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Alternate names: Békéscsaba [Hun], Békešská Čaba [Slov], Bichişciaba [Rom], Nagymajor, Mezőmegyer, Gerla at 46°41' N, 21°06' Ephoto: a view of the street with the cubical body of the synagogue at Luther M. utcain 1985. 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). Orthodox and Neolog Jews in Bekescsaba had their own school and cemetery. The Neolog synagogue on Luther street is a department store today. Orthodox congregation was founded in 1872. The former Orthodox synagogue, the rabbi''s quarters, and the school are located at Kinizsi street 10. In 2004, a new Neolog synagogue was erected. 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 very small Békés County Jewish community is mainly in Békéscsaba where a new synagogue opened on September 28, 2008 and is Eastern Europe's largest built after 1945. The building of the old Neolog synagogue (1893) is a furniture store today with a memorial plaque on its wall since 2004. It can be visited anytime. Békéscsaba Synagogue and Jewish Community, Békéscsabai Zsidó Hitközség Zsinagógája. 5600 Békéscsaba, Széchenyi-liget, Hungary. See photo gallery at [February 2009]


Neolog Jewish cemetery: Address: Széchenyi liget, Csendes Street (Orthodox). Hours: 10-17.00. The cemetery is near the Széchenyi grove. The religious community as well as the cemetery date back to the early 1800s. The well-kept cemetery can be found in the grove, including some 600 to 700 gravestones. [March 2009]

Orthodox cemetery: in use since the 1960s. Next to it is a new prayer house and caretaker''s apartment built in 2004. Orthodox cemetery is beside Road 44. The well-kept cemetery is in Csendes u. 2. with caretaker's shack and house still intact. The still active site holds nearly 150 tombstones. Keys are on-site. [February 2009]

Last Updated on Sunday, 14 June 2009 19:05
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