Jewish physicians in Balassagyarmat
„He prescribed a frostbite ointment
for the sore foot of the guardsman.
And he still explained on the way
which chemist supply it that day
under the rules of the early siege
of Budapest, as the soldier limped
along with him towards the place
of execution. The Jewish doctor
obeyed his own command.”
(András Mezei: His own Command, translation by Thomas Orszag-Land)
Jewish physicians in Balassagyarmat
According to our City's History there was a Jewish House of Healing in the 18th Century which had been documented in 1812 at Óváros tér (Old Town Square) <1>. Bilet census of 1812 (Nógrad County Archives V.1. 1812). mentions a "Jewish Public House" by number 148 <2>. We don't know any further details to when and how long this institute has been working.
The city's first institution of public health, the City Warden (House of healing) was established in 1824. Its building stood at the corner of the recent Nádor (Palatine) and Rákóczi fejedelem (Prince Rákóczi) streets. It has been working until the construction of the County Public Hospital (Mary Valery Hospital). About 200 patients were treated a year in the Warden regardless of their religious creed. It was not a medical institution in the modern sense rather a social care service mission as there were no physicians working in it. <3>
In the summer of 1849 a military hospital was established in Balassagyarmat which existed until 1868. Its building stood at the end of the recent Temető (Cemetery) str. The building of the hospital was rented from Mark Kohn for 140 Forints per year who terminated the lease shortly after the contract but the City Government accepted the termination only the third time. <3>
Jewish physicians in the 19th Century.
We are aware that three out of the six doctors in the 1840s - notably Cayetan Hoffman, Moritz Rosenbaum and Ignaz Schőnfeld - came from the ranks of the Jewish Community.
Also three out of the six certified midwives - Ms. Borbala Unger, Mrs. Joachim Kohn and Mrs. Adolf Klein - were Jewish <4>. In 1848 during the census of the National Guard of Balassagyarmat there were 3 Israelites among the 7 physicians. <6>.
Dr. Cayetan (Kaidan) Hoffman (Hofman) (1800-1858).
In 1841 he was a subscriber of the journal called "Medical library" (Orvosi tár) edited by Pál Bugát and Ferenc Flór.
In August 1849 after the defeat of the Liberty War the "Jewish Municipality" which formerly used to have independent administrative and jurisdictional rights had been terminated. From that time the Jewish population which was up to one third of the city's total population represented itself with three board members in the City Council. <5>. First board members were Dr. Cayetan Hoffman, Moritz Berczely and Soma Elfer. In addition, Dr. Hoffman was a member in the Prefecture of the Jewish Community. He died of pneumonia at age of 58 on 21st March, 1858.
Dr. Moritz Rosenbaum was elected to be honorary deputy doctor of the township of Kékkő (today: Modrý Kameň, Slovakia) in 1867 during the county elections. <5>
Dr. Ferenc Feledi (Felsenburg) was born in Balassagyarmat 9th October 1833, died on 15th September 1901.
After graduation he worked for two years as a trainee in a Vienna hospital. He was a district doctor in Losonc (Today: Lučenec, Slovakia). Later from 1869 to 1872 he was working in Balassagyarmat as a military physician. From 1872 until his retirement in October 1896 he was the doctor of the Balassagyarmat district. He was working generously during the cholera epidemic in 1873. He often healed the poor for free and supported many charity cases.
