A documentary film by Susanne und Peter Scheiner, 2011. Length: 30 min Languages: German, Slovak, English.
The Jewish community in Komárno (Slovakia) celebrates 220 years – quite an impressive number of years. Many guests from abroad have come to Komàrno to celebrate this anniversary. The city’s major is present and the few members of the community who are still left. Even though many religious communities in Europe suffer from a loss of members, this case is by far severe. In 1940, 2743 Jews used to live in Komárno. Only 248 survived the Holocaust. Today, the local Jewish community counts only 45 members. Two brothers, Tamas and Andras Paszternak, 30 years old, decided as teenagers to revive the Jewish community. They started to organise prayers and cultural events and founded a community newsletter. The film highlights the brothers’ local engagement. It also follows those people who have left Komárno but still come back for each year’s Holocaust memorial day. The history of the Jewisch community in Komárno goes back to the 13th century and is a core theme of the film – in conversations with Jewish and non-Jewish people of Komárno, in the speeches for Holocaust memorial day and in face of persistent, even growing antisemitism. Still, there is hope: The community centre and the small, beautiful synagoge have been renovated with the help of both private donations and public funds. A significant part of these donations came from Switzerland – provided by people who were born in Komárno and by their friends and families in Switzerland.
Ingrid M. (October 2013) (jpg)