Hebrew sources relating to the history of Hungary and of Hungarian Jewry

In progress
Project manager:: Géza Komoróczy
Research period:: Continuous

Institue staff: Viktória Bányai, Szonja Komoróczy
External researchers: Shlomo Spitzer


For many decades there has been a need for Jewish Studies researchers in Hungary to explore, elaborate and publish sources in Hebrew relating to the history of Hungary and to the history of Hungarian Jewry. The one-time pioneer of such research – the man who created the “genre” – was Sámuel Kohn, whose source collection (Héber kútforrások és adatok Magyarország történetéhez [Hebrew Sources and Data on Hungary’s History], Budapest, 1881) has been used by multiple generations of historians. Two mutually reinforcing circumstances account for the significance and difficulty of the task: first, the linguistic isolation of the sources, which meant that few Hungarian historical researchers could understand the material in Hebrew. Second, the absence of a detailed classification of the sources; the excavation work has only addressed certain areas. Exploring the sources is the primary task in preparation for the publication of volumes. In this endeavour we make use of the major collections both in Hungary and abroad. We shall first examine the Hebrew-language works of rabbis and other writers in the Kingdom of Hungary during the period and then research the works of foreign rabbis and scholars, looking in particular for data relating to Hungary.