"János Hegedűs, judge of village Dejtár died of anthrax last Sunday morning after great suffering. The official investigation was performed on the site by the district marshal and Dr. Ferencz Feledi district physician on 25th July.” <7>
Announcement of József Reményfy's death, director of the People's Bank of Balassagyarmat: " Our physician, Dr. Ferencz Feledi was called to the last writhings of the seriously ill patient. Feledi stated already at 2 PM that Reményfy is unwarrantable because of the escalation of asthma and he has not more than one hour left. And so it happened ..” ...„ The County and the City has a great dead...” <8>
He was awarded 'The Chief Medical' honorary title by the County. He was an alternate so-called virilist member (virilist members were elected from the highest taxpayers of the city) of the City Council as well (1898). In 1901 he bequested 2000 Ft to the Grammar School in his will. <12>
News from contemporary articles:
" Doc Ferenc Fleischer, physician died of old age in our city".<10>
"Dr. Nándor Lővy former physician assistant (resident doctor) in Pest settled in our town." <9>
Dr. József Heksch (1853-1921)
„News. Awards. The Hungarian Royal Minister of Religion and Education in his Regulation (current year, No. 11867) proclaimes his high appreciation and gratitude by the Royal School Inspectorates to Dr. Heksch, Colonel of the Nationatal Army and local practitioner such as a caretaker of the local public elementary school for ten years and physician of the institution for his fervor toward the educational system. <11>
Dr.Mór Gerő (born in Balassagyarmat 22nd May 1859 - died in Balassagyarmat 5th March 1939)
Son of Dr. Jakab Grünbaum and Jozefa Elfer. He studied in the medical universities of Budapest and Vienna where he graduated in 1883, then he returned home to Balassagyarmat. He worked as a doctor of the Hungarian State Railways for 50 years, and from November 1922 he became the Chief Medical Inspector. Because of his activities he was given a honorary diploma by the National Association of Train Drivers. He also worked as a doctor for the National Social Insurance Board and for the National Stefania Association (association for mother and child protection). He was appointed to President of the Medical Association of Counties Nógrád and Hont. During the reconquest of the city from the Czech Army in 1919 he attended the wounded on his own apartment <16>.
In 1926 he was entitled to Senior Counsellor of Health. He was very popular in the city, all the leaders of the town attended his funeral. <12>
We commemorete to Dr. Manó Hasenfeld (b. Balassagyarmat 1836 - d. Budapest,1905), prominent figure of balneology on a separate page.
The cholera epidemics
The first great cholera epidemic swept through Europe in the first half of the 1830s. In our county the disease appeared in June 1831, spread quickly and took a tremendous toll.
The cholera epidemic reached 89 of the 140 settlements of the county and according to the statements killed 2563 persons. <13>
The plaque on the stone fence of the cemetery tells us that during the epidemic the cemetery was so filled with dead so the members of the Chevra Kadisha (Holy Society ie Funeral Society) had to expand the cemetery and enclose it with walls.
"Woe to the anger and wrath since our cemetery was filled with endless number of dead
The members of the Holy Society expanded their land and enclosed the cemetery all around."
The Cholera Monument remembers to the cholera outbrake of 1850.
The Isolation Hospital
Although the organization of the county hospital began in 1883 , and the city warden was kept "in level", the city had to establish a so-called "barrack hospital" in 1886 because of the cholera threat. On the summer of 1886 the City Council rented the Hajdenwolf's Granary in the end of the Kistábor utca ("Small-camp street", now András L. Áchim street).
In 1903 the sub-prefect drew attention that the location and equipment of the isolation hospital are not fulfill its purpose therefore the City Council should establish and equip a new isolation hospital which fits to the regulations of the Minister of Interior. Several proposals had been raised regarding to the location. Finally the City Council bought an approx. 3200-square-yard land from dr. Aladár Grünbaum in the Temető (Cemetery) street just opposite to the Jewish Cemetery next to the railway line for 2400 Koronas. (Later it caused problems because to avoid conflagration by the locomotive sparks they had to make a 60 m wide protection area, so they had to buy another appr. 2900-square-yard land form dr. Aladár Grünbaum) <3>
The medical tasks were permormed by dr. Jenő Szendrő municipal doctor, he compiled the list of the necessary medical equipment as well. For the preparation of the policy he asked and received help from the Szent László (St. Ladislaw) Public Hospital, Budapest where most of the treated patients had infectious diseases. <3>
The isolation hospital had been working until the completion of the Infectious Disease Ward of the Mary Valery Hospital in 1942.
The Ward of Internal Medicine of the Mary Valery Hospital was inaugurated on 10th December 1897. The ward was maintained by director dr. Aladár Bogdán and dr. Jenő Szendrő until 1904. Dr. Szendrő was also the municipal doctor of the town at the same time (from the 1890s). In 1904 the administration of the city considered his position inconsistent with the municipal doctor's position therefore dr. Jenő Szendrő renounced his job in the hospital and the further management of the Internal Medicine Ward was given to Dr. Ignác Mandel, Chief Physician of the Psychiatric Ward. <14>
During World War I he joined to the 16th Infantry Regiment and served as a doctor in the Russian battlefield in rank of major. For his valor he was awarded the Charles Troop Cross and the Hungarian Military Medal of Merit. <15> In November 1918 and in January 1919 he was a member of the National Council of Balassagyarmat and the City Council. <16>
In the second half of the 1920s he was a virilist member of the City Board.
