Nyirtass Jewish Cemetery
The Jewish cemetery of Nyirtass was established as early as 1854, since the earliest tombstone found in the cemetery dates to that year. The cemetery remained in operation until at least 1943, the year in which the latest tombstone was erected. The cemetery is fenced, and has two ohalim, one of which displays two memorial plaques commemorating the victims of the Holocaust.
Jews settled in Nyirtass in about 1750 under the protection of the Eszterhazy as peddlers serving the neighbouring village. In 1840, 150 Jews lived in the village, later increasing to 210 in 1880. The congregation was established at the beginning of the 19th century. The Jewish population peaked at 325 in 1920.
The first synagogue was built at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1910, the community had a well-known yeshiva. In April 1944, on the last day of Pesach, the Hungarian authorities forcibly transferred the Jews of Nyirtass to the Kisvárda Ghetto. They were subsequently deported to Auschwitz. Rabbi Elimelech Segal Lowi (1908-1944)—the second Rebbe of Tosh, a Hasidic dynaysty founded in Nyirtass—perished in Auschwitz. After the war, five women and two men returned from the concentration camps, and fourteen men returned from forced labour.
They returned to find that Christians had taken over their homes and demolished the mikvah and synagogue. The Jews soon emigrated to Canada and established a community called ‘Kiryas Tosh’ (Yiddish name of Nyírtass) in Boisbriand, Quebec, which is still inhabited by Tosher Hasidim.