100 Torah Scrolls Looted From Hungary in World War II Discovered in Russia

Judaica Trove Found in Nizhny Novgorod

Lost and Found: 100 Torah scrolls looted during World War II were found in Nizhny Novgorod.
Wikimedia Commons
Lost and Found: 100 Torah scrolls looted during World War II were found in Nizhny Novgorod.

By JTA

Published February 18, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

One hundred Torah scrolls that were looted from Hungary during World War II were discovered in Russia by a chief rabbi of Hungary.

Rabbi Slomo Koves, executive rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation, or EMIH, discovered the scrolls and other pieces of Judaica in the Lenin Library in the town of Nizhniy Novgorod. Hungary’s artifacts, among them the famous Calvinist library of Sarospatak in eastern Hungary, were taken from the country by the Russian army during the war.

EMIH and the Russian authorities are holding talks on how to restore and return the Torah scrolls to the Jewish community, according to a statement issued Tuesday by EMIH.

“It is my conviction that any help we can offer for their return to Hungary, to their rightful owners and to their proper use is not only our task, but also our duty,” Janos Martonyi, Hungary’s minister of foreign affairs, wrote in a letter to Koves.

The rabbi called on the board of trustees of the Jewish Heritage of Hungary Public Endowment, or Mazsok, to participate in the negotiations and called for the support of the international community to allow the Jewish community of Hungary to recover the scrolls.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.