You are here: Home Eastern Europe Hungary MATESZALKA: SzSzB

Alternate names: Mátészalka [Hun], Máthészalka. 7°57' N, 22°20' E, 29 miles E of Nyíregyháza, 27 miles WNW of Satu Mare (Szatmár), Romania. Jewish population: 932 (in 1890).

  • Encyclopedia of Jewish Life (2001), p. 598: "Mateszalka".
  • Pinkas HaKehilot, Hungary (1975), p. 348-349: "Mateszalka"
  • JewishGen Hungary SIG

photo of Mátészalka synagogue in 1984. Mátészalka cemetery caretaker is János Turzó, Fellegvár utca 16. The American Foundation [?] looks after it. "Mateszalka" - Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Hungary [February 2009]

US Commission No. 000046

Town is located in Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg at 47°57' 22°20', 52km from Nyiregyhaza. Cemetery: Fellegvar utca Z. Present population is 25,000-100,000 with fewer than 100 Jews.

  • Local: Polgarmesteri Hivatal of Mateszalka Szabadsag ter 9.
  • Regional: Budapesti Orthodox Hitkozseg (contact Fixler Herman), of Dob u.35, H-1075 Budapest, Phone: (011-361) 132-4333.
  • Interested: Szatmar Muzeum of Matezalka, Kossuth u. 5. Lax Henrik es neje of Mateszalka Bajcsy Zs. ut 18 Ph: 44 10584. Turzai Janos of Mateszalka Fellegvar u. 16.
  • Keyholder to Turzai Janos (see below): Lax Henrik es neje of Mateszalka Bajcsy Zs. ut 18 Ph: 44 10584.

Pre-WWII Jewish population was 1,621. The grave of Spitzer, Chaim Meselem Feis is in cemetery. The last known Jewish burial in this unlandmarked Hasidic Orthodox cemetery was 1991, also used by Kocsord (4km away). The isolated hillside suburban cemetery has no signs or markers. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open with permission via a broken masonry wall.

500-5000 19th and 20th century gravestones in original location are in the 100-hectare cemetery. Vegetation overgrowth is a problem. Special sections exist for rabbis and children. The marble, granite, limestone and sandstone flat shaped or finely smoothed and inscribed with carved relief decoration have Hebrew, Yiddish and Hungarian inscriptions. Some plots have metal fences. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. There also is an ohel and a wooden coach-house. The local Jewish community owns site. Recreational and residential areas surround; some unused cemetery property is currently being farmed. Boundaries are unchanged since 1939. Frequently, organized Jewish group tours or pilgrimage groups, organized individual tours, private visitors, and local residents visit. 1990s vandalism required re-erection of stones, patching broken stones, cleaning stones, clearing vegetation, and repair of the gate by the Jewish community in and outside Hungary (done regularly). The current caretaker accepts land use as payment. The only serious threat is weather erosion, with some problems resulting from security (uncontrolled access).

Peter Wirth completed survey on 10/12/91 based on a 5/12/91 visit and review of a map/layout plan dating from 1919. Mr.& Mrs. Lax, Henrik were interviewed on 05/12/1991 at Mateszalka.
Update: Location: Fellegvar Street by the intersection of Budai Nagy Antal Street. The suburban agricultural very slight hill in a residential area is reached by a turn directly off public road via by a continuous [?] masonry wall. Approximately 100-500 (possibly more) gravestones are in the cemetery with less than 25% broken or toppled. Vegetation overgrowth is seasonal problem, preventing access in places and disturbing some of the finely smoothed/inscribed stones. The site is now for Jewish cemetery only. Adjacent properties are residential. Diane Goldman, 4977 Battery Lane, Bethesda MD 20814 ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) visited the site on 2 August 1998 and completed survey on 1 March 1999.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 15:35
Web site created by Open Sky Web Design based on a template by Red Evolution