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Black robe used by a Hungarian rabbi for everyday services

Object | Accession Number: 1990.245.15 a-b

Black robe for everyday religious services, brought by Rabbi Ferenc Hevesi from Budapest, Hungary, to New York City in the fall of 1946. Ferenc joined the Dohany Street synagogue as a rabbi when he moved with his wife, Magda, and daughter, Eva, to Budapest in 1930. When his father, Rabbi Simon Hevesi, died in 1943, Ferenc succeeded him as co-chief rabbi of Hungary. Hungary was allied with Germany, but when the Hungarian government began seeking a ceasefire with the Allies, the German army occupied Hungary on March 19, 1944. Afterward, Ferenc and his family were forced out of their apartment into one shared with other families. A curfew was imposed on Jews and Ferenc could only hold services at the synagogue if it did not conflict with the curfew. As chief rabbi, Ferenc was constantly harassed by the Germans, and pressured to become part of the Judenrat, which he refused. When the radically antisemitic, German-backed Arrow Cross Party took control of the government on October 15, Ferenc and his family went into hiding. The section of the city they were in was liberated by the Soviet army on January 16, 1945. Ferenc became a chaplain for the Hungarian army, and returned to his former rabbinical duties. In the fall of 1946, Ferenc traveled to England and the United States, where he Anglicized his name to Francis. He gave speeches on behalf of the Hungarian Jewry, and presided over his daughter’s religious wedding ceremony in New York City. They stayed in the US, where Francis became rabbi for a succession of congregations in Georgia and Hawaii.

use:  1922-1952
use: Budapest (Hungary)
use: New York (N.Y.)
use: Honolulu (Hawaii)
Clothing and Dress
Men's clothing
Object Type
Robes (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Eva Ehrlich
Record last modified: 2023-05-16 13:37:33
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