Opalyi Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
The cemetery is located on Árpád street, about 175m north of Dózsa György Street.
GPS coordinates
47.99089, 22.32158
Perimeter length
164 metres. The current perimeter is smaller than on the cadastral map. Part of the cemetery has been overbuilt.
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
From side of the street there is a hedge and then a section of wire fencing. However this does not provide adequate security for the site.
Preservation condition
Jewish section
General site condition
The grass is mown, however many tombstones are moss covered or mouldy.
Number of existing gravestones
78 gravestones: 52 intact & 26 broken or pedestal bases.
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 Ópályi was established as early as 1840, since the oldest tombstone found in the cemetery dates to that year. The cemetery remained in operation until at least 1943 when the latest tombstone was erected. It is now part of the local municipal cemetery.

In 1840, 35 Jews lived in the village, later increasing to 181 in 1880 and reaching its peak at 197 in 1900. In 1910, the Jewish population began to decline, and by 1941 only 143 Jews remained in the village. The organized Jewish community was established in 1885 and was subordinate to the rabbinate in Mátészalka. The community had its own a synagogue. The last rabbi of Ópályi was Rabbi Yehezkel Shraga Weinberger (1925-1944), who perished in the Holocaust. In 1941, young Jewish men were drafted into forced labour in various locations. Immediately after Passover in 1944, the Jews of Ópályi were transferred to the Mátészalka Ghetto. From there, they were deported to Auschwitz at the end of May. The Jewish community in Ópályi was not revived after the war.