He died in December 1943. The county newspaper (Nógrádi Hírlap) announced his death on 24th December 1943. Yet his grave is unknown because on the anniversary of his death in December 1944 there was noone left to raise a tombstone for him... His wife, Ilona Spiegel (1883-1944), their daughters: Ilma (1905-1944), and Györgyi, who was also a physician (1911-1944), as well as his brother Ferenc and all of his family became the victims of the Holocaust. <17>
We preserve their memories in this place with reverence.
The Mary Valery Public Hospital
Establishment of a County Hospital had been decided by the Board of Health of Nógrád County yet in January 1883. Finally the public hospital named after Archduchess Mary Valery, daughter of Emperor Franz Joseph has been opened on 5th December 1897 with the management of dr. Aladár Bogdán County Chief Medical Officer, Dr. József Schenk assistant doctor and Ede Drozd, warden.
Dr. József Schenk (1872-1944) was born in Salgótarján, son of Ignác Schenk and Ernesztin Tyroler. <17> He got to Balassagyarmat as a 25-years-old young doctor and started to work as assistant doctor in the new county hospital. At the time of the opening he was a member of the hospital's management. <3> In addition to his hospital duties he was also a teacher in the local Worker's Grammar School. <19> In 1944 in age of 72 he was murdered in Auschwitz. <20>
The Ward of Internal Medicine of the Mary Valery Hospital was inaugurated on 10th December 1897. The Psychiatric Ward opened in 1903, its first Chief Physician was Dr. Ignác Mandel former "second doctor" in the National Neurological and Psychiatrical Institute in Budapest, the famous 'Lipótmező'.
The ward was maintained by director dr. Aladár Bogdán and dr. Jenő Szendrő until 1904. Dr. Szendrő was also the municipal doctor of the town at the same time (see above). In 1904 the administration of the city considered his position inconsistent with the municipal doctor's position therefore dr. Jenő Szendrő renounced his job in the hospital and the further management of the Internal Medicine Ward was given to Dr. Ignác Mandel, Chief of the Psychiatric Ward. From September 1905 the county administration allowed the Internal Ward to have an own attending physician. Since then the chief physician of the Psychiatrics worked also as the chief of the Internal Ward. Dr. Ignáz Mandel had this dual task until 1910. As the Internal Ward was expanded, the number of patients increased so it was necessary that the ward should have an own Chief Physician. <14>
Dr. Ignác Mandel was born in 1877 in Méhkerék, Békés county. He graduated from high school in Nagyvárad (today Oradea, Romania), then he received his medical degree in Budapest in 1900. He received his medical training in Budapest in the asylum of Lipótmező, than he became the first Chief Physician of the Psychiatric Ward of the Balassagyarmat Hospital in 1903. <12>
When he arrived to Balassagyarmat, he was intended to base the treatment of the patients to laying and to the regular immersion bath the so-called "Dauerbad". He described in details the bath treatment, how long the bath had to be taken for each disease. These plans had to be changed because of the circumstances, partly due to the lack of professionals, partly because of the recognition that the permanent laying is often wasn't successful and only the severe side effect the tuberculosis occured.
He considered the employment of the patients very important. Male patients had been working in carpentry, shoemaker's workshop, women usually fixed underwear, helped in cooking, washing, cared to animals in the farm of the hospital and cultivated the kitchen garden. In the ward some patients helped their fellows who were in bad condition.
It is clear from his writings, that he knew the most modern psychiatric methods of his age.
One of his interesting note: "The psychiatrist, although easily turns to be half a lawyer and half a philosopher amidst all the psychological research and so many administrartive work, has to remain a physician. He should treat not the disease but the sick patient and above all he shouldn't schematize." <21>
He was first in the country in 1907 with starting a new form of care in psychiatry, the family care. The psychiatric patients had been placed to families in nearby villages. This form of care ran into a nationwide carreer and worked until the 1970-s.
In his works he dealed with dementia, complications of alcoholism, organizational issues of psychiatric wards and with the family care.
For his valor in World War he received the Signum Laudis with the Swords Award.
He also worked as a teacher in the local Grammar School (recently: Bálint Balassi Grammar School) from 1906 to 1914 and from 1920 to 1939.
In the end of the 1920s he was a virilist member of the City Board <18>. He led the Psychiatry and Neurology Ward of the hospital until the April of 1936. After his retirement in 1937 he was awarded the Hungarian Red Cross of Merit by the Governor, Miklós Horthy de Nagybánya ...
