Simha Hunwald


Simha Hunwald – Hunwald Sándor
Born in Kolozsvár (Cluj) in 1914
Murdered by the Fascists in January 1945
Member of “Hashomer Hatzair”

Simha was one of the leaders of the movement and among the most daring and talented underground activists. He came from an assimilated and well-to-do Jewish family. His father was a lawyer who died a sudden death in 1918. The family moved to Budapest in 1921 and suffered from poverty. In 1931 Simha joined “Hashomer Hatzair” and in 1936 was a member of the central leadership. The family apartment became one of the centers of the movement’s activities. Simha’s mother helped him by giving assistance to the refugees arriving to Budapest from Slovakia. In April 1942 fifteen activists from the movement were arrested and among them Simha Hunwald. They were imprisoned in the Garany detention camp. Due to his extraordinary organization skills Simha became the camp commander’s chief assistant. Everything that happened inside the camp was his initiative, even the Hungarian soldiers’ holiday roll. Simha made a kitchen garden, organized study courses and obtained permission for relatives to visit the prisoners. Because of an informer the commander of the camp was fired and the inmates were sent to the Ukraine front. From a unit of 243 Jews only five survived, including Simha Hunwald. He studied Russian, helped his fellow Jews a lot and succeeded in winning the trust of the Hungarian commanders who gave him various organizational roles. He even succeeded in sending regards to his family and comrades in Budapest.


In 1944 Simha escaped, walked hundreds of kilometers and managed to reach the Hungarian border where he was caught and returned to Ukraine. He escaped again and this time, in October 1944, he reached Budapest. Simha immediately reported at the “Glass House”. Under the assumed name of Hans Kühne, a clerk at the Swiss legation, he joined the rescue activities with all his energy and skills. On 1.1.1945 Arthur Weiss, owner of the “Glass House” was kidnapped by the fascists from the gate of the house. Simha at once started to look for him. During this operation he was arrested while carrying 500 forged documents. Simha Hunwald was tortured and murdered, probably on 8.1.1945.


מתוך הרגשת חובה עמוקה כלפי וייס, הוא יצא מדי בוקר במשך יומיים, וחזר בערב בידיים ריקות. ביום השלישי לחיפוש יצא בבוקר – ומאז לא נראה יותר. בעת מאסרו היו ברשותו כ-500 תעודות מזויפות.  שמחה הונוואלד עונה ונרצח, ב־8.1.1945. המידע הסופי על מותו נלמד ממסמכים שנתגלו לפני שנים אחדות. ברשימה מודפסת במכונת כתיבה מופיע השם “הנס קונה” ולידו תוספת בכתב יד “הוצא להורג”.