The opening ceremony for the demonstration “Aron Grünhut- Savior of Hebrews and Human Rights Fighters” took place at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Dublin on June 5, 2019. The Great Slovak Delegation Igor Pokojný opened the activity, Tomi Reichental, one of the 3 Holocaust victims who lived in Ireland who faced the horror of the Bergen-Belsen Focus barracks, and Joe Veselský, whose family died in the Fokus barracks and who actively participated in the anti-fascist Slovak resistance, as well as the curator of the Martin Mozer demonstration. Aaron Grünhut’s unusual life story drew attendees, including large delegates, the diplomatic corps, representatives of the Irish Hebrew community and indigenous communities. The demonstration was held in a chart commemorating the 80th anniversary of the excellent transfer of shipping with many Hebrews being saved.
The recreational demonstration dedicated to Aron Grünhut (1895- 1974) introduces an unknown Hebrew saviour. Grünhut originated from Bratislava (also Pressburg, Pozsony). During World War II it protected more than 1,300 people’s lives. However, his name was left to reflect the effects of totalitarian rule. It was Grünhut who in 1939 arranged the transport of underhand ships to Palestine. Grünhut again sent 10 Hebrew children to England where they were safe from the war. At the worst of times, he negotiated with the Nazis to end the repatriation of Slovak Hebrews. To escape the retribution of the prison, Grünhut fled to Budapest. His life was helped by a brave fire who hid him in the remaining building of the Czechoslovak Embassy, which was inhabited by the Nazis at that time. After the war, Grünhut emigrated to Israel and became a custodian of the traditional Hebrew heritage. Because of his heroic deeds, he can no doubt be compared to famous figures such as Oskar Schindler or Nicholas Winton.
“He Reported Failure to Make Maintenance, NOT A SUPERVISION IN Experiencing a BIG Overnight”
An exciting and moving demonstration arrived at the Northwood Pinner Free Synagogue weeks later to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day. Aron Grünhut: Savior of the Hebrews and Defender of Human Rights describes a remarkable, and hitherto unknown, story of this Slovak Hebrew who successfully used his business intellect, significant effect, and sheer chutzpa to negotiate with the Nazis to allow more than 1. 300 Slovaks and Austrian Hebrews to flee to convenient places, including Palestine and – in the case of 10 children, served similarly to Sir Nicholas Winton – British. The direction to Palestine by boat linked the threat of negotiating rivers in Europe and towards the end of the war, Grünhut’s success was almost over, his life was only saved by the courage of a Slovak firefighter who hid him.
In this podcast, which begins with an excerpt from the lecture of the Great Delegation of Slovakia, Lubomir Rehak, Judi Herman has a dialogue with the Great Delegation of Rehak, Nick Winton – son of Sir Nicholas – and Delegation of Israel’s Great Delegation Sharon Bar-Li, about this extraordinary man and his story. Herman is the body of the NPLS, a congregation that has close ties to Slovakia and the Czech Republic as the twisted guardians of the Torah of some of the Hebrew community in countries that are not safe from the Shoah.
A poster on the Heydukova Line in Bratislava records the remains of the home of Aron Grünhut (1895- 1974), who took part in the heroic security during the Holocaust (Image: Patrick Comerford, 2019)
Throughout the month’s later visit to Bratislava, the two of us waited more than half an hour to order a tutor who didn’t show up. In conclusion, we undertake our impromptu recreation in Hebrew Bratislava, visiting essential sites that are linked to the narrative of the Hebrew community in the Slovak city mother.
The sites we visit are listed as a zone that used to be a medio-era Hebrew ghetto, the web of the very early synagogue in today’s Ursuline Church, the Chatam Sofer Memorial to commemorate Allah a trendy city, the network of the remnants of the Synagogue of Neolog, the Holocaust Memorial on Rybné Square, the last synagogue a vibrant town on the Heydukova Line, as well as the Museum of Hebrew Culture on the JalurŽidovská.
When I study my portraits from Bratislava in the last few days, I find out that I have also created many other narratives from the Hebrew community of Bratislava, including an earth chess grandmaster and author, a vanishing gate from a medieval synagogue, an antique novelist, a wrestler. Global, a visiting Russian pianist and composer, and a man who dares to fight anti-Semitic gangs.
From describing these hidden stories in detail in one or two web posts, I decided – like my recent story about many Viennese Hebrews – to post occasional web posts throughout the next few weeks that rethink some of these stories, commemorating adat and a community whose story cannot be tolerated.