In 1944 he was deported with his family. Soon after his deportation before he would've reached the destination in Auschwitz he died in the cattle car.
Detail from the reminiscenses of Chief Inspector József Bágyi, who was the responsible Traffic Manager of the train: "We were still in Aszód when the gendarmes inspected the wagons before daybreak. There was already one dead in of the cars, dr. Ignác Mandel an old physician, who was the doctor of the Railways in Gyarmat for a long time. " <22>
His wife, Márta Székely also became the victim of the Holocaust. <17>
His main works:
- Ignác Mandel dr. Organization of the Psychiatric Wards in public hospitals. Offprint from the works of the 4th National meeting of Psychiatrists. (part 8-. p.22 ) Budapest, 1907.
- Ignác Mandel dr. About the paranoid psychoses of drunkards. Offprint from »Gyógyászat« (part 8 p. 40.) Budapest 1906.
- Ignác Mandel, dr. About the prognosis of dementia senilis. Offprint from »Gyógyászat«-(part 8 p. 15.) Budapest, 1903.
The Internal Medicine Ward of the Hospital had been expanded between 1907 and 1909 so its capacity increased to 120 beds. As the number of patients grew it was necessary that the ward should have an own Chief Physician.
Dr. Sámuel Fischer was born in Tasnád (today Tăsnad, Románia) in 1883 as son of Dávid Fischer and Karolina Borgida. He graduated as a doctor in Budapest in 1908. Since that time he was working in Balassagyarmat as attending physician. He was appointed to Chief Physician of the Internal Medicine Ward on 1st June, 1910. <14>
During World War I he was troop physician on the battlefields of the Balkans and Italy; for his valor he received the Knights Cross of the Franz Joseph Order, The Golden Cross of Merit with the Crown and the Jubilee Commemorative Medal awards. <12> After returning home during the reconquest of the city from the Czech Army on 29th January, 1919 his behavior was exemplary. For his proposal the Lutheran Elementary School was turned into a casualty clearing station. He even helped a wounded Czech soldier on the street. <16, 23>
Ha was the Chief Physician of the Internal Medicine Ward until 1st July, 1942.
He perished in June 1944 in Auschwitz such as his wife, Klára Erdős (1898-1944). <24>
Other physicians from Balassagyarmat between the World Wars:
Dr. Ignác Neumann: Physician in Balassagyarmat. He was born in Szendrő (Borsod county) in 1890. During World War I. he served as chief physician at the 62nd Infantry Regiment on the battlefield in Russia, Romania and Italy. For his service he was awarded the Signum Laudis (Military Merit Medal) with the Swords and the Merit Cross on War Ribbon awards. <15>
He such as his wife, née Ilona Schwarcz (1892-1944) and their children Magda (1925-1944) and László (1931-1944) had become victims of the Holocaust.
Dr. Endre Domonyi (Doman) was born in 1899 as son of Izsák Doman and Karolin Susitzky. During World War I he joined the 86th Infantry Regiment as voluntary lance corporal but finally he didn't fight on the battlefield. After dismounting he graduated in medical university then he was working in Balassagyarmat. <15>
He died in 1942 as military forced laborer on the Eastern Front in Bogdanovka. <26>
His wife née Mária Sonnenfeld (1913-1944) and their ten-years-old daughter Éva Veronika had been murdered in Auschwitz. <17, 27>
Dr. Ödön Erdős was born in 1st June, 1888 in Balassagyarmat, son of Márk Erdős and Paula Felsenburg. He graduated from medical university in Budapest in 1914. Until 1924 he was working as resident doctor and later as junior assistant professor in the 1st Clinic of Ophthalmology in Budapest. In 1924 he was appointed to be the Chief Physician of the Ophthalmology Ward at the County Public Hospital in Kaposvár (Somogy County) and he was working there until 1944. <12> He died on 15th April, 1945 in Mauthausen. <27>
Dr. Sándor Hoffmann was born in 1900 in Diósjenő, son of Vilmos Hoffmann and Karolin Sámuel. He was working as a physician in Balassagyarmat. He was deported to Auschwitz on 12th June, 1944. In the concentration camp he was working as the doctor of the Gypsy camp. <28>. His wife, née Klára Lusztig (born in Szarvas, 1909), their nine-yers-old son, György such as his older sister Aranka (born in Diósjenő, 1895) also lost their lives in Auschwitz. <17, 29>
Being a family from Diósjenő his name is also written on the Memorial Monument of Deported Jews from Rétság District.
