Asher Arányi

ארני אשר

Asher Arányi – Arányi István

Born in Újpest in 1924
Died on 2.2.2003 in Israel
Member of “Dror Habonim”


Asher trained the members of the underground in the use of weapons. He evaded being enlisted into forced labor. He procured forged documents and helped the members of his movement to escape from forced labor camps. He traveled to country towns in order to take Jewish families out of the ghettos before they were deported to extermination camps. He traveled to the border zone in the Carpathian Mountains with a bag full of forged documents in order to try and give them to the Jews being transported on the trains to exterminations camps. However, these Jews refused to run away believing they were being sent to labor camps. Asher smuggled Jews into Romania via the Hungarian border and often went to the border himself. In the border town of Nagyvárad (Oradea) he was arrested by the Gestapo, interrogated for eight days and told he would be executed. However, after a month he was released, he returned to Budapest and started liberating people from forced labor camps.

Arni had contacts with the Swedish Red Cross, the International Red Cross as well as with the parachutists that went on mission to Europe on behalf of the Yishuv in Eretz Israel (Palestine). He took part in building bunkers that were meant to take in underground fighters.

Asher was caught again on 8.12.1944 by Hungarian policemen when he was in possession of a gun. He was interrogated for three days but did not reveal his real identity. He was lucky again and he survived. After the liberation he worked for the aliya of comrades in the movement and children.

When Asher made aliya, he was arrested by the British and held captive in Cyprus for ten months. He was freed on 14.9.1947 and joined Kibbutz Ma’agan. Later he was among the founders of Kibbutz Beit Ha’emek. Asher held various key positions in this kibbutz, in “Hanoar Ha’oved” (Working and Studying Youth Union, the Histadrut youth organization) and was sent to Persia (Iran) by the Jewish Agency on a Zionist mission. He was awarded the Kaplan Prize.

At his death in Kibbutz Beit Ha’emek, he left a widow, three children, thirteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Asher Arányi’s life story published in Hebrew: Ayin Ahat Boha- Ayin Ahat Tzoheket ( One Eye Cries While the Other Laughs by         ‘The Society for the Research of the History of the Zionist Youth Movement in Hungary’. Israel. 2002. And translated to English –

Asher Arányi: One Eye Cries While the Other Laughs. Maarechet Kibbutz Dalia. 2004. Israel.