A simple, well-kept Jewish cemetery lies
on the brink of the village, close to residential homes. It is not fenced in so
there is no key necessary to visit it. In front of the cemetery one finds a
small memorial plaque, put up in 1985 despite the objections of the authorities.
The marble plaque of the martyr memorial reads: “In memory of our Jewish
compatriots deported in the Second World War and of the population of
Darnózseli”. Only 15 tombstones have remained to this day.
In the beginning of the 1800s Jews started to settle in Darnózseli or rather
Darnó and Zseli, both communities were only merged in 1934. There were two
families in Darnó and one in Zseli. Their numbers grew but then eventually
stagnated. The chronicles state that in 1983 the following Jewish merchants were
living in the two communities: in Darnó the grocer Salamon Gróf, butcher Miksa
Steiner and shoemaker Miksa Schwarz; in Zseli grocer Miksa Hirschler and
innkeeper and butcher Zsigmond Steinicz. Jews and non-Jews had good relations,
but as early as 1878 the first racism started. Jószef Rehberger reports in a
letter to the senior judge: “On October 3, 1878 i walked to Püski but then
was stopped just outside of Püski by 4-5 people. They might have been working
men. I wanted to avoid them but they blocked my way and one of them asked:
Jewish dog, where are you going? I answered: With what right do you address me
with such a shameful expression? I have never seen you before. The answer was
decisive and frightening: Don’t talk so much! You are in our terrain and we
will beat you to death! They started whispering amongst each other, so I used
the moment and ran.” The insulted man then went to the local administration
but the culprits could not be identified.
In 1882 there was no Jewish cemetery in Darnó as Józsefné Epstein from Püski
still had to be buried in Ráró. The Darnó Jews requested property for a
cemetery in 1883. The local administration handed it to the council of the
comitatus. The people of Darnó argued that: it would advisable to take part of
the communal grazing fields to be the new cemetery. The Israelites lay claim to
an area of 400 square fathoms. The community was willing to sell this property
for 20 Krajczár.
The comitatus council affirmed the decision of the community. The cemetery was
built very quickly and inaugurated in 1884.
In early 1944 there were only 2 Jewish families living in Darnózseli. The
Farkas family consisting of 4, the Hirschler family of 5 people. All of them
fell victim to the Holocaust. The youngest of them was Éva Farkas, deported and
murdered at the age of eight.