Dr. Adolf Lőwy was born in Debercsény in 1893. He was working in Mohora (one of the neighbouring villages as general practitioner. On 10th May, 1944 the countryside jews were forced into the "small" ghetto at Óváros tér (Old Town Square). When he moved to the ghetto all the villagers were protested by bringing a piece of furniture on separate chariots, thats how they tried to help him. <30> He was murdered in Auschwitz in June, 1944 with his wife, née Sarolta Erdélyi (born in Budapest, 1895).
Dr. Mária Somló (Mrs. Béla Vogel) was born in 1908 in Balassagyarmat, daughter of Dr. József Somló, lawyer and Sára Himler, granddaughter of Mór Brett school principal. She graduated from hisgh school in 1926 in the Grammar School of Balassagyarmat (today Bálint Balassi Grammar School). <31>
She became victim of the Holocaust with her six-years-old daughter and many members of her family. <17>
Dr. Erzsébet Schenk (born on 30th January, 1897 in Balassagyarmat)
She graduated from grammar school in Balassagyarmat in 1915.
She was working at the Pscychiatric Ward of the Mary Valery Hospital from 1931 as an assistant doctor and later from 1941 as attending doctor. <21> In her testimony she remembered what has happened in Balassagyarmat in 1944: <32>
"After April 30th I had to move into the ghetto, from where one could leave just occasionally with a special permission. To cure a Christian it was even more difficult even his or her own request. When I was called to a Christian patient, the person had to ask a special permission from the local police station in order that I could go to examine him. The patient was a tobacco merchant, his name was Mr. Simon. When he went to the police station to ask the permission police clerk Miklós very rudely shouted to him: "What an appetite you have that you want your wife being treated by a Jewish Doctor! " The permission was made like this: "I allow the 'Jewish' Dr. Erzsébet Schenk Jewish physician to leave the 'Jewish' ghetto for one hour period of time for the request of Mr. Simon, tobacco-merchant in order to examine her patient. The Jewish female doctor should leave the ghetto only with armed police escort with the patient's relative. After the examination the patient's relative is obliged to return this written permission to me in one hour. police Clerk Miklós." The Christians showed mixed emotions towards us; there were some who despised these measures, but the majority was satisfied with the isolation of the Jews. Many people were very curious and wanted to get into the ghetto with wide variety of excuses. There were several times when I had to go the hospital with special permission - when I could go without police escort -, they looked at me with the yellow star on my chest like I was a special animal.
Hospital Chief Medical Director, Dr. Kenessey after the provisions to wear the yellow stars orderred that its not necessary for the Jewish doctors wearing a yellow star on their white coat in the hospital just when they leave the hospital. This provision, however, was altered by Sub-prefect Horváth who strictly ordered that the yellow star is required to wear on the white coat during work and even in the operating theatre.
The ghetto was deported in two transports. The first transport left on 10th June, the second on the 12th. All of them contained approx. 1800 people. All of the patients of the Balassagyarmat Hospital and the Psychiatric Ward were taken with the second transport, such as the woman who gave birth one hour before together with her child. "
She was prisoner in Auschwitz until 4 August 1944 when she was transported to Gelsenkirchen Camp,then in September to Sömmerda (Thüringen, Germany). In both places she was forced to work as a physician besides the forced laborers, the so-called "häftlings". From here in April 1945 they were taken to forced march to as far as the border of Czechoslowakia where they had been liberated on 8th May, 1944.
Stages of her deportation: Auschwitz (June 14, 1944.- July 4), Gelsenkirchen (July 14, 1944- September 11), Sömmerda (September 12, 1944 - April 4, 1945), Altenburg (April 12, 1945 - April 16).
After arriving home she reported to the vicissitudes of the previous months in a protocol which was taken by the co-workers of the "DEGOB" ( National Committee for Attending Deportees) <32>
After returning from the deportation she was working in Balassagyarmat until 1951 then she moved to Budapest.
Military forced laborer physicians in Balassagyarmat
During World War 2 several Jewish physicians had been working in Balassagyarmat and its area as military forced laborers.
