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BUECHLER Origin of surname


Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name. Buch, the basis of Buechler and Buchler, is documented as a Jewish family name in the 17th century in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and in the 19th century in Poland, with Rabbi Avraham Buch. Buch means "book" in German. Used with the definite article, "the book", the term often designates the Bible, sometimes called "the Book of Books". The German word is closely linked to the name of the "beech tree", Buche, which forms the first part of Buchstabe, the German for "letter of the alphabet". In the Slavic languages, the "beech" is called Buk. Buch and Buk are found as place names. For example, Buch is a section of the Pankow district in north Berlin, Germany, and Buk is a small Polish town near Poznan (Posen). The family name Buch could also come from Baqi/Bokij, the Hebrew for "knowledgeable man". Moreover, it could be an abbreviation of Bukki. Buki was the son of Jogli and prince of the tribe of Dan (Numbers 34.22), and Bukki the Levite, son of Abishua and father of Uzzi (Ezra 7.4).

The German ending "-er" in Buchler and Buechler means "of/from".

Distinguished bearers of the Jewish family name Buechler include the Hungarian rabbi, Aron Buechler (1780-1820), the Hungarian-born Talmud scholar, historian and theologian, Adolf Buechler (1867-1939), who was principal of Jews' College, London, and the Hungarian rabbi and historian, Alexander Buechler (1870-1944).
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Buechler (Büchler), Adolf (Adolph) (1867-1939), Talmudist, historian and theologian, born in Prjekopa, county of Turocz, Hungary (then part of Austria-Hungary, now in Slovakia). He received his early training from Rabbi I. Levy of Turocz Szent Marton, and afterwards at the rabbinical seminary of Budapest, where Wilhelm Bacher, David Kaufmann and Moritz Kayserling were his teachers at the same time studied in the department of philosophy of the university of Budapest under Ignác Goldziher and Moritz Kármán. He then studied for one year at the Jewish Theological Seminary in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, in Poland) under Heinrich Graetz and Israel Levy. He received his Ph.D. at Leipzig, Germany, for his dissertation "Untersuchungen zur Entwicklung der hebraischen Accente" [Research in the development of Hebrew accents] which was published (1891) by the Vienna Academy for Science.

In 1891 he was awarded his rabbinical diploma at the Budapest seminary, and the following year, 1892, he studied at Oxford, England, under his uncle, Adolf Neubauer. Here he published "The Reading of the Law and Prophets in a Triannial Circle" (Jewish Quarterly Review, vols. 5, 1893, and 6, 1894). For a short time (1892-93) he officiated as assistant rabbi to Rabbi Meyer Kayserling, and Rabbi Samuel Kohn in the Dohany utca synagogue in Budapest, before he was appointed professor of Talmud and history at the newly founded Jewish Theological Seminary in Vienna (1893). While in Vienna he wrote his most important works demonstrating his vast knowledge and erudition in many branches of Jewish literature.

Buechler's most famous work is probably "Der galilaische Am-ha-Arez" (1906) [The simple man of Galillee], in which he demonstrated the extent of his Talmudic learning. Among other works Buechler wrote were: "Die Priester und Kultus im letzten Jahrzent des jerusalemischen Tempels" ,1895 [The priests and religious practices during the last years of the second Temple]. His "Das grosse Synhedrion in Jerusalem und das grosse Beth-din in der Quaderkammer des jerusalemischen Tempels" (ibid., 1902) [The Great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem and the great Rabbinical Court in the Jerusalem Temple] contained his theory of the two Sanhedrins. These works made him famous in the world of Jewish learning. His main theological work was "Studies in Sin and Atonement In the Rabbinic Literature of the First Century" (1928).

1906 he was appointed assistant principal of Jews' College, London. When the aged principal Dr. Michael Friedlander resigned the following year, Buechler succeeded him, continuing as principal until his death. He was never completely reconciled to the fact that at Jew's College men were being prepared for the ministry of the Anglo-Jewish Community and The British Jewish community did not always understand him.

Buechler knew Talmudic literature as thoroughly as any Eastern European Talmudist, and was at the same time a modern grammarian and Bible student to whom Christian scholars turned for guidance and information.

Alexander (Sandor) Shmuel Buechler, Alexander (1869-1944), rabbi and historian, born in Filkovo, Slovakia (then part of Austria Hungary). From 1897 he served as rabbi at Keszthely, a small town on the shores of Lake Balaton in the west of Hungary and also lectured on Hungarian Jewish history at Budapest university.

Buechler wrote A Zsidok tortenete Budapesten ("History of Budapest Jewry", 1901). On the basis of archival material he prepared to write a continuation of S. Kohn's A zsidok tortenete Magyarorszagon ("History of the Jews in Hungary", 1884), which covered events up to 1526. However, only a few monographs appeared (Magyar Zsido Szemle, 10 (1893), 7-15; A. Wertheimer, et al., Emlek-konyv…Dr. Mahler Ede (1937), 406-14; A. Scheiber (ed.), Jubilee Volume …B. Heller (1941), 139-46. Buechler also published letters of such scholars as S. J. Rapoport in Shai-la-Moreh (1895), which he edited.

In 1944 he was deported to Auschwitz where he perished.

