Verschleppung 1944 [Abduction 1944]

According to a detailed census, some 15,102 Jews lived in Bratislava in December 1940. The Slovak state that existed during World War II was a loyal ally of Nazi Germany and adopted harsh anti-Jewish legislation that effectively stripped Jews of their basic civil and human rights, excluded them from jobs, Aryanized their businesses, and stole their homes and properties. In 1942, after looting them of everything, the Slovak authorities deported most of the country’s Jews to death camps. The Jews of Bratislava and its surrounding region were first sent to the Patrónka compound, which served as one of seven Slovak assembly camps for transports. The first transport from Bratislava left on March 27, 1942 – it consisted of one thousand single women, who were deported to Auschwitz. By October 1942, around fifty-nine thousand Slovak Jews had been deported from Slovakia. The deportations were suspended in 1943, but were resumed again in October 1944 after the Germans suppressed the Slovak National Uprising against the Nazis. Many Bratislava Jews were rounded up for deportation during the “big catch” night, September 28, 1944. 11,719 Slovak Jews were concentrated in the Sereď camp, and most of them were deported. One of these was the artist Adolf Frankl (1903-1983). He survived the Auschwitz camp and after the war used his memories of the Holocaust as the basis for his cycle of paintings called Visions from the Inferno – Art against Oblivion. Frankl settled in Vienna after the war, but he often returned to the Czechoslovak border to observe the silhouette of Bratislava with its Castle and Cathedral that appear in his artworks as symbols of pain and tragic memories. [MB]

Adolf Frankl, undated, oil on canvas
Height: 56 cm, width: 50 cm
Donated by Thomas Frankl and family
ŽM-D 1612 B-57

View Frankl House

NIŽŇANSKÝ, Eduard: Židia v Bratislave 1918 – 1948. In: NIŽŇANSKÝ, Eduard –BÚTORA, Ivan et al.: Stratené mesto. Bratislava – Pozsony – Pressburg. Bratislava 2011, pp. 227-250.

LÁRIŠOVÁ, Petra: Židovská komunita v Bratislave v roku 1940. Bratislava 2000.