Professor Dr. Imre Littmann (born on 21. November 1913 in Budapest, died on 21. August 1984 in Budapest). He received his medical degree in the Medical School of Pécs University where he graduated in 1937. After graduation he was working at the Miklós Horthy (today: Bajcsy-Zsilinszky) Hospital in Kőbánya, Budapest (from 1937 to 1941), then in the Adél Bródy Jewish Children's Hospital (from 1941 to 1942) as assistant doctor. He was working in the Surgical Ward of the Mary Valery County Hospital in Balassagyarmat from 1942 to 1944 as military forced laborer. <33> The surgical logbook from the year of 1943 ramained to us from 1st May to the end of December. During this period 858 out of the 1615 operations which had been performed were operated by dr. Littmann, from small operations to major surgery. <34>
Between 1945 and1949 he was attending physician, later adjunct doctor at the surgical ward of Szent János (St. John) Hospital in Budapest. From here he got to the 3rd Clinic of Surgeryof the Medical School of Péter Pázmány Science University, which leadership was recently (11th October) taken by Boris V. Petrovsky, a guest professor from the Soviet Union. Between 1949 and 1951 he was junior assistant professor and later Privatdozent of the Clinic. In 1951 he was appointed to university full professor and leader of the newly formed Clinic of Surgeon Training. The clinic opened its doors on November 16, 1951 at 68 Városmajor st. on the place of the former Buda Public Hospital of the Capital's Council. Main task of the new institute was the education of military surgeons. Its name was changed later (March 15, 1957) to 4th Clinic of Surgery, then (July 1, 1975) to Clinic of Vascular Surgery. Professor Littmann in 1952 studied in England with a scholarship, when he returned to home he performed the first ligature of Botallo's ductus arteriosus in Hungary. He introduced cardiac catheterization in his Clinic and surgical solutions to congenital heart diseases. In 1956 he left the country. Between 1956 and 1958 he was working in Toronto General Hospital. He returned home and became the Chief Physician of the László Hospital between 1958 and 1960, and later, between 1960 and 1963 Chief Physician of Tétényi st. (today Szent Imre) Hospital. From 1962 to 1968 he led the 1st Department of Surgery of the Postgraduate Medical Institute.
His main works:
- Congenital malformations of the heart and the great vessels. (with Renée Fonó, Budapest, 1951, 1955, in Russian and German 1957);
- Guide to operative surgery (with co-authors, Budapest, 1953, 2nd edition 1968);
- Bauchchirurgie, Indikation und Technik (Stuttgart, 1969, in Russian 1970);
- Surgical informations in the practice of general practitioners (Budapest, 1982, in German: 1986)
His major awards: Order of Merit of People's Republic, 5th grade (1951), Kossuth Prize (1954), Balassa Medal
The Physician-Engineer Military Forced Labor Company of Jolsva (Jelšava)
There are several documents in the Archives of Nógrád County that in 1943 and 1944 members of the Military Forced Labor Company of Jolsva (today: Jelšava, Slovakia) served in Balassagyarmat and its surroundings. The Company consisted mainly of physicians, pharmacists, engineers, therefore it was called "Physician-Engineer Company".
The chronologically first document says <35> that Dr. Richárd Kornitzer on May 18, 1943 took an oath of office in the presence of the Hospital's Chief Medical Director, dr. Albert Kenessey at the economic office of the hospital. <17>
Minutes which was drawn up in Balassagyarmat at the economic office of the Mary Valery Public Hospital of Nógrád County on 18 May 1943 on the occasion of dr. Richárd Kornitzer's oath of office in the presence of the undersigned. By the 6th paragraph of the regulations about the service relationship and salary of employees of Nógrád County he makes a pledge reads as follows: „I, dr. Richárd Kornitzer swear, that I will be loyal to Hungary, its constitution and the Governor of Hungary. I will observe the laws, customary laws and constitutional government regulations of Hungary, I will obey my hierarchical superiors, I will keep official secrets and I will fulfill my official duties accurately and faithfully.”
