The (former) Hadader Jews
Print E-mail

The (former) Hadader Jews

Already in the first 2009 issue of our annual magazine "Kriegsdorf, our village ..." Witnesses were sought who can report including the former Jewish settlement in Hadad. Unfortunately, this call was so far unsuccessful.

As on 7 November 2010 was received on our web site in the guest book the following entry:

“Nice reports touching destinies. But what’s about the Jews from Hadad? What happened to them? Where are they now? Can someone tell what this? It would be interesting to hear about it. We know a lot about the soldiers who were with the Horthysten, Wehrmacht and SS. The prisoners deported from Russia are well known. But we know nothing about our former Jewish neighbours. Where are they? What has become of them? Who and where has survived? Who can indicate about them? It would be very important.”

So I decided to write this report.
The sender of this paper has unfortunately not its e-mail address specified. Thus, the HOG Kriegsdorf as operator of this website make no contact with him despite a request.
I do not want to interpret anything into the lines above, but I try to tell you all about our former roommate what I could figure out.
Since I was born in 1952, and I can express myself as a "contemporary witness" to my research, this research is based on previously published data in various documentations.
If they tell about the history of Jews in Hadad, before the Second World War, it is found that this ethnic group can look back on a decade-long existence.
So in 1880, lived about 139 people of Jewish descent in Hadad, twenty years later in 1900 their number grew to 167 people. In 1930 the Jewish community numbered at least 101 souls.
In 1937, two german students Oskar Römer and Fritz Ruland visited Kriegsdorf. In their work “Kriegsdorf - a German island in the northwest corner of Romania" they comment as follows on the Jews:

“The Jews have a certain position in the village. They have the trade in their hands and are mainly as livestock, fruit and vegetable traders, merchants, shops, caterers and brokers operate. They don’t have any land. Due to the custom of their people, they wear The dark caftans and round hat. They can grow a long beard and curled ear hair, so they are recognizable even to the outer packaging. The synagogue and their ritual bath are standing on the square in Hadad. The Jews are not popular among the Hungarians, but even less for the Germans, so they are almost never seen in the German district.
They lived among Rumanians and Hungarians, only a Jewish merchant settled on the edge of the German district, but he didn’t have German customers. The Germans have a healthy anti-Semitism which can be detected in other ethnic groups in the southeast. They try to get along in the economic life without the Jews as much as possible, So e.g. the whole fruit trade is agreed with the Greeks.
Given the fact that since 1933 in Germany the Nazis were in power, the anti-Semitism adopted unexpected forms so that is why you should see this statement from this angle.
The historical records of Römer and Ruland concerning the German history in Kriegsdorf are extremly important. We can assume that both of the students were influenced in their work by the protestant pasto Adalbert Aikalin who was a enthusiastic Nazi,too , as some contemporary witnesses have reported.
When one considers the history books take a closer you learn that the churches in Transylvania as well as the German population was very much influenced by the National Socialist ideology but they were also very divided.
Contemporary witnesses report that at least before the outbreak of war handling of the Jewish population of Hadad was more normal than tense.
But on september the 1st the Second World War begun. And so wasn’t the peaceful coexistence in Hadad like before.
The tension between the ethnic groups living there grew.
The ethnic Germans who lived outside the Empire was the related repatriation and return to their home of the Nazis with all the associated benefits have been promised.
(see "adoption of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor to the consolidation of German nationality" from 10/7/1939.)
Also the "elimination" of other ethnic groups and harmful parts of the population (Jews, Sinti and Roma, "hereditary diseased people" and "disabled" homosexuals, prostitutes and "criminal ") was a part of this ordinance.
How this “elimination” was implemented, is one the biggest tragedies in the human history. There were extermination camps built in which millions of innocent people found their senseless death. There is an infinite number of episodes of the war which are known. Therefore, I try as far as I know to write about the Jews in Hadad.
On 18th March in 1944 Hungary was occupied by German troops.
Adolf Eichmann, one of the major SS-men of Hitler took over the organization of the mass deportation of the Jews. A former Hadader, Kaszta István, incurs in his book “Hadad, a hadak útján” closer to the fate of the Jews form Hadad. I try to translate some extracts from his book:

“Eichmann organized ,with German thoroughness, the crowd of Hungarian Jews in different ghettos. Although the British and the Soviets already bombed Hungarian factories and railway stations, he succeeded in organizing the necessary set of coaches by the MÁV (the Hungarian railway company) to advance the deportation of Jews.On the 15th of May the first deportation of the Jews from Sighetul-Marmatiei begun. In June, the circles Sathmar, Szilágy and Klausenburg follow. The Hadad’s Jews from were herded together in their church on a warm day in June. The thirst tormented the Jews which were squeezed together in the space. The Gestapo allowed them only take food for five days.”

