also see TISINEC-STROPKO and see KRIVA OLKA.
(burials from 1400-1800) Just outside Stropkov is a tiny village called Tisinec where the Jews of Stropkov and the surrounding settlements buried their dead. The cemetery is not in the town itself, but out in the fields, removed from sight but not from memory. When we asked elderly ladies walking home from church about the cemetery, they were happy to direct us there. We drove out into the fields out, past where the road turns into a two-rut tractor path, so overgrown with weeds that I feared for the rented car. When the going got rough, we walked. Nearly invisible in the wild overgrowth and undergrowth, was one small building within an ohel built to protect the grave of one of the noted Hassidic rabbis, Rav Yosef Chaim Gottlieb, who had lived in Stropkov in the 1800s. "Juden raus" was scrawled on the walls. This abandoned neglected cemetery, the final resting-place to Jews from 1400 to 1900, was peaceful in the sunlight, lovely with scattered wildflowers and sweet with wild strawberries underfoot. The Jews of Stropkov accompanied their dead on carts to the cemetery in Tisinec. They ritually cleansed the bodies in the house east of where we had received directions. After 1900, they established a cemetery on the outskirts of Stropkov. The cemetery in Tisinec fell into disuse. Hundreds of gravestones, many completely illegible, many fallen or mossed over, have no surnames. The city of Stropkov is responsible for this cemetery.
Directions: From Stropkov, turn right, then left onto a dirt road that goes out into the fields. In Zemplen County at 49º14' 21º38', 4 kilometers from Stropkov, the village has less than 100 people and no Jews. Contact: Marko Vateha, City Architect, Stropkov Municipality: Mestsky urad Hlavna ulita, 38-2, Stropkov, Slovakia. Keyholder is Frantisek Prusak, Tisinec 23.
The Jews of Stropkov were expelled to Tisivec about 1700 and returned about 1800. The earliest legible grave is 1676: Sara. Following communities also used the Orthodox cemetery: Havaj, Chotca, Stropkov, Mikova, Boksa, Sitnik, Brenicze and others within within 10-15 km. The flat isolated rural site, reached by crossing private property, is open with permission via a continuous masonary wall and locking gate. Hundreds of limestone and sandstone, rough or boulders, flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed or with carved relief decoration tombstones with Hebrew inscriptions are most in the original location. No known mass graves. Used for a Jewish cemetery only, agricultural land is adjacent. Groups and private visitors visit rarely. Restoration: fixing the wall and gate and rebuilding of the ohel by Jewish individual abroad.
US Commission No. SLCE000031:
Stropkov cemetery is open to all via a fence with an unlocked gate. 250 meters from the main road (which goes to Vraanov), the cemetery is 140x28-30 meters. 100-500 tombstones date from 1900-1942, some in original locations but many fallen. They lay from N to S with the inscriptions at the W side. Of the marble, granite, and sandstone flat shaped and finely smoothed tombstones, many are illegible, worn completely smooth. Most sandstone monuments are flaking into layers, disintegrating and falling off. Those that can be read are in Hebrew without surnames. Some show ornamental leaves and vines. One ohel (Zborover Rebbe, R. Yitzhak Hersh Amsel) is in bad repair in the W section, deep within the under- and overgrowth. Vegetation, growing unchecked, damages tombstones. An open well exists within the cemetery, probably once a beit tahara. Private visitors arrive occasionally. There is no regular caretaker. The property belongs to the Municipaility of Stropkov, 38 Hlavna Street, Stropkov. The city architect, Marko Vateha, is a willing guide and very knowledgeable about both the cemetery and the town.
Corrections to the Commission data by Melody Amsel, Beersheva, Israel;
[date?]: Stropkov lies in NE Slovakia near the Russian and Polish borders. Until 1900, Jews buried their dead in the cemetery in Tisinec (See Tisinec). From 1900, they buried their dead in the outskirts of Stropkov. The town has since enveloped the cemetery that today stands in a residential area. Indeed, as we entered the area through a hole in the fence, next door neighbors were sitting on the ground in their adjacent yards sorting potatoes. I wondered if it felt strange for them to live so near an abandoned, overgrown Jewish cemetery, but they did not even look up. There were no last names on these tombstones; and most were illegible, half hidden by wild grasses and flowers and bushes. One grave stood out, different from the others, the impressive, fully upright, marble, clearly marked in Slovakian, " Here lies Jakub Grunfeld...." Jakub Grunfeld, the last Jew of Stropkov, who had been caretaker of the cemetery, with whom I had corresponded once now, is dead. Some kind soul had buried him among his ancestors. The circle had closed.
Map of Town
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:31|