Almost every second victim was Jewish
Oszkár Papp, president of Győri AC, recently told the online version of the Győr daily Kisalföld (1):
“I believe that without an appreciation of the past, sports cannot have a future. Rowers have always followed this ars poetica …
… rowing in Győr is now 145 years old, /our club/ is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, still active in the country …”
“Few people know … that behind the swimming pool there is a stone memorial erected by our ancestors to the rowers who died heroically in the First World War. I don’t really know its history … In 2018 and this year … we commemorated the athletes who died more than a hundred years ago,” said Oszkár Papp, who would like to organise a meeting for the living family members of the rowers who died in the war.
“We are probably talking about grandchildren and great-grandchildren who might like to get to know each other and the past of rowing in Győr, as this is what their families have in common. … a meeting like this … would be a decent way to remember those who have been part of our club’s glorious past,” said the club president.
The names on the sports club’s memorial are: foreman Dr. József Kellner, foreman László Szőgyi, secretary dr. Rezső Reichenfeld, Gyula Csillag, János Czigler, Gyula Gold, János Gunyhó, Antal Gyulai, Lajos Harmat, Dezső Haut, Lajos Holló, Elek Karsay, Imre Keszey, Lőrincz Meixner, Antal Németh, Nándor Rosenkrantz, Emil Róth, dr. Imre Sághy, Lipót Schnabel, József Szaltzer, Tádé Turcsek, Róbert Wottitz.
Relatives can contact the club on its Facebook page (Győri Atlétikai Club – Rowing Department) or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So far, the news from Kisalföld newspaper.
I look at the sad memorial of the Győr Atlétikai Club and the names listed on it.
I am involuntarily reminded of the imposing memorial wall at the entrance to the Győr Synagogue, also erected to remember the First World War, and the list of the names engraved on it of the nearly ninety Jewish soldiers who died in the same war.
Since I think there is a similarity between the names engraved on one monument and the other, I have a more thorough look at the two lists.
My intuition has been confirmed. Many of the names on the memorial of the sports club can also be found on the World War I memorial in the Győr synagogue: Dr. József Kellner, László Szőgyi, Gyula Csillag, Gyula Gold, Antal Gyulai, Lajos Harmat, Nándor Rosenkrantz and Róbert Wottitz. József Szaltzer, another heroic rower, probably corresponds to József Saltzer on the synagogue memorial.
Thus, among the 22 Győr AC soldiers killed, nine were of Jewish origin. Forty percent, almost every second victim.
Seeing this, I wrote to the president of Győri AC, indicating my “discovery” and mentioning the 2024 World Meeting in Győr of descendants of holocaust survivors, which could help to discover the family background of the former rowers, as initiated by the sports club.
I wrote to the club two weeks ago, still waiting for a reply… Should I write again? Or should I not embarrass anyone? I will be back with more news if ever I have the answer.
- Kisalföld daily, Győr
- Dr Kovács Pál Library: József Glück photo collection