Tornyospálca Jewish Cemetery One

Cemetery Information

Site address
The cemetery is located on Honvéd Street. It is approachable from Honvéd street or from the tiny path next to the municipal cemetery.
GPS coordinates
48.26882, 22.18961
Perimeter length
172 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
Fenced by ESJF in December 2022.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is in a good condition.
Number of existing gravestones
41 gravestones: 33 intact and 8 fragments or pedestals.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

There appears to have been two Jewish cemeteries in Tornyospálca. This cemetery was established as early as 1848, since the oldest tombstone found in the cemetery dates to that year. The latest tombstone was erected in 1943. The cemetery has been fenced.

Jews have lived in Tornyospálca since 1750. For instance, the Absolon family, which had 8 family members, lived on the estate of the Lónyay family. The number of Jews increased and by 1848 there were 100 Jews in the village (across 21 families). At that time, Jews worked as pub owners, traders, painters, butchers, rabbis, teachers, and servants. Some of the poorer Jews were beggars. In 1880, Jews accounted for 111 people of the village’s total population of 1,538. The Jewish population peaked at 129 in 1890, after which the population decreased and by 1941 Jews merely accounted for 76 people of village’s population of 3,244. At that time, according to records, Jews were grocers, traders, craftsmen, poor peddlers, and intellectuals.

The Jewish community joined the Orthodox stream in 1868 and the rabbi of the community was Rabbi Aron Adler. The community had a synagogue, a cheder, and a Talmud-Torah as well. Prior, the Jewish children in the village attended Greek Catholic or Calvinist schools (depending on where they lived) as there was no Jewish school in the village. The synagogue was built in 1906 (currently 46 Rákóczi Street). In 2002, a white marble table (30 x 50 cm) was found in the cellar of Miklós Adler’s former house in the village (15 Rákóczi Street).

The table used to be on the east wall of the synagogue and was taken to the cellar after the building was torn down. There was a yard next to the synagogue and a mikveh (ritual bath) at the end of the garden. In 1938, paramilitary units arrived in the village (as part of actions in Upper Hungary) where they enforced anti-Jewish laws. In 1941, Jewish youth were sent to forced labour, most of whom died on the Eastern front. In April 1944, The Jews of Tornyospálca were rounded up and confined in the synagogue’s yard for two days, then taken to the Kisvárda Ghetto, from where they were deported to Auschwitz at the end of May. Only a small number of Jews from Tornyospálca survived.

Tornyospálca Jewish Cemetery One
Tornyospálca Jewish Cemetery One
Tornyospálca Jewish Cemetery One