Derecske Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
The cemetery is located behind Hajnal Street, access is via a dirt road about 150m down the street from the north.
GPS coordinates
47.3476, 21.57781
Perimeter length
312 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
There is a 2.5m high concrete fence.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is located near to the old local cemetery, approachable from Hajnal street along a dirt road. The gravestones are in good shape, some are protected with plastic covers, however the grass was overgrown at the time of the visit.
Number of existing gravestones
About 200.
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

The Jewish cemetery of Derecske was established as early as 1886, since it appears on the cadastral map of that year. The cemetery remained in operation until at least 1943, the year in which the latest tombstone found in the cemetery was erected. The cemetery was fenced and is maintained by the Heritage Foundation for Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries.

Derecske is a town in Hajdú-Bihar County. The Jewish community was founded in 1850. Before then, only 1-2 Jewish families were able to obtain a temporary residence permit, as Derecske belonged to the land of Prince Eszterházy and Jews could not live in the areas owned by the prince. In 1850, the number of Jews increased to 20-25 and by 1880, the community had grown to 436.

In 1851, the synagogue was built at the initiative of Áron Fried, the Rabbi in Hajdúböszörmény. The Chevra Kadisha (burial society) was formed with 21 members in 1853. The first rabbi of the community was Elias Eisenstädter, who led the community for more than 30 years. Several institutions were established during his auspices: a Yeshiva, a Talmud Torah, an elementary school, as well as a mikveh (ritual bath). Under the leadership of Rabbi Herman Kohn, the yeshiva flourished and had 45-50 pupils. In 1905, as the old synagogue was collapsing, a beautiful new synagogue was built.

80 Jews from Derecske served in World War I, of whom, 12 of whom died. In 1926, the Gemilas Chesed Association (a charity) was founded. At the end of the 1920s, there were 530 Jewish people in 120 families in the town, 105 of whom were taxpayers. They worked in a variety of occupations, such as: 19 craftsmen, 19 packmen, 16 merchants, 13 wholesalers, 12 grocers, 5 farmers, 4 barkeepers, 2 craftsmen, 2 doctors, 2 civil servants, 2 teachers, 1 lawyer, 1 worker, 3 who were unemployed, 5 private citizens, and 14 living off public donations. In 1941, Jews accounted for 523 people of the town’s total population (10,399). No further information is available on the number of Jewish residents in the town after the Holocaust.