Balassagyarmat, 18. May 1943. Dr. Kornitzer Richárd
I certify that these wows had been made before me. Kenessey, Hungarian Royal Counsellor of Health, the Hospital's Chief Medical Director"
On 28 April, 1944 Dr. István Weiszhaus (born in 1910), military forced laborer physician from Beregszász (today: Берегове, Beregove, The Ukraine) was appointed to be a general practitioner in the village of Őrhalom (in the vicinity of Balassagyarmat) <36>
"For the security of public health and pharmacy services by the 1. § of the PM Regulation No. 2.880/1941. in the subject of requisitioning military forced laborers in agreement with the Hungarian Royal Minister of Defense I order Doctor Weiszhaus, born in 1910 in Beregszász, Israelite religion, inhabitant in Beregszász to military forced labor and entrust him with the supply of public health medical care in the village of Őrhalom as general practitioner. I call you to sign in for swearing the oath of office and fulfill the job at the Balassagyarmat District Chief Administrative Officer in Balassagyarmat, in 3 days after receiving this decree of mine. I determine the compensation for the national defense work in a sum of 310 Pengős per month. The remuneration will be payable monthly in advance from the date of application for the service. By the 2nd article of the 4. § of the PM Regulation 2.880/1941 the travel expenses for travelling to the place of duty or in case of dismissal for the returning to the place of residence are charged to the Ministry of Interior. The authorities during military forced labor service are governed by the provisions of the 2nd article of 7. § of the PM regulation 2.880/1941. Breach of the obligations for Military Forced Labor Service is punished as it is written in the 29. § of the PM Regulation 9.300/1939. ása a 9.300/1939.
Budapest, 28. April 1944.
According to the order of the Minister:
Sgd. dr. Kolosváry Head of Ministerial Department"
Two weeks later, on 14 May 1944. the district chief administrative officer reported to the sub-prefect that dr. István Weiszhaus tooked his oath and started his mission as a general practitioner <37>.
Dear Mr. Sub-Prefect
I hereby report that dr. István Weiszhaus physician, obliged to military forced labor who was entrusted with the task of being a general practitioner in the village of Őrhalom by the Regulation No. 329703/1944. XVI. OM of the Royal Hungarian Minister of Interior took his oath to me on 13th current month and I directed him to start his service on 14th current month. I also reported simultaneously the Royal Hungarian Minister of Interior about the oath and starting the service in order to the payment of the salary.
Balassagyarmat, 14 May 1944.
Debreczeny district chief administrative officer
Hardly two weeks later, on 30 May, 1944 Dr. Albert Kenessey, the hospital's chief medical director reported to the sub-prefect that the five military forced laborer physicians who had been working in the hospital were closed into transit camps by the State Police. <38>
Dear Mr. Sub-Prefect
I hereby report, that today dr. István Klein, dr. György Szabados, dr. Richárd Kornitzer, dr. György Frey and dr. László Kisgömöri military forced laborer Jewish physicians who were assigned to the public hospital as assistent doctors had been locked into transit camp by the Balassagyarmat Headquarters of the Hungarian Royal State Police. I reported simultaneously the Royal Hungarian Minister of Interior about the case. I hereby attach the minutes about the handover and the reception of the housing.
Balassagyarmat, 30 May 1944.
Kenessey, Hungarian Royal Counsellor of Health, Chief Medical Director of the Hospital
On the same day Dr. Richárd Kornitzer has returned his service flat to the Balassagyarmat Hospital <38>.
Minutes for handover and reception of service apartment. It was drawn up at the medical apartment at the Ophthalmologic Ward of the Mary Valery Nógrád County Public Hospital, on 30. May, 1944. with the subject of the handover / reception of the apartment of dr. Richárd Kornitzer physician. Dr. Richárd Kornitzer physician is handing over the apartment No.1. and its equipments to the treasurer of the hospital according to the sub-inventory. The treasurer of the hospital is taking over the apartment No.1. and its equipments in order, without shortage, according to the sub-inventory.
We found the following differences at the handover / reception: — (none)
I have seen: Kenessey, Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Kornitzer transferor
Counsellor of Health József Horthy recipient
We don't have any further documents, details about the events of the following months, but, unfortunately we know the fate of the six doctors.
According the Database of the Yad Vashem Institution <40> all of their names - Dr. György Frey (born in 1912), Dr. István Klein (born in 1910), Dr. László Kisgömöri (born in 1891), Dr. Richárd Kornitzer (born in 1900), Dr. György Szabados (born in 1909) and Dr. István Weiszhaus (born in 1910) - can be found on the list of victims of the massacre near Pusztavám since on 16. October, 1944 in the afternoon an SS corp executed 216 members of the Military Forced Labor Company of Jolsvaphysicians, pharmacists, engineers) one and all...
Let their souls be bound up in the bond of eternal life!