A former Hadader Jew (P.F. - currently living in USA) remembers:

“In 1935 we originally lived next to the German church then in the courtyard. Of the Wesselényi castle und finally next to the Richter – shop, in the middle of the village. On one day (It must have been in 1944) a car from Cehu - Silvaniei arrived. Those three or four soldiers inquired on where the german pastor (Adalbert Aikelin) lived. I ran to our flat and told my mother what I saw. My mother hurried to her friend, the german pastor’s wife. When my mother asked her about the visit of the german soldiers, she replied that there are secret informations, which she may not give away. That were bad news for the Jews from Hadad.
After that the municipality declared that the Jews had to give away their money, their gold and other valuables. A gendarme, who visited us, told us, that we had to move to Mikoújfalu. My father should work there as a doctor (we were taken there, but then they brought me and my family to Auschwitz). Some days later all of the Jews were gathered (men, women and children). In their hands they held only a small parcel. It was a cruel sight. Besides the gendarmes you could only see a gypsy woman, crying loudly. My heart ached considering these pictures. Some men cursed the Jews because they had not handed all their belongings. Of course, that wasn’t true because there were no rich Jews in Hadad. My parents were killed in Auschwitz. My brother G. and I suvived all four concentration camps (Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Zeitz and Bergen-Belsen) to which we were brought. At the moment I am writing my memoirs.
If you have the opportunity, help your fellow men, because life is short. I wish all the Hadad people all the best, and also those families with illnesses, which my father could help as a doctor.”

After the war, some Jews, who survived the Holocaust, returned to Hadad. One of these survivors, is called Moskovits. He was a jewisch merchant. A protastant pastor from Hermannstadt (Johann Miess), who was commissioned in August in 1946  by the country's consistory to make the confirmation, met this Jew.
Moskovits told him, that only a few of the 40 families, who where living in Hadad, immediately before the war started, survived the Holocaust. He said, that he had heard nothing more from his wife and the four children. “They probably have perished.”, he said. Pastor Aikelin has incited the people that no one should buy more from him, even though they have been living peacefully together. Nowadays there are no Jews in Hadad anymore. The last Jew emigrated to Israel in 1965. It strongly affects you if you think of all the jews that were murdered. There is no apology for this crime.
My thoughts are also with those, who had to endure the escape, the expulsion and the deportation or who lost their home, just because of this absurd war.
I think of our deceased fathers, who were also victims of this war. Thereby the world has not become better ( just think of Vietnam, Iraq or Balcan-Srebrenica) !!!
I allow myself in conclusion to quote our former Federal President Richard von Weizensäcker. The quote comes from his speech on the 8th of May in 1985 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of liberation from national socialism:

“The genocide of the Jews… is unprecedented in history. The execution of the crime lay in the hands of only a few. They tried to conceal this crime in front of the public. But every German was able to experience, that Jewish citizens had to suffer, from cold apathy and hidden intolerance, up to open hatred. Who could remain unsuspecting after the burning synagogues, the lootings, and the stigma by the Jewish star, the withdrawal of all rights, and the continual desecration of human dignity? There were many forms to distract the conscience, not to be responsible, to look away, and to keep silent.
When, at the end of the war all the unspeakable truth of the Holocaust came out, all too many of us, relied on not knowing or suspecting anything.
There is no guilt or innocence of an entire nation. … The majority of our population at that time was in childhood or not born yet. They can not admit their own guilt for acts they have not committed. But the ancestors have bequeathed  them a difficult heirship. We are all involved by its consequences and we have come for it in liability. … But he who closes his eyes in front of the past, will be blind to the present. … The Jewish nation remembers, and it will not forget about it..As humans we search for reconciliation.”


Georg Erdei




Last Updated on Sunday, 22 May 2011 08:00