Paul Rosenfeld: the only Jew who returned to Frauenkirchen

Paul Rosenfeld was born in Kapuvàr in Hungary in 1918. He spent his first ten years in Neusiedl am See. There his family ran a mill together with relatives. In 1928 the family moved to Frauenkirchen where they built up a grain trade. After passing the final examination at school he wanted to go on to university, but due to the accidental death of his brother, he remained in the family business.

After the seizure of power by the Nazis in 1938 Paul and his family fled to relatives in Budapest. He wanted to emigrate overseas, but the outbreak of the war destroyed his plans.

In 1944, after the German invasion; Paul`s parents and many other relatives were deported to the concentration camp in Auschwitz and were murdered there.
Paul Rosenfeld himself, like thousands of other Hungarian Jews, was forced to build the “Ostwall“ (“eastwall”) in the area of Deutschkreutz. As the Red Army approached, Paul, and many other forced laborers, were driven to walk the infamous “Todesmarsch“ (“death march”) to Mauthausen. The final chaotic days of war enabled him to survive.

After the war Paul returned to Budapest but after the establishment of the communist dictatorship he and his wife decided to emigrate to Australia in 1949. Before they were about to leave he wanted to visit his former home town, Frauenkirchen, once more. On arrival he made his decision to stay and live. He was the only Jew who returned to Frauenkirchen.

In the following years he built up a successful grain and agricultural products trade and the farmers of the region appreciated him as a business partner.
Paul Rosenfeld died in 2003. With his death the history of the Jewish Community Frauenkirchen, which began in 1678 and was violently destroyed, came to an end.

(© Adrian Ernst/Brettl Herbert)

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