Fenyeslitke Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
The cemetery is located on the eastern side of Road 4, around 75 north of the exit towards Fényeslitke.
GPS coordinates
48.25922, 22.11131
Perimeter length
100 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is on a almost unapproachable hill next to the main road. The hill is full of holes and pits. The grass is not tall, but there are bushes and trees.
Number of existing gravestones
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The Jewish cemetery of Fényeslitke existed as early as 1870, since it appears on the cadastral map of that year. The tombstones were removed in the 1950’s. Today most of them are scattered and in fragments. Among the currently preserved tombstones, the only one which is legible dates to 1924. One source states that the municipality plans to restore the cemetery. A Holocaust memorial was also erected in the village in 2004 with 65 names to commemorate the victims who once lived in Fényeslitke. There were no more burials in the cemetery after 1944. The final Jewish man to live in Fényeslitke—Jakab Tinman—was buried in a Christian cemetery owing to the poor condition of the Jewish cemetery.

Fényeslitke is a village located in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County. The village was first mentioned in the 14th century. The first Jewish settlers came from Carpathian Ruthenia. By 1746, the village already had Jewish inhabitants: a man called Martinus Salamonovics and his wife and two children. In the 19th century the Jewish inhabitants were broadly involved in the economic life of the village, some were teachers, while others were merchants, butchers, and stillmen. Later, most of the village’s Jews worked as merchants. Jews moreover owned the distillery and the mill.

The orthodox community came under the jurisdiction of the rabbinate of Kisvárda, but had their own synagogue, cheder, mohel, and shammes (sexton), and occasionally hired a melamed. 26 soldiers from the village went missing or perished during World War I, or died on the way back from captivity. Among them were two Jewish soldiers: Menyhert Katz and David Weis, who died in battle against the Russians and both of whom served in the 65th infantry regiment. In 1919, during the “white terror” period, several Jews were taken as captives to Kisvarda. In 1940, the Jews of Fémyeslitke were drafted for forced labour and the village itself was a station for forced labour. After December 1941, the forced labourers of Fényeslitke were taken to Ukraine. It is known that Zsigmond Klein, born December 15, 1914, son of Lotti Oneisz, died in forced labour service.

In April 1944, the Orthodox Jewish community numbered around 40 members, amongst whom 9 were taxpayers. After Passover of that year, the Jews of Fémyeslitke were taken to the Kisvárda Ghetto and, by the end of May, were deported to Auschwitz. After the Jews left, the locals plundered and desecrated the synagogue. They also organized auctions of Jewish properties. Only a few Jews from Fényeslitke survived the death camps and returned to the village. In 1946, Fényeslitke had 2 Jewish inhabitants and by 1949, there were 5.