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Battonya (Romanian: Bătania, Serbian: Batanja) is a town  in the Southern Great Plain region of SE Hungary. Jews lived in Békés county since the 18th century. In 1768 three Jews in the village of Vari (Gyulavari). From the end of the 18th century the first Jewish communities were founded in Vari,Dévaványa and Békésszentandrás. Jewish population in 1836 was 542 Jews  and in 1870, 6255. From the 1850's to WWI, a a great number of Jewish institutions were built including Jewish cemeteries, synagogues, prayer-houses, mikvahs, schools and Chevra Kadishas (Békéscsaba, Gyula, Orosháza, Szeghalom, Békés, Szarvas, Battonya and Sarkad). From 1941, forced labor, ghettos, and/or the concentration camps of Bekescsaba and Szolnok was the fate of many. Others were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Strasshof. 5,000 Békés County Jews died in the Holocaust . 2000 survived of whom very few returned to the area. The Békés County Jewish community now is very small and is concentrated in Békéscsaba where a new synagogue was built. [February 2009]


Jewish cemetery: Unkept large cemetery  with 300-350 tombstones is along the side road to Dombegyház. Area was fenced in in 2001. Tje caretaker's shack has collapsed with house in ruins. Last burial took place in 1960s. [February 2009]

Last Updated on Sunday, 14 June 2009 19:22
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