ZALAU: Salaj county, Transylvania Print

Alternate names: Zalău [Rom], Zilah [Hun], Zillenmarkt [Ger], Waltenberg [Ger], Zelau, Zilah [Hung]. 47°12' N, 23°03' E, in NW Romania, seat of Sălaj judet in the central part of Sălaj County in Zalău River watershed where the depression of the same name and the Meseş Peak meet. 2004 estimated population: 62,900. 40 miles NW of Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár), 41 miles SW of Baia Mare (Nagybána). Jewish population: 145 in 1880 and 552 in 1920.

General information. [May 2011]


US Commission No. ROCE-0494 -

The cemetery is located at Traian Street no. 120, Zalau, cod, judet Salaj, Romania at 4712 2303, 240.9 miles NW of Bucharest and 91 km from Cluj Napoca. Alternate names: Zilah (Hungarian), Zillenmarkt (German.) Present town population is 25,000-100,000 with no Jews.

  • Mayor Nosa Iuliu, tel. 632550, fax 661869, Zalau
  • The Jewish Community of Oradea, Mihai Viteazu Street no. 4, 3700 Oradea, Romania, tel. 0040-59-134843 (132587)
  • The Federation of The Jewish Communities of Romania, Sfintu Vineri Street no. 9-11, sect. 3, Bucharest, Romania
  • Interested: "Dr. Moshe Carmilly" Institute for Hebrew and Jewish History, Universitatii 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
  • Caretaker with key: Onicas Gheorghe, Traian Street no. 120, Zalau

The 1850 Jewish population by census was 7, in 1857 was 8, in 1880 was 150, in 1900 was 326, in 1910 was 432, and in 1930 was 411 In May 1944, the Jews were gathered in the ghetto of Cehei, then in Simleul Silvaniei and on May 31, June 3 and 6 were deported to Auschwitz. The unlandmarked Orthodox cemetery was established in 19th century. Last known burial was 20th century.

The isolated rural/agricultural flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by a public road, access is open with permission. A fence with a gate that locks surrounds the site. Approximate pre- and post-WWII size is 2500 m. 20-100 stones are visible, some not 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 a seasonal problem preventing access. Water drainage is good all year.

No special sections. The oldest known gravestone dates from 19th century. The 19th and 20th century marble, granite, and limestone boulders, smoothed and inscribed, and carved relief decorated gravestones have Hebrew inscriptions. No known mass graves. The national Jewish community owns the property used for Jewish cemetery only. Adjacent properties are agricultural.Rarely, private Jewish or non-Jewish visitors stop at the never vandalized cemetery. Maintenance has been re-erection of stones and clearing vegetation. Current care is occasional clearing or cleaning by unpaid individuals. No structures. Vegetation is a moderate threat.

Cosmina Popa, Tatra Street no. 4, tel. 064/ 128764, Cluj Napoca, 3400 and Ioana Oprea, Bd. 21 Decembrie, 13-15, 064/190849, Cluj-Napoca, 3400 visited the site and completed the survey on 28 September 2000 using the following documentation:

  • Recensamantul din 1850. Transilvania (1850 Jewish Population Census. Transylvania) coord.: Traian Rotariu, Cluj 1996.
  • Recensamantul din 1857. Transilvania (1857 Jewish Population Census. Transylvania) coord.: Traian Rotariu, Cluj 1997.
  • Recensamantul din 1880. Transilvania (1880 Transylvania Jewish Population Census.) coord.: Traian Rotariu, Cluj 1997.
  • Recensamantul din 1900. (1900 Transylvania Jewish Population Census) coord.: Traian Rotariu, Cluj, 1999
  • Recensamantul din 1910. Transilvania (1910 Transylvania Jewish Population Census.) coord.: Traian Rotariu, Cluj 1999.
  • Carmilly-Weinberger, Moshe. History of the Jews of Transylvania (1623-1944), Bucuresti, 1994, in Romanian
  • Recensamintul general al populatiei din Romania din 7 ianuarie 1992 (The General Census of the Population of Romania from January 7, 1992), vol. I, Bucuresti, 1994
  • Recensamantul general al populatiei din 29 decembrie 1930 (The General Census of the Population from December 29, 1930), vol. II, Bucuresti 1938
  • Szilagy megye Salaj zsidosaganak emlekkonyve, ed. Giladi David, Tel Aviv, 1989.
  • Coriolan Suciu, Dictionar istoric al localitatilor din Transilvania (The Historical Dictionary of Localities in Transylvania), vol. I-II, Bucuresti, 1967

They interviewed Onicas Gheorghe, Zalau. [January 2003]

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 May 2011 12:59