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SEMLAC: Arad judet, Transylvania PDF Print E-mail


US Commission No. ROCE-0048 -

The cemetery is located in Semlac  along the Mures River, on the southern side of the village, 2952, judet Arad, 4607 2056, 276.6 miles WNW of Bucharest and 38 km from Arad. Picturesque place on a high coast of the Mures River, marble stones impress the visitor, speaking about a rich community. The alternate name is Szemlak (Hungarian). Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.

  • Mayor Stoian Letitia, Semlac, no. 603, phone: +40-57-534227, judet Arad
  • The Jewish Community of Arad, 10, Tribunul Dobra Street, 2900 Arad, Romania. Tel. +40-57-281310
  • The Federation of the Jewish Communities of Romania, Sfintu Vineri street, no. 9-11, sect. 3, Bucharest, Romania
  • " Dr. Moshe Carmilly", Institute for Hebrew and Jewish History, Universităţii Street, no. 7-9, room 61, 3400 Cluj-Napoca, Romania, director Ladislau Gyemant, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Key holder and caretaker: Bartos Teodor, Semlac, no. 183, judet Arad, Romania;

The 1880 Jewish population by census was 103 and by1910 census was 63. The unlandmarked Orthodox cemetery was established in 19th century. Last known burial was around 1960. The isolated rural/agricultural flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by a public road, access is open to all. A fence with a non-locking gate surrounds the site. Approximate pre- and post-WWII size is 36 m X 30 m. 20-100 stones are visible. All gravestones are in original location. Less than 25% of the stones are toppled or broken. Location of stones removed from the cemetery is unknown. Vegetation overgrowth in the cemetery is not a problem. Water drainage is a constant problem. No special sections. The oldest known gravestone dates from 19th century. The 19th and 20th century marble and granite smoothed and inscribed common gravestones have inscriptions in Hebrew and Hungarian. No known mass graves.

The national Jewish community owns the property used for an orchard. Adjacent properties are agricultural. Rarely, private Jewish or non-Jewish visitors stop. The never vandalized cemetery maintenance has been clearing vegetation. Current care is regular unpaid caretaker. No structures. The river's edge threatens to erode the cemetery. There are only 2 meters more between the water and the tombs.

Elisabeta Pecican, Revolution Avenue, no. 35, apt. 31, Arad, 2900 completed the survey on September 11, 2000 using the following documentation:

  • Coriolan Suciu, Dicţionar istoric al localităţilor din Transilvania, I-II, Bucharest, 1968
  • Marki Sandor, Arad varmegye es Arad szabad kiralyi varos tortenete, Arad, 1895
  • The Jewish population by 1880 census, Bucharest, Edit. Staff, 1999.
  • Carmilly-Weinberger, Moshe. History of the Jews of Transylvania (1623-1944), Bucharest, 1994 (in Romanian)

Elisabeta Pecican visited the site on September 9, 2000 and interviewed Bartos Teodor, Semlac [January 2003]

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