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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: The cemetery is managed by the Jewish community. Caretaker is Andor Halász. This large cemetery with 177 gravestones, a Holocaust memorial, and a crypt is at the end of Magyar Street. András Hrabovszki lives next to the cemetery at Magyar street 61and is caretaker. The last funeral took place in the 1980s. [February 2009]

Last Updated on Sunday, 14 June 2009 20:45
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