of Balassagyarmat. Balassagyarmat, 2011.
- Zsuzsanna Barthó- Árpád Tyekvicska: Civitas Fortissima. Sources and literature in the time of reconquest of the city from the Czech Army. Balassagyarmat, 2000
- Cecilia Szederjesi - Árpád Tyekvicska: On no man's land. Details, sources, documents of the Holocaust of the Jewry of Nógrád County. Balassagyarmat - Salgótarján, 2006.
- Yad Vashem Archives
- List of Hungarian labor battalion victims found in Nevek - Victims of Hungarian Labour Battalions, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation and Yad Vashem, 1992.