Across the synagogue on the Heydukova Line, a secret poster in Slovak, with two graphs in Hebrew, to commemorate Aron Grünhut (1895-1974), an entrepreneur and mobilizer of the Kolot community who is obliged to be celebrated for his many heroic and human acts during the disaster.
Aron Grünhut was born in Bratislava, after which it became known as Pressburg, on the date of March 31, 1895, one of 8 families in the pious Hebrew Kolot family. His father, Viliam Grünhut, is a hotel owner whose family started from Velky Meder, currently in the energy west of Slovakia; his mother, Fani (Weisz), came from a landowner family next door to Dunajska Streda.
Viliam Grünhut died when the latest Aron was 11 years old, and his child was raised by their mother, Fani, who opened a restaurant on the Zámocká Line in Bratislava.
During World War I, Aron Grünhut worked as a hospital nurse in the Austro-Hungarian force. After the war, he married Etel Wosner from many Hebrew families from Dunajská Streda in 1919. They are the age of 5 sons: Otto, Leo, Joseph (Akiva), Benjamin and William. The family settled on the Ventúrska Line in Bratislava and thereafter transferred to the Heydukova Line, across the line from the synagogue.
In the interwar years, Grünhut ran a fine dining business, exported foie gras to Strasbourg, sold French pastries and ran Hebrew shops. It is the body of the city’s Chamber of Business and Factory and is active in the life of the Old Hebrew community. He chairs the Chevra Kadish funeral society and is the body of the most recent Hebrew Hospital set up in JalurŠulekova as well as part of the body of goodness.
Grünhut’s business needs linked the expedition to all of Europe, and he saw the change in the political landscape in Europe with the rise of Hitler, knowing the horror of the Nazi awakening to the Hebrew community.
After the Austrian Anschluss, Grünhut protected 28 bodies of the Hebrew refugee group from Frauenkirchen in Burgenland in eastern Austria. They were arrested when they fled via Hungary. Grünhut avoided demanding their return to Austria and arranged their transfer through the Danube and their settlement in Slovakia.
Grünhut also took part in protecting a group of Hebrew refugees from Kittsee in eastern Austria, on the outskirts of Slovakia. When they fled through the Danube, they became isolated on the island of Sihoť. Grünhut was a key figure in the security operations which took place for several months when hundreds of refugees were pressed to settle on the ship in Bengawan Donau. He laid down expedition deeds that would allow them all to carry out expeditions in a legal manner.
At the same time, Grünhut made a camp tent for some of the incense of vagabond Hebrews who had gathered near Dunajská Streda and arranged for them to carry out an expedition to Palestine.
A great individual risk, Grünhut left for Vienna in October 1938 to protect Juda Goldberger, a fashion merchant who was kidnapped from Bratislava on the orders of the Gestapo and detained in Austria. Grünhut then helped Goldberger and his family escape to the United States.
When Grünhut learned about Kindertransports to England, organized by Sir Nicholas Winton in Prague, he arranged for a group of Hebrew children to carry out an expedition from Bratislava. Ten boys, including son Benny, were granted expedition certificates, and they all reached London in June 1939.
Years after that, it was discovered that the boys who were rescued by Grünhut included Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss, the Chief Rabbi of the front era of the ultra-Orthodox Edah HaChareidis community in Jerusalem, Rabbi Kurt Stern MBE of Stamford Hill, London, and journalist Paul Kohn.
Grünhut’s most daring safeguard operation was in July 1939, when he was trying to protect as large a Hebrew as possible in Palestine. He chartered two elegant Danube steamers, the wife of King Elizabeth and Tsar Dusan, who sailed from Bratislava with 1,365 refugees from Slovakia, Austria, Bohemia and Moravia.
The voyage was originally thought to take six days but was delayed by the Bulgarian and British sovereigns and the refugees spent more than four weeks in global waters on the Danube. Through the Grünhut negotiations, they were allowed to penetrate the Sulina wharf in Romania by transferring to the freighter Noemi Julia, and after 83 days onboard, they reached the Haifa wharf in Palestine which was mandated by the British.
At first, Grünhut denied leaving Bratislava at the outbreak of World War II. He served in the Hebrew Center and was active in the Hebrew resistance until his imprisonment at the end of 1942. The party had the right to run aground on conviction of any wrongdoing, and he was held like a political prisoner in Ilava for several months until friends and family secured him. He was launched in May 1943.
Meanwhile, Etel Grünhut and their son went to Hungary. After being released, he explored them there, and they settled in Budapest with proof of being illegal and hiding in the rest of the Czechoslovak embassy.
Towards the end of World War II, Grünhut returned to Bratislava on May 10, 1945. There, in his own words, he was surprised to create streets without the Hebrews, being looted.