Obj. ID: 17329
Jewish Funerary Art Holocaust memorial in the Jewish cemetery in Čakovec, Croatia, 1948
To the main object: Jewish cemetery in Čakovec, Croatia
No official name
Who is Commemorated?
Jews from Čakovec murdered in Auschwitz
The monument is situated near the entrance to the cemetery, on the southern side of the entrance plaza. It occupies the plot of a prominent family grave adjacent to two additional prominent family graves, which consist of a wall and a roof supported by two columns.
The monument consists of a clay statue on a pedestal. The statue presents a medieval executioner ("a Nazi hangman," according to Etz-Haim, p. 164) with a knife in his right hand. With his left hand, he holds the hand of a naked woman, kneeling at his feet, who holds a baby in her other hand. The base of the statue features a scratched date: 21.V.1944 – the day when the Čakovec Jews deported to Auschwitz were murdered there (Etz-Haim, p. 135).
A marble plaque on the monument’s pedestal features a dedicatory inscription in Croatian, preceded by the Hebrew abbreviation פ"נ (here is buried), though nobody is buried under the monument (Etz-Haim, p. 164).
On the base of the statue:
On the pedestal:
1941 – 1945
Translation: Here is buried. In memory of our dear deceased, 1941 - 1945.
The Jewish Community of Čakovec
Čakovec was annexed by Hungary in 1941, meaning the fate of Čakovec Jews differed from that of other Jews in Croatia.
On April 26, 1944, all Čakovec Jews were concentrated in the synagogue, and on April 29 they were deported to the ghetto in Nagykanizca. From there Čakovec Jews were deported to Auschwitz where most of them were murdered on May 21, 1944.
83 Jews returned to Čakovec in 1945. According to Etz-Haim (p. 161), the revived community put the cemetery back in orders and reburied the remains of those whose graves were desecrated in a common grave. Two expeditions of the CJA did not locate this grave so it probably was not marked.
A monument to the perished Jews was unveiled on May 21, 1948, the fourth anniversary of their murder, in the presence of Čakovec Jews, representatives of the government and the army, the Federation of Jewish Communities in Yugoslavia, the Jewish community of Zagreb, other neighboring communities, and the sculptor (Etz-Haim, pp. 162-164).
Etz-Haim (Grünwald), Moshe (Tibor), Megilat ha-shoah shel kehilat kodesh Chakovetz h.y.d: Čakovec - Jugoslavija, 1944 (Tel Aviv: By the author, 1977)