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Detailed history, documentary sources and Shoah list: Jews lived in Békés county since the 18th century. The distillery of the Harruckern domain of Gyula had been rented only by Jews since the early 18th century, but they could not settle in the city, only in nearby Gyulavári. 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. a prayer house in the city, parishioners worshipped in Gyulavári.Jewish population in 1836 was 542 Jews, the 1848 conscription list for Gyula registered 25 families. and in 1870, 6255 Jews lived in Gyula of whom most were Neolog with only a short-lived Orthodox community. 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). On July 5, 1873, a four-room mikvah opene that in the late 1970s became a Turkish bath called Lampel's Bath. In October 1879, the Jews decided to erect a synagogue in front of the prayer house built in 1873. The foundation stone was laid on June 27, 1882 and dedicated on September 5, 1883. Count Wenckheim and his family donated the synagogue building site in front of the old prayer house, a square structure with a cupola fronting onto the road to Arad. The building cost only about 14,000 forints. The single-steepled synagogue became cramped was remodelled and converted in 1910 into a two-steepled building with the rabbi's home still in its original condition. From 1880 to 1910 the total population grew by 35%, whereas the number of Jewish inhabitants increased by 57%. The synagogue was remodelled and enlarged in the 1960s to house the city music school. A memorial tablet on the wall by the entrance commemorates the former Jewish community. The article details the business, educational, charitable, and social activities of the Jewish residents of Gyula. The article details the forced labor, ghettos, and/or the concentration camps of Bekescsaba and Szolnok that was the fate of so 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]

Yizkor. [June 2011]

Synagogue building on Adler Ignác Street houses a music school. Next to it, the rabbi's house stands deserted.

Jewish cemetery: The Chevra Kaddisha was formed in 1847 (before the congregation) by seventeen founding members. Three were still alive at the 50th anniversary. The Chevra Kaddisha dissolved in 1944. [February 2009]

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 June 2011 11:18
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