Slovak Jewish Heritage Database

Browse Items (14 total)

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  • Zavod_1.jpg

    The cemetery is located in the northern part of village in a residential area. It is a small walled lot containing about fourteen graves, seven with standing tombstones. The local Jewish community was small: there were 17 Jewish residents here in 1927. The oldest tombstones are typical sandstone matzevot with semi-circular endings, while three later tombstones are period-typical black granite obelisks. The latest grave is from 1915 (Amalie Kohn). Several tombstones belong to the Weisz family. These include the neighboring graves of Adolf (Aaron Yehuda) and Regina (Rivkah), Marie (Mirel) and Nathan. Nathan’s sons Robert and Sándor Weisz, who died as little children, are buried in a twin grave and share a matzevah. The tombstone texts are bilingual, in Hebrew and German. The cemetery is in fair condition, and is maintained by the neighbors.
  • Studienka_1.jpg

    The rather forlorn cemetery is located in a pine forest, about 300-400 meters east of the edge of the village. The flat plot belongs to the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Slovak Republic. Only four fallen tombstones, belonging to Moshe Beckmann, Jakob Grünhut, Emanuel (Mendel) Pissk and Regina Kohn remain. They have Hebrew-German texts.
  • synagoga_modra_1.jpg

    Throughout its history Modra has been a prosperous wine-growing town situated among the vineyards of the Small Carpathian hills. Its German-speaking inhabitants blocked the establishment of a Jewish presence for centuries. A small Jewish community was established here only during the second half of the 19th century. The synagogue, dating from 1902, is located on the southern edge of the historical part of the town, in the line of the town’s original fortification walls. The character of the building remains legible: a tri-partite façade vertically divided by lesenes and topped by an arched molding. Modern windows have replaced the historical round-arched fenestration and most of its decorative details have disappeared. The postwar owners completely altered the interior. The synagogue currently serves as a studio for an artist from Bratislava.
  • modra_cintorin_1.jpg

    The Jewish cemetery in Modra was located on today’s Šúrska Street, which is the southern thoroughfare of the town. It was razed in 1960 and its land now belongs to the local municipality. However, it did not disappear into complete oblivion. In 1999, a group of local activists cleaned and marked the site of the cemetery. A granite plaque was mounted on the remaining cemetery wall. A matzevah (tombstone) was carefully reassembled from three fragments and is attached to the wall. It belongs to Samuel Blau, who passed way in 1850 at the age of 71. Another matzevah is a broken fragment with only the stone maker’s sign in Hebrew letters: Leicht Pressburg.
  • casta_1.jpg

    The new Jewish cemetery is located about 500-600 meters south-east of the edge of the village, next to a farm. A rectangular flat compound with north-east to south-west orientation, it is today hidden by mature trees that have turned the area into a pleasant location. Sections of the original stone walls remain and traces of the cemetery chapel can be found on the north-eastern side. This was the original entrance to the compound: a long, narrow strip of land, which once provided road access, remains to this day in Jewish ownership.

    Access to the cemetery is now from the south-east, where the local civic association that maintains the site has placed an entrance structure, bench and information panel. There are about 100 marked graves in the compound. Ninety are organized in seven rows in one part, and about ten more are dispersed in the north-eastern section.

    The cemetery was established in the second half of the 19th century to replace the old cemetery near the castle. Older headstones are traditional vertical stellae (matzevot), some of them with semi-circular endings. Some older gravestones are textually rich, with poetic Hebrew texts commemorating the deceased, as was common in the past.

    Later tombstones are of the obelisk type, with Hebrew text on one side and vernacular (mostly German, but with one in Slovak) on the reverse. Many