The barely one thousand square meter garden next to the Dohány Street synagogue, enclosed by a row of arcades, is a symbolic place in the history of the Hungarian Jewry. The site became a public space at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when the house next to the synagogue was demolished during the re-planning of the city. Since the Pest Jewish Community laid claim to the plot, they gave up in exchange for it a plot five times as big in the centre of the city, on which the Lipótváros synagogue would have been built. The development of the plot only started after World War I, when the Heroes synagogue, intended as a memorial to Jewish soldiers, the cultural centre and the park were built. The whole site was surrounded by a row of arcades, so that the Jewish communal spaces would be open and visible. There was a plan to put up quotes from the bible, on brotherly love and honouring one’s neighbour, on the arcades, but in the end this was not carried out. An oriental pool was envisaged for the centre of the park, in which the sky would be reflected. At the end of World War II, the buildings and the garden became part of the Budapest ghetto, where tens of thousands of people were crowded together in inhuman conditions. When the ghetto was liberated, the bodies of thousands of Jews who had frozen or starved to death, or died as a result of the siege and the brutality of the Arrow Cross, were found in the streets. More than two thousand of these were buried in the garden. Unknown, unidentifiable corpses and many who are still mourned to this day. The park with the pool became a graveyard, a memorial to an era when all human feeling was lost.
Database of those who are buried here available here.
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