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Jánosháza caretaker is Mr. Gyula Órai (Vágóhíd u. 22.). [March 2009]

 

Present total town population is 1,000 - 5,000 with no Jewish population: the last Jew, a doctor, died about 1970.

  • Local authority: Gombos Ferenc, mayor, very friendly, helpful and interested in the Jewish cemetery.
  • Keyholder: An old men named Gyula has the the key and lives maybe a 100 meters from the cemetery. Locals can point you to Gyula's small house.

 

The Jewish community in town dates from around 1800. Jewish population just before World War II was a couple of thousand, more than 50% of the inhabitants. Hannah Szenes, World War II heroine, came from Janoshaza, as did members of the Gestetner family. The founder of the Gestetner company, David Gestener, came from a nearby village, Csorna. Last known burial was 1943. Mayor Gombos Ferenc is interested in restoring the unlandmarked cemetery.The isolated cemetery at the crown of a hill, separate, but near other cemeteries, has a sign or plaque in Hebrew and inscriptions on pre-burial house. Reached by crossing a little vegetable garden in front of the cemetery, the pre- and post- WWII size is 50 x 50 meters.

About 150 gravestones exist, most in good condition. Vegetation and water drainage are not problems. The finely smoothed and inscribed stones and flat stones with carved relief decoration have Hebrew and Hungarian inscriptions. A special section for refugees exists as does a Holocaust memorial. The property belonging to a private individual. A local farmer who stores some goods in the pre-burial house. Adjacent properties are residential and agricultural. Private visitors (Jewish or non-Jewish-some family members from Budapest) very rarely visit the cemetery. The old man Gyula takes care, but is in his 80's. He may be paid by the Jewish Community of Budapest.  There is a very beautiful coach in the preburial house with a coffin to transport dead people from their house to the cemetery. A yizkor book exists. We will visit the cemetery again in the summer of 2003 and will photograph all stones and try to translate the inscriptions. Their grandmother, Lenke Federer, born in Sandor, was interviewed. Specific questions before the end of May 2003 by email.

Source: Judith Federer and Paul Posthumus [March 2003]

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 March 2009 10:42
 
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