Ernest Galpert -- Growing Up Religious

The story of a Hasidic childhood in one of the centers of Orthodox and Hasidic Judaism of Central Europe. Mukacevo (as it's called in Czech, or Munkacs in Hungarian) is a town that was in five countries between 1918 and 1991: the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, interwar Czechoslovakia, wartime Hungary, the Soviet Union and today, Ukraine. Mukacevo had a majority Jewish population (before it was wiped out during the Holocaust); its great rabbinical courts feuded constantly with each other.
Ernest Galpert, born in 1923, spent his childhood mornings in a religious school and his afternoons in a secular Czech school. His father had a grocery store and the family spoke Yiddish at home. During the war, Ernst was taken into forced labor brigades while his parents and sisters were deported to Auschwitz. Only his sisters returned and left for Israel soon after.

Ernest remained, hoping his sweetheart Tilda would return from the camps. She did - they married and raised two sons in Mukacevo, then in the Soviet Union. When Communism fell in 1991, one of Ernest's sons left for Israel while Ernest and his other son began helping run the Jewish community.

Study Guides


Ernest Galpert grew up in Munkács, a town in the Carpathian Mountains that, over the course of the twentieth century, belonged to five different countries. When Ernest was born, Munkács was under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as a part of Hungary. At the end of the First World War, the Treaty of Triannon stripped Hungary of some of its territory.


Munkács was one of the largest Jewish communities in Czechoslovakia, Jews comprising 42.7% of its population. Living in a rural area, most Jews in Subcarthanian Rus were employed in manual or agarian labour, and Munkács was, as a result, a very poor area.


The Second World War began in September 1939, when the German army invaded and occupied Poland. France and Britain, Poland's allies, responded by declaring war on Germany. Large numbers of Polish refugees escaped to Romania, many going on to the West, where the Free Polish Forces were formed to fight against the Axis Alliance. Of the Polish pilots who escaped to Britain, many joined the RAF, where they comprised a significant portion of the flying forces.

Lesson plans for this film

10 results
For grades Documents

Ernst Galpert: Foundations of Halacha and Aggada


In this lesson about "The Foundations of Halacha and Aggada", students will engage in a unit exploring various definitions of Jewish community. They will study both classical (Biblical and...


Analyzing a Centropa Film

other projects

Teachers use this activity for any project where students are asked to create a story on film or another visual presentation (Prezi, PowerPoint), including the Virtual Walking Tour project (students...


Zsidók Magyarországon a 20. században


Az óraterv öt népszerű Centropa-fim - Bevezetés a 20. századi magyar zsidóság történetébe, Braun Miklós: Egy esküvői kép, Kinszki Judit: Szerelem papírrepülőn, Koltai Panni: 3 generáció, 6 esküvő, Galpert Ernő...

11, 12

Centropa Biography Film/Stolpersteine Assignment

History, other projects
In this project, students work in pairs to read Centropa biographies, create a 5 minute video about the interviewee, and design a Stolpersteine (commemorative stone) for them.
6, 7, 8, 9

Egyediség és hasonlóság - a magyar zsidóság története a 20. században


Az órák célja a 20. századi magyar zsidóság történetének áttekintése családtörténeteken keresztül. Fő célom az volt, hogy a tanulók megismerjék a magyarországi zsidóság mindennapjait, lássák, hogy teljesen különböző családi, társadalmi...


Vallásos családban nőttem fel

osztályfőnöki óra, other projects, History

Osztályfönöki óra vagy emléknapi megemlékezés. A két film (Koltai Panni és Galpert Ernő) alapján különböző tematikák feldolgozása (pl. továbblépés egy nehéz helyzet után / haláleset / személyes katasztrófák / tradíciók...

8, 9, 10, 11

Vallásos családban nőttem fel

etika, hit- és erkölcstan, judaisztika, Literature

Komplex duplaóra (történelem, etika, hit- és erkölcstan, irodalom, judaisztika), amely bemutatja a közép-európai zsidóság 20. századi történetét. A feldolgozás irodalmi művek, fényképek és filmek segítségével történik. A foglalkozás fókuszában elsősorban...

11, 12

Choosing to be Jewish Family Education Program

etika, hit- és erkölcstan

During this session families will learn the stories of several individuals who survived the Holocaust and then stayed in Europe after the war. They saw the destruction of the societies...


Using the Lion and the Galpert film


A zsidó temető megismerése

Feladatbank, Óraterv
Civic activism, History

Az óra középpontjában a magyarországi zsidóság története áll a 20. század első felében. A cél a zsidóság történetének áttekintése az egyéni életutakon keresztül, ezzel is hozzájárulva a diákok érzékenyítéséhez a...