<1> János Belitzky: From the expelling of the turks to the bourgeois revolution. In: Sándor Balogh (ed.) History of Balassagyarmat 896-1962. Balassagyarmat 1977. p. 129.
<2> Béla Majdán: Chapters from the history of the Jewish Community of Balassagyarmat (In: Balassagyarmat Homeland Study News. 1991. 1-2. 41)
<3> Sándor Hausel: History of the hospitals in Balassagyarmat until 1897 In: History of the dr. Albert Kenessey Hospital, Balassagyarmat 1997. p. 7-26.
<4> Béla Majdán: Everyday life of the Jewish Community of a Hungarian city in the age of dualism in the mirror of the local press. Jewish Theological Seminary - University of Jewish Studies (OR-ZSE) Thesis. Budapest, 2007.
<5> Borovszky: Counties and Cities of Hungary - Nógrád County. 548 p. 1911.
<6> Sándor Balogh (ed.) History of Balassagyarmat 896-1962. Balassagyarmat 1977. p. 155., 531.
<7> Nógrád Papers - Hont News. 31. July 1887. No. 31.
<8> Nógrád Papers - Hont News. 6. November 1887. No. 45.
<9> Nógrád Papers - Hont News. 15. April 1874. 2nd year No. 14
<10> Nógrád Papers - Hont News. 7. June 1874. 2nd year No. 23. p.3
<11> Nógrád Papers - Hont News. 19. May 1889. No. 20.
<12> Dr. Tamás Zonda: Prominent citizens of Balassagyarmat. Balassagyarmat, 2011.
<13> József Havasdi: Closing lines by the Danube during the cholera epidemic of 1831.(doctoral thesis)
<14> Gábor Bartal: History of the Internal Medicine Ward - In: History of the dr. Albert Kenessey Hospital, Balassagyarmat 1997.
<15> The Golden Album of Hungarian Jewish soldiers : In memory of the world war 1914-1918 / edited by Márton Hegedüs. - Budapest 1940. p. 347
<16> Zsuzsanna Barthó - Árpád Tyekvicska: Civitas Fortissima. Sources and literature in the time of reconquest of the city from the Czech Army. Balassagyarmat, 2000
<17> Cecilia Szederjesi - Árpád Tyekvicska: On no man's land. Details, sources, documents of the Holocaust of the Jewry of Nógrád County. Balassagyarmat - Salgótarján, 2006.
<18> Béla Majdán: Memory of the Jewish Community of Balassagyarmat. Balassagyarmat, 2004. p. 39.,52.
<19> Call for enrollment to the Workers' Grammar School of Balassagyarmat. 1909. Balassagyarmat, Wertheimer press.
<20> Yad Vashem Archives
<21> Dr. László Csekey: Chapters from the history of Psychiatry in Balassagyarmat. In: History of the dr. Albert Kenessey Hospital, Balassagyarmat 1997.
<22> István Vojtkó: It has happened forty years ago in Balassagyarmat. Balassagyarmat Homeland Study News. p. 44., Balassagyarmat 1984.
<23> Nógrád Newspaper, Balassagyarmat, 2. February 1919.
<24> Yad Vashem Archives
<25> Yad Vashem Archives
<26> Yad Vashem Archives
<27> Yad Vashem Archives
<28> Memorial Book of the Holocaust Memorial Center, Budapest
<29> Yad Vashem Archives
<30> Recollections of dr. György Czilczer of Balassagyarmat to the Holocaust - DEGOB protocol No. 3550.
<31> Book of tableaus. Bálint Balassi Grammar School - Balassagyarmat 1908-2010. Nagykanizsa, 2010.
<32> Recollections of Dr. Erzsébet Schenk to the Holocaust - DEGOB protocol No. 3551.
<33> Károly Kapronczai: Hungarian Medical Biographical Lexicon. Mundus Publishing. Budapest, 2004.
<34> Dr. Károly Baranyi: History of Surgery in Balassagyarmat In: History of the dr. Albert Kenessey Hospital, Balassagyarmat 1997.
<35> Archives of Nógrád County NML IV. 454. 10365/1944.
<36> Archives of Nógrád County NML IV. 454. 9427/1944., 1–2. p
<37> Archives of Nógrád County NML IV. 454. 9427/1944., 3-4. p.
<38> Archives of Nógrád County NML IV. 454. 10365/1944.
<39> Archives of Nógrád County NML IV. 454. 10365/1944.
<40>Yad Vashem Archives: