Jozsef Faludi -- An Orthodox Childhood

Jozsef, who attended both a religious and a secular school as a child, paints for us a picture of growing up in the bustling, small Jewish community of the small Hungarian town of Kiskoros. His father, an orthodox Jew, served in the First World War and had a small leather goods shop.

Jozsef attended yeshiva, and in 1939 emigrated to Palestine, where he worked in a dressmaker's shop in Tel Aviv . Jozsef left his orthodoxy behind and married a Yemini woman, Zarum Mazal, who he met through the Communist party. His family, who remained in Hungary, were all killed during the Holocaust.

Jozsef and Zarum retumed to Hungary in 1948 and changed their name from Fogler to Faludi (more Hungarian sounding). They had three sons. Although not in the film, Jozsef did not pass on Jewish traditions to his sons; none married Jews.

Jozsef joined the Communist Party in 1949, which helped him find a job as a manual laborer. Jozsef never returned to Judaism, but gives private Hebrew and Yiddish lessons at home.

Study Guides

KISKOROS AND PREWAR HUNGARY

Jozsef and his family lived in the small town of Kiskőrös: find it on a map of Hungary here. Having been populated since the Stone Age, Kiskőrös has a long history and rich archaeological legacy, with the remains of five villages and seven cemetaries having been discovered there.

JEWISH LIFE IN HUNGARY

Kiskőrös has had a Jewish community since the 1700s. As the only Orthodox community among a number of Neolog towns, its population rose steadily until the 1930s. Read more about the history of Jewish Kiskőrös here

WWII

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.

PALESTINE/ISRAEL

Jozsef moved to Palestine in 1939. Then under British mandate, the number of people allowed to immigrate to Palestine each year was restricted so to preserve positive British-Arab relations. However with the increasing anti-Semitism in Europe, large numbers of refugees who were unable to access official channels began to enter Palestine illegally.

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