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Obj. ID: 33331
Jewish Architecture
  Holocaust memorial in Sopron, Hungary, 2004

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Levin, Vladimir, 6.2019

Who is Commemorated?

More than 1,600 Jews deported from Sopron to Auschwitz

Description

The monument is situated on an elongated triangular space in a park across from the former Orthodox synagogue, designed by architect János Schiller (1859–1907)and built in 1990-91. Since the monument was dedicated, a parking lot has been inserted in the park around the space of the monument. As of 2022, it is now surrounded by parked cars.

The sculpture consists of a tall concrete slab set on a concrete base, on which the sculpture has signed his name. The vertical slab represents a wall of a dressing room of the Brikenau gas chamber. On this are “hung” bronze replicas of four jackets with yellow stars attached, awaiting owners who will not return.  Each jacket hangs below an oval plaque with a number: 610, 611, 612, 613. The culmination with the number 613 seems to be a reference to the number of Torah commandments.

Below, on the “floor” are piled bronze replicas of shoes, eyeglasses, and children's toys. Above the hanging clothes bronze letters spell out in Hebrew the Shema prayer, and over this, two more versions of the letters of the prayer rise and separate as they reach the top edge of the vertical “wall” slab, and some letters even extend upward beyond the edge. The repeating Hebrew words of the Shema ascend like flames (or souls). The Shema prayer is also inscribed on the base in Hebrew, Hungarian, and a transliteration.

A low metal fence surrounds the monument. This is fashioned in metal Hebrew letters that spell the prayer/exhortation "May the memory of the righteous be blessed.”

Inscriptions

On the front side of the base:

שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד

In the upper part of the front side:

שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד

610, 611, 612, 613

On the right side of the base:

Halljad, Izrael, 
Örök Istenünk, az Örökkévalo egvetlen! 

On the left side of the base:

Sma Jiszrael
Adonaj Elohénu Adonaj echad

On the back side of the monument:

A 60 éve elhurcolt 1860 soproni zsidó polgár emlékére
Állíttatta
A kultúrális örökség minisztériuma
Dr. Hiller István Miniszter
és
Sopron megyeijigú város önkormányzata
Walter Dezsö Polgármester
2004 július 4.
"Áldott legyen az igazak emleke" 
זכר צדיק לברכה

On the fence, in Hebrew:

זכר צדיק לברכה

Translation: May the memory of the righteous be blessed

Commissioned by

Municipality of Sopron

Jewish Community of Sopron

Summary and Remarks

44 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Holocaust memorial in Sopron | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Date
2004
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Kutas, László
{"2180":"Born 1936 in Budapest"}
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Textual Content
Languages of inscription
Material / Technique
concrete, bronze
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature

On the back side of the base:

Kutas 2004

Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance

There were 1,860 Jews living  in Sopron in 1941 (about 4.4 percent of the total population). There was restrictive legislation, but open persecution of Jews increased greatly after March 1994 when the German Wehrmacht occupied the town. Jewish property was expropriated, the Jewish Community was dissolved, and a Judenrat installed to implement German policies. By May 1944, several ghettos were established in Sopron. On June 29, Hungarian police moved all Jews to an industrial area on the town’s edge from where they were deported on June 5, 1944, with Jews from surrounding areas to Auschwitz-Birkenau where they were murdered.

The monument, dedicated in 2004, represents a piece of the undressing room of the gas chambers at Auschwitz and symbolizes much more.

Samuel Gruber writes:

“Kutas was one of the first artists of memorials to cast bronze sculpture from real objects to evoke things left behind as Jews were deported and murdered. In this case, Kutas casts from real clothes to suggest the garments left by victims in the "showers" of Auschwitz.  Four jackets with yellow stars are hung on hooks awaiting owners who will not return. A pile of shoes and broken children’s dolls lies beneath them. The dolls, some with the heads removed, are meant to be just that – dolls left behind – but more fully are surrogates for the murdered children.”

Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

"Budapest-Sopron Retúr – Beszélgetés Kutas László Szobrászművésszel Életről, Értékről, Éremről," Evangelikus.hu, https://archiv.evangelikus.hu/interju/budapest-sopron-retur-2013-beszelgetes-kutas-laszlo-szobraszmuvesszel-eletrol-ertekrol-eremrol/?searchterm=None (accessed December 4, 2022)

Gruber, Samuel D., “Hungary: Sopron's Holocaust Monument and Memorial Plaques,” Samuel Gruber’s Jewish Art & Monuments, July 16, 2022., https://samgrubersjewishartmonuments.blogspot.com/2022/07/sopron-hungary.html (accessed August 26, 2022)

"Holokauszt-emlékmű," Public Map of Monuments, https://www.kozterkep.hu/7409/holokauszt-emlekmu (accessed August 24, 2022)
Type
Documenter
Vladimir Levin, Ekaterina Oleshkevich | 2019
Author of description
Samuel D. Gruber | 2022
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
Keller Foundation | 2019
Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed: