COPALNIC-MANASTUR: Maramures County Print

US Commission Reference Number RO/MM/03

Alternate Hungarian name: Kapolnokmonostor. Located in Maramures County, at 4730 2341, 20 km SSE of Baia Mare, approximately 21 km. from Tirgu Lapus.

  • LOCAL: Comunitatea Evreilor (Baia Mare), Str. Somesului Nr. 5, 4800 Baia Mare, Jud. Maramures, Romania. Tel: (40-62) 211-231. REGIONAL: Comunitatea Evreilor (Bucuresti), Str. Sf. Vineri 9-11, Bucuresti, Tel: (40-1) 157-441.
  • Caretaker with key: Alexandru and Aurelia Dunca and their daughter Sanda, #246 Strada Principala, Comuna Copalnic-Manastur, Judetul Maramures. Tel: (40) (64) 497-256.

Locating the cemetery in Copalnic-Manastur should not be difficult. Entering the city from the south, continue through the center of town. The road makes an abrupt ninety-degree turn to the left while a second road, leading towards the villages of Vad (Revkapolnok) and Cavnic (Kapnikbanya), heads off ninety degrees to the right. Straight-ahead is the Orthodox cemetery. The Jewish cemetery is a bit off to the left, about a fifty-meter walk up a slightly steep slope. The cemetery itself is on a slight slope but not nearly as inclined as the walk up.

The cemetery in Copalnic Manastur (Kapolnokmoostor) was a welcome site to see indeed. The wonderful Dunca family cares for the cemetery very dearly. A concrete pole and chain link fence which was constructed by the Jewish community of Baia Mare in 1990 protects the site. It was one of only three sites remote from the caretaker's house that was locked. Mrs. Aurelia Dunca's aunt, Rozalia Dunca, is the only surviving member of the Copalnic-Manastur Jewish community who remains in the town. She has two sisters, one in Baltimore, Maryland, USA; and one in Israel). Needless to say, the Dunca family has a very strong attachment to this cemetery and continues to make efforts to improve its present state.
The Dunca family informed us that an elderly Jewish man visits every year from the United States and is involved in fixing up the cemetery. His is Joseph Issak of 1700 West 5th Ave., Henderson, North Carolina, 28739 USA. Telephone: (828) 692-1927.

A local resident named Doctor Liviu Pasca is a good source for information concerning the community. He told us that most of the main square was owned by Jewish families. The town's haider was also located here. The former Jewish butcher shop is one of the two original buildings standing. In addition, the building that houses today's medical dispensary was used as a synagogue following the Second World War. The lawyer Hegedus, whose daughter lives today in Israel, owned the building at the time. Copalnic-Manastur was also the location of a ghetto for this and surrounding towns. Dr. Pasca recalls how he and other residents tried to bring food to the families in the ghetto. When the guards denied them out front, they simply ran around to the back of the fence and passed food through. Mr. Pasca told us that all the children in town used to get along very well and that many of the non-Jewish children, he included, learned to speak a little Yiddish as a result of their fun and games. Most of the older Jewish men did not wear long paies, but almost all of the young boys did. He remembers that many of the boys tucked them behind their ears while at school. Mr. Pasca, when he was a child, used to light Sabbath candles for his neighbors.

Access is open with permission. The 750-sq. meter cemetery is fenced and has a locking gate. 117 gravestones are in the cemetery: 96 in original upright position, 21 either cracked or lying down, 20% leaning. Vegetation and water drainage are not a problem. The cemetery has an upper and lower section, the upper containing 100 stones and the lower containing 17 stones. The marble, granite, limestone, and sandstone memorial markers are flat shaped, smoothed and Hungarian and Hebrew-inscribed, some with carved relief decoration or traces of painting on their surfaces or metal fences around graves, cement grave boundaries, and recently, cement footings for stones. The owner is unknown. Adjacent property is agricultural and residential, village setting. The cemetery probably is the same size as in 1939. Rarely, private visitors visit the cemetery. Theft of stones is the primary problem encountered between 1945 and the present. Care: re-erection of stones, patching broken stones, cleaning stones, 1990 installation of fence and gate by Jewish individuals abroad and Jewish groups within country as well as clearing vegetation local residents. Weather erosion is a threat.

John DeMetrick and Christina Crowder, (formerly of Cluj, they have no further information) , completed this survey on 22 April 2000 using a list of cemeteries known by the Jewish Community in Baia Mare. They visited the site on 11 April 2000 and interviewed Alexandru and Aurelia Dunca and their daughter Sanda, #246 Strada Principala, Comuna Copalnic-Manastur, Judetul Maramures. Tel: (40) (64) 497-256.


[UPDATE] Photos by Charles Burns [July 2018]


Last Updated on Sunday, 08 July 2018 21:42