Album of epitaphs
Epitaphs are important resources for Jewish genealogical research. As according to Jewish tradition, Jewish burial grounds must remain undisturbed in perpetuity, they can be a treasure trove of information for genealogical research. Traditional epitaphs can shed light on family relations, and other important details. In his own family history research, Bernát Munkácsi made sketches of the tombstones of his relatives resting in the cemeteries of Vienna, Eisenstad, Nitra, Großwardein and Pest, and organized them into an album.
Avraham Spitz (1656-1741) and the bail out of the prisoners in Buda
During the unsuccessful siege of Buda in 1684, the Habsburg forces took a lot of Jewish prisoners. Soldiers knew that they may ask for ransom for the Jews who fought side-by-side with the Turks defending the castle. The bail out of the captives was a religious obligation of the Jewish community, for which they could use funds collected for other charitable causes. Avraham Spitz (1656-1741), one of the oldest known member of the Munk family, was an alderman of the congregation in Vienna, and later of Eisenstadt. According to his epitaph, as a great benefactor in 1864 “he bailed out many prisoners for significant money from among the hostages held by the city of Buda…”.