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Crowd Funding Project
Creation and Installation of a memorial tablet for the Hungarian-Jewish Forced Laborers at Restaurant Leberfinger, Bratislava

Bank account of the Austrian Research Agency for Postwar Justice:
IBAN: AT43 1200 0502 8700 4500
BIC: BKAUATWW

In Bratislava-Petrzalka, the Nazis established a camp for Hungarian-Jewish forced laborers, which existed from December 1944 to March 1945. Approximately 2000 exclusively male prisoners carried out slave labor in the building of the so-called Southeast Wall – a militarily senseless undertaking that cost many lives in order to hold back the encroaching Red Army from their westward advance. The Jews were housed in old barracks, farmyards, barns, stalls, and cellars in direct contact with local residents, and even partly in some of their houses. The camp in Engerau – as the town on the Danube was called at the time – consisted of several camp parts. The work crew areas were located in the German – Hungarian – Slovak border area of the time. The Hungarian Jews were housed under horrible sanitary conditions. They were guarded by SA (Sturmabteilung / Storm Detachment), men and by so-called “political leaders”, who for the most part were Viennese. By the time the camp was evacuated in the direction of concentration camp Mauthausen on March 29, 1945, about one fourth of the Hungarian Jews were dead: from starvation and cold; shot; beaten to death; and tortured by guards.
In the building adjoining Restaurant Leberfinger on Viedenska cesta in Bratislava, directly on the Danube promenade, was one of the parts of Camp Engerau. The Jews were housed in a former horse stall. The former prisoner Ernoe Honig described the conditions there:

“We slept there […] in a stall with a concrete floor without any groundcover and without heating, so that when we left Engerau only a few were still alive. The others were in part beaten to death during work; in part died from exhaustion; or from the result of severe freezing. It was forbidden for us to wash, and as a result we were covered with lice and furuncles and other wounds.”

In the course of the evacuation of Camp Engerau a “special commando” made up of members of the camp guards liquidated at least 13 prisoners at the camp part Leberfinger.

On March 29 2017, a commemoration tablet was unveiled. The owner of the restaurant indicated his willingness to permit the installation of the memorial tablet. It is created by the Slovak artist Vladimir Chovan (Atelier 007, Delena 7, Bratislava 841 07). The memorial is meant to commemorate not only those Jews slaughtered on March 29, but rather all the victims of Camp Engerau.

The text is as follows:

During the National Socialist tyranny there was a camp for Hungarian-Jewish forced laborers at Petrzalka (Engerau, Pozsonyligetfalu) from November 1944 to March 1945 for trench digging on the “Southeast Wall” (Südostwall). Approximately 2000 Hungarian Jews were forcibly housed in several camp sites under inhuman conditions. One of the sites was located in a building adjacent to the Restaurant Leberfinger of that time. In the course of the evacuation of the prisoners to the concentration camp at Mauthausen on March 29, 1945 at least 13 prisoners were brutally murdered by Viennese SA men.

Honor their memory!

To the 460 dead from Camp Engerau, among whom more than 100 were victims of the forced march, exhumed by a Slovak investigative commission in 1945, are a marker at the cemetery of Petrzalka, as well as commemorative stones in Wolfsthal and Bad Deutsch-Altenburg.

We forget neither the suffering of the victims nor the crimes of the perpetrators.
Never again!

Initiative: Austrian Research Agency for Postwar Justice

The text of the memorial tablet appears in Slovak, Hungarian, German, and Hebrew.

The project is supported by the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism and the Austrian ministry of Justice. However that support does not cover the installation of the memorial tablet nor translation and various production costs. We have therefore established a crowd funding project to finance this important project. The aim is to address Austrian and Slovak civil society toward the formation of a transnational memorial space. One can purchase a symbolic building block for the sum of 10, 50, or 100 Euros. Other amounts are of course also possible.

  • For a building block of 10 Euros: DVD „Reenactment of the first Engerau trail at the Vienna State Court“ (further information at http://www.nachkriegsjustiz.at/aktu­el­les/Enge­rau_DVD_2016.php).
  • For a building block of 50 Euros: the catalogue „Engerau: The Forgotten Story of Petržalka“ (http://www.engerau.info/catalogue/).
  • For a building block of 100 Euros: the DVD „Reenactment of the first Engerau trail at the Vienna State Court“ and the publication „Engerau: The Forgotten Story of Petržalka“.
  • Donors who give more than 200 Euros receive in addition the book: Kuretsidis-Haider, Claudia: „Das Volk sitzt zu Gericht“. Österreichische Justiz und NS-Verbrechen am Beispiel der Engerau-Prozesse 1945 – 1954 (Österreichische Justizgeschichte 2), Wien-Innsbruck-Bozen 2006.

Bank account of the Austrian Research Agency for Postwar Justice:
IBAN: AT43 1200 0502 8700 4500
BIC: BKAUATWW