Balmazujvaros Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
47, Böszörményi Street.
GPS coordinates
47.61914, 21.35041
Perimeter length
334 metres. The current perimeter is larger than that marked on the cadastral map.
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
There is a concrete fence, about 2.5m high.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is divided in 2 parts, In the centre is the house of the former caretaker. The visible part is well maintained, the rear part is neglected.
Number of existing gravestones
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
There is an Ohel (dedicated to Nathaniel b. Yechiel, a local rabbi, and his wife Pesl; their son is buried near the ohel).
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The Jewish cemetery of Balmazújváros was established as early as 1872, since it appears on the cadastral map of that year. The cemetery is reported to have been closed in 1944. It was declared as protected in the late 1990s, and the mortuary and fence were renovated, and some of the tombs were restored. There is an ohel in which community’s rabbi Nathaniel b. Yechiel Fried and his wife Pesl are buried.

In 1840, 44 Jews lived in Balmazújváros. The Jewish population increased considerably in the following decades. The orthodox community of Balmazújváros was founded in 1845 by Noe Hartstein, Mayer Lichtschein, Samu, Menyhért, and Mór, who were tenants and landowners that moved to the village from Tiszadob. The community built a synagogue in 1850 and opened an elementary school in 1878. The Chevra Kadisha (burial society) was founded in 1866 and the Women’s Association followed in 1887. In 1880, Jews accounted for 386 people of the village’s total population of 9,861. The first rabbi of the community was Nathaniel Hakohen Fried, who previously led a yeshiva in Kisvárda. In 1894, soon after his installation as the community’s rabbi, he founded a popular yeshiva in the settlement with 30 students. His lectures and halachic rulings were published in his lifetime under the title “Pné Mevin” (Munkács, 1913). After his death, his writings on the Torah were published under the same title (Beregszász, 1927). The next rabbi of the community was his son, Jehiel Mikhal Hakohen Fried. He was a worthy successor to his father who sought to bring peace within his community. By 1920, there were 415 Jews in the village. 40 Jews from the community served in World War I, 9 of whom died in service. In 1929, 74 members of the Jewish community were taxpayers, including the following: two farmers, one teacher, 12 merchants, 1 lawyer, 1 labourer, 3 doctors, 1 private official, 12 craftsman, 20 private citizens, and 33 others. In 1941, Jews accounted for 388 people of the town’s population of 16,318 (2%). In 1944, the orthodox community had 340 members though they no longer employed a rabbi. The grade school had 50 students and one teacher, and the Chevra Kadisha had 52 members.