Puspokladany Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
8, Déli Sor.
GPS coordinates
47.30545, 21.1007
Perimeter length
315 metres. The current perimeter is smaller than marked on the cadastral map.
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
There is a 3m high concrete fence.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is fenced, but the door is open. The site is neglected and the grass is not mown. The historical territory of the cemetery is fenced only partially. The unfenced part is partially overbuilt.
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 Püspökladány was established as early as 1870, since it appears on the cadastral map of that year. The latest tombstone found in the cemetery dates to 1941. The cemetery has been fenced. The cemetery is surrounded by grey concrete walls and is always open. There are around 50-70 tombstones in the cemetery, most of which are illegible or broken, though some have been restored. The cemetery is located by the Christian cemetery (Erőss Lajos Street) at the farthest corner by the main road, along a dirt road on the right side, which leads to the Jewish cemetery.

The first evidence of Jews in Püspökladány is in the 1754 census in which Lazar Kiss Judaeus was recorded as a tavern lessee. In 1798, David Martony filed a petition for his shop. In 1818, 39 Jews lived in the village. Before 1856 there was no significant Jewish life in the village. Jews worked as merchants or businesspeople who had business interests in the town, but who did not necessarily live there. The year 1856 brought major improvements to Püspökladány—including the implementation of a system for controlling the nearby Tisza River, as well as the construction of roads and railways—making the town an attractive place to settle, thus boosting its economy. The city also granted Jews permission to worship publicly which led to the development of the Jewish community. A synagogue was built by 1862 which was located at 23 Bocskai Street, although the official registration notes it was first built in 1870. In 1937, it burnt down following a fire in the kitchen. The Jewish community rebuilt the building, and it was reopened in 1938. The Jewish community had two known rabbis: Rabbi Josef Rosenberg (1868-1905) and Jichák Mendelovics, who was also the registrar of the community.

In 1885 Ernő Neufeld founded the community’s school. He taught religious subjects and—following the arrival of Adolf Újváry—secular subjects. Between 1882-92, Arád Knopp built a steam mill. In 1900, the Kehilla founded the Chevra Kadisha (burial society) under the direction of Béni Staruszmann, as well as the Rabbis, József Roth and Adolf Újváry. By that year, the Jewish population had increased to 574. There used to be a mikveh (ritual bath), a yeshiva, and a women’s society in the town. During World War I, 87 Jewish men were killed while serving in the Hungarian army.

In 1941-42, during World War II, Jewish men were sent way for forced labour to dig ditches. In June 1944, the town’s Jewish population, along with those of two neighbouring towns (Földes and Tetétlen), were deported to the Debrecen Ghetto. In 1944, the Jewish population was 554. After the war, about 50-60 Jews survived and returned to the town, though they all left in the 1950’s