Kolozsvár Ghetto

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Iris brickyard, the site of the ghetto (May 2007)

Coordinates: 46°47′45.47″N 23°36′57.86″E / 46.7959639°N 23.6160722°E / 46.7959639; 23.6160722 The Kolozsvár Ghetto was one of the lesser-known Jewish ghettos of the World War II era. The ghetto was located in the city of Kolozsvár, then Kingdom of Hungary (now Cluj-Napoca, Romania). Between the signing of the Treaty of Trianon in 1920 and the Second Vienna Award in 1940, Cluj was a part of "Greater Romania". In 1947, the Paris Peace Treaties gave back Northern Transylvania (including Cluj) to Romania.


On 3 May 1944, the ghettoization of Kolozsvár Jews began, and was completed within one week. This was less than two months after the Germans invaded Hungary on 19 March, which placed Hungary under a puppet government - the Government of National Unity.

The Jews were concentrated in the Iris brickyard, in the northern part of the city. This area consisted mostly of shacks used for drying bricks and tiles. The ghetto had practically no facilities for the approximately eighteen thousand Jews who were assembled there from Koozsvár and the surrounding Kolozs County. The concentration of the Jews has been carried out by the local administrative and police authorities with the cooperation of German 'Protective Squadron' (Schutzstaffel) advisers, including SS-Captain (SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer) Dieter Wisliceny. The ghetto was under the command of László Urbán, the local police chief of Cluj. The ghetto's internal administration was entrusted to a Jewish Council (Judenrat). Members of this council included Fischer (as head), Rabbi Akiba Glasner, Rabbi Mozes Weinberger, and Ernő Márton. As in all other ghettos in Hungary, the local brickyard also had a "mint," a special building where the police tortured Jews into revealing where they had hidden their valuables.

The Cluj (Kolozsvár) Ghetto was liquidated in six transports to Auschwitz (now Oświęcim, Poland), with the first deportation occurring on 25 May, and the last on 9 June.

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