Suzana Djuric (Đurić) (born Suzika Büchler) (1920-), journalist and athlete, born in Osijek, Croatia (then part of Yugoslavia). She was a member of the Zagreb Maccabi Jewish sports club. Her achievements in sports include winning the junior fencing championship of Yugoslavia in 1935 and then of the senior championship in 1938. She was active in the labor movement and a member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. After the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis Powers in 1941 and the establishment of the Fascist regime in Croatia, she fled to Split on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. She joined the Yugoslav partisans led by Tito in 1942 and served at their intelligence units in Trogir and on the island of Vis and then in 19th Dalmatian Division.

After WW II, she worked for Radio Zagreb, from 1954, as a correspondent from Belgrade, and then as a news editor. In the 1970s, she moved to Belgrade and served as the editor of the Yugoslav edition of the women's magazine Burda.


In Slovak: Fiľakovo; in Hungarian: Fülek; in German: Fülleck; in Yiddish: Filek; alternative names: Filekow, Filakowo

A town in the Lučenec district of Banská Bystrica region of south-central Slovakia. Until 1918 the region was part of the Kingdom of Hungary within Austria-Hungary. Between 1918-1938 and again from 1945 to 1991 Filakovo was part of Czechoslovakia.

As in other towns and villages in the territory of historical Hungary, Jews started to settle in Filakovo at the beginning of the 19th century. It seems that a Jewish cemetery and a hevra kadisha (burial society) were established already by 1820. In 1848 nine Jewish families lived in the town, totaling 46 people. The Jewish population of Filakovo stood at 75 individuals in 1861, it grew to 165 in 1887 and to 175 in 1900 reaching a peak of about 215 persons (7/2% of the general population) in 1919, when the town became part of the newly established Czechoslovak state. In 1930 there were 248 Jews in Filakovo, but their percentage of the total population decreased to 5%.

Most of the Jews of Filakovo made a living as small merchants and shopkeepers. Since some Jews of Filakovo participated to the 1848 Revolution, the authorities levied a substantial fine from the Jewish community after the failure of the revolution. During the first half of the 20th century most business in Filakovo were owned by Jews. Some Jews were artisans and farmers. 

During the first half of the 19th centuries prayers were conducted in private homes and the local Jews belonged to the Jewish community of Lučenec. An affluent merchant who also donated the land for the Jewish cemetery served as leader of the Jews of Filakovo for many years during the first half of the 19th century. The official Jewish community was founded in 1872 and it belonged to the Orthodox movement. The synagogue, a two-story building designed to the plans of Adolf Aron Büchler, was opened on Sladkovicova St. In 1873, and after a short time it was followed by a Talmud Torah. Pinkas Eliezer Büchler was the first rabbi in Filakovo until 1874, when he moved to the Jewish community of Mór in Hungary. He was followed by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Tannenbaum who served the community until 1887. His son, Jacob Tannenbeaum was the rabbi of Filakovo for a short time towards the end of the 19th century. Filakovo was also the seat of a regional rabbinate that extended its authority to about 30 smaller towns in the area. In 1912 Rabbi Samuel Beniamin Halevy Jungreis was appointed as the rabbi of Filakovo and served the community for more than thirty years until he perished in the Holocaust.

Rabbi Shmuel (Alexander) Büchler (aka Sándor Bűchler) (1869-1944), author of a number of books on the history of the Jews of Hungary and Budapest and a professor at the Budapest Rabbinical Seminary, was born in Filakovo.

Jewish children attended a state school and received religious instruction at a Talmud Torah. In addition, the community maintained a small yeshiva with about 20 students, and a women’s association. A branch of Agudat Israel was founded in 1913. The Zionist movement was active during the period between the two world wars. A club of the Bnai Akiva youth movement was opened in the 1930s.  

In November 1938, Filakovo was included in the Czechoslovak territory annexed by Hungary. As a result of the implementation of the anti-Semitic policy promoted by the Hungarian government, the legal and economic status of the Jews changed for the worse. The social marginalization and the “Aryanization” of their businesses were followed by increased racial persecution. After 1941 Jewish men were recruited to forced labor battalions and sent to forced labor camps or to the Eastern Front. The synagogue was desecrated and converted into a warehouse. Following the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, the 154 Jews of Filakovo were forced into a ghetto along with Jews from the neighboring villages, and in June 1944 they were transferred to the ghetto of nearby Lučenec, and deported to Auschwitz Nazi death camp on June 13, 1944. Only a few survived the deportation.

Those who returned after the Holocaust tried to revive Jewish life in Filakovo. In 1948 the community numbered 85 people, many of them from other places. Some buildings were renovated and the community employed a shochet (ritual slaughterer). The Zionist movement renewed its activities, including training and preparatory work ahead of Aliyah to Israel. After the establishment of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia most of the Jews immigrated to Israel or left for Western countries. In early 1950s there were only a handful of Jews in Filakovo and they decided to dissolve the local community and join the Jewish community of Lučenec.

The Jewish cemetery is located on Šávoľská road, at the outskirts of the city. The last interment was conducted in 1961. The restoration of the cemetery began in 2012. The extant matzevot, most of them from late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, were placed in chronological order. The building of the synagogue was demolished in the 1960s. A memorial to the former Jewish community in Filakovo was unveiled on the site of the former synagogue in 2013.