The town of Beltinci used to be the feudal, and later the economic and cultural centre of the lower part of the Prekmurje region. The town is built along the Črnc stream and it is surrounded by sandbanks.
The Beltinci castle towers over a large parc. The castle was damaged by Kruci in 1708. The architecture of the town has been significantly marked by the counts that inhabited the castle. The last known countess Marija Zichy (died in 1977) is still remembered by the older inhabitants of Beltinci. Her father's family maintained friendly relations with Jews from Beltinci.
In Beltinci, the Jewish population increased parallel with that in Lendava, but less data is available on Jews from Beltinci. Part of today's Panonska street was predominantly inhabited by Jews. Two Jewish cemeteries are known - the old and the new. In 1970s the inhabitants of Beltinci had all the Jewish tombstones removed and transformed the new cemetery into meadows. The old one had been abandoned long ago, before the First World War. The memorial plaque commemorating those who are buried at the cemetery in Beltinci is now at the cemetery in Dolga vas, near Lendava. The synagogue in Beltinci was built around 1860, at the time when the Israelite community, as it was then called, seceded from the Lendava community. In need of renovation in a town where Jews were rare and there was no rabbi, the synagogue was destroyed in 1937. The last rabbi in Beltinci was Adolf Kaufman and his descendants today live in Hungary and in the United States. At its peak, the Israelite community of Beltinci was a large community comprising the villages of Bogojina, Dokležovje, Dobrovnik, Odranci, Ižakovci, Melinci, Lipa, Gančani, Bratonci, Lipovci, obe Polani, Turnišče, Renkovci, Hotiza, and all villages of the lower part of Prekmuje. After 1880 almost every single one of these villages had a Jewish cemetery. Most Jews left Beltinci after the revolution of 1918, which was accompanied by plunders of the castle as well as their shops. The Jewish community of Beltinci boasted an important number of intellectuals and physicians. On 26 April 1944 the Jews of Beltinci and its surroundings were gathered at the old elementary school where they were kept until the next day when they were transported to Auschwitz wherefrom no one returned.
Author: Bojan Zadravec (email@example.com)