This incident, which took place in Hungary in the 1920s, is chilling.
About 100 km southeast of Budapest, on the Tisza River, is a village called Nagyrev with a terrible past. There was a news article in the Akşam newspaper dated January 15, 1930: “The trial of the Hungarian women who murdered their husbands was concluded.”
The behind the scenes of the Nagyrev incident, which resulted in the death of hundreds of men, young and old alike, is explained as follows.
“It all started with the arrival of a woman named Julia Tazekas in 1911. Tazekas introduced herself as a midwife. Some sources claim that she brought with her notes of recommendation from several doctors, praising her duties as a nurse. Fazekas’ dark past (her husband mysteriously disappeared) Although it attracted the attention of a few people, no one said anything. There was no doctor in Nagyrév at that time, and sofazekas was easily accepted as the village midwife.
fazekas took care of the health problems of the villagers. Nagyrév women loved him because he patiently listened to their intimate problems, including domestic problems, and gave advice. soonfazekas became famous for helping women get rid of unwanted pregnancies. He allegedly performed up to 10 illegal abortions between 1911 and 1921.
Arranged marriages were common in the Hungarian society at that time. Young girls were married to older men chosen for them by their families. Even if the husband was an alcoholic or abusive, divorce was not socially allowed.
In July 1914, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire invaded Serbia (World War I), the men of Nagyrev village also went to the front.
Shortly after the start of the war, a feverish work began near the village and soon the captured enemy soldiers were brought to Nagyrev and its surroundings. The location of the village was ideal for establishing a prison camp. This situation would cause Nagyrév’s fate to change dramatically.
Hungarian women, who were forced to marry and were not happy with their husbands, soon left their shy attitudes aside and began to communicate with the captive soldiers wandering around. Soon, almost every woman in the village had a captive lover.
However, the women’s days of “happiness” did not last long as their husbands began to return home from the front. The Nagyrev women, who had found comfort and happiness with the captives who had limited freedom, were not at all happy with the situation that emerged with the return of their husbands. The husbands, who returned and saw that their wives had built a completely different life, rejected this situation and tried to return to their old ways. This being the case, the women started looking for a solution and turned to fazekas for help.
fazekas persuaded the besieged women to get rid of their husbands who were a burden to them. He took strips of flypaper and boiled them in a pot of water; until the paper releases the active ingredient arsenic, which collects in a thin layer on the water. fazekas scraped off the poisonous residue and poured it into vials. fazekas instructed women to add the poison to their husbands’ food or coffee. Soon healthy men began to die.
Over the years, the number of women coming to thefazekas increased, and it was not only the husbands who died. parents, children and relatives also became victims. Some even poisoned each other. Figures on how many people died from arsenic poisoning in Nagyrév vary widely. It is claimed that other villages in the region were after the same thing and that 300 people in total may have been killed.
The murders went unnoticed for almost twenty years because Fazekas was the only – so-called – doctor in the village. When Phasekas said he died of cholera or diarrhea, no one questioned him. His accomplice, Susi Oláh, prepared death certificates indicating natural causes of death.
Maria Gunya, who was a little child at the time, remembered that the police who came to their village asked her father some questions. While talking about these, Gunya, who is 83 years old, said: “Women would come to Phasekas with their problems. “She would say, ‘If you have a problem with your man, I have a simple solution.'”
There are three different narratives about how the women, known as “tiszazugi méregkeverk” in Hungarian and “the angel makers of nagyrev” in English, were noticed and caught.
One of them is that the incident was revealed because of Bayan Szabo, one of the women in the village. What gave Szabo away were two people who visited the village and managed to escape the woman’s poisoning attempt. When Szabo, who was caught after their complaint, started giving names, the murder network in the village began to emerge.
The second one is actually very popular like the first one. The body of one of the victims who was poisoned to death is being washed in a nearby town, and the person who carried out this process was a medical student. Our student, wondering about the cause of death, found a high concentration of arsenic in the body, and this is how the incident came to light.
The last narrative is about how everything was revealed by sending an anonymous letter to a newspaper in 1929.
It is not known which of these occurred, but perhaps they all occurred one after the other. In other words, what happened had to come to light somehow, and suddenly everything happened. So what happened to women afterwards? Let’s talk about these in the last section.
Authorities exhumed dozens of poisoned bodies from the village cemetery. At the end of the investigation, 98 people were arrested and 35 of them, 34 women and 1 man, were found suspicious and brought to court. 26 of the defendants were found guilty by the court panel. 8 of them were sentenced to death (only two people were executed), and seven people were sentenced to life imprisonment. When she realized that she had reached the end of the road, Júlia Fazekas killed herself (July 19, 1929) and did not leave the matter to the court.
What happened was not forgotten for years. Although the number is controversial, this murder incident in which approximately 300 people were killed adorned the lines of various newspapers in Turkey and around the world. Even after many years; A movie called Hukkle was shot in 2002, and a documentary/film called The Angelmakers was shot in 2005.