A group of Rechnitz deportees in Yugoslavia, 1941 (Source: Gemeindearchiv Rechnitz)
The systematic persecution and expulsion of Jewish men and women in Rechnitz started immediately after Austrian Nazis seized power in the night of March 11, 1938. Jewish businesses were confiscated, Jewish citizens deported. Some of the expelled could flee from Vienna to Palestine, China or the Americas, others were murdered in concentration camps.
In April 1938, 43 Jewish men and women who had stayed in Rechnitz were transported over the Yugoslavian border and left without papers in no man's land. Only after intervention by the Gildemeester Aktion could they enter Yugoslavia. After its occupation by German troops in April 1941 however, most of them were murdered.
The Jewish religious community of Rechnitz was dissolved, their properties and assets ‘aryanized’ by the town. Only a single Jewish family returned after 1945. Former Jewish property got restituted, and was mostly sold by the heirs.
For decades, the once large and prominent Jewish community of Rechnitz was commemorated only by a small plaque on the former synagogue. Only when the castle grounds were redesigned in 2007, a memorial against war and violence was set up which is dedicated to the soldiers killed in both World Wars, the victims of the Kreuzstadl massacre, the four Rechnitz resistance fighters and the deported and murdered Jewish men and women of Rechnitz.