Komárno, Menház

Today the center of Jewish religious and cultural life in Komárno, the Menház (former Jewish poorhouse) compound, built in 1896, comprises the former Jewish old-age home and its synagogue. A single-story, L-shaped, neo-Gothic complex with unplastered brick façades, the Menház stands at the intersection of two streets, with its main entrance on the corner. The synagogue is located at the northern rear side of the complex and has a charming Gothic interior that retains its original furniture and highly decorative cast-iron tie bars. A Holocaust monument with a memorial book honoring victims from Komárno stands at the northern wall. The sanctuary recently underwent a full restoration. A few years ago, the municipality mounted two black Holocaust memorial plaques on the synagogue façade. Visitors should not miss the Micromuseum of Ármin Schnitzer, a small permanent exhibition dedicated to heritage of the local Jewish community. Presenting the Jewish home, holidays and synagogue, as well as commemorating Holocaust victims and telling family stories, this museum as an integral part of community affairs. The neo-Gothic house synagogue is still in use and can be also visited.

The modern Jewish settlement in Komárno began in the eighteenth century. In the space of 50 years the number of Jews almost tripled, from 849 (1850) to 2,296 (1900). After the 1868-1869 Pest Congress, the Komárno community joined the Neolog movement; a separate Orthodox community was established in 1880. The two communities used the same cemetery, which was split into two sections. Three former synagogues still stand today; the former Orthodox synagogue was integrated into the complex of a (non-Jewish) old age home. The Neolog Temple is used as a sports club. The oldest synagogue has been restored at Europe Square in the town center. In 1941 there were 2,734 Jews in Komárno. They were deported to Auschwitz in 1944; only 248 survived. There is still an active Jewish community in the town, however. It serves today as an important cross-border center of Jewish religious and cultural life.


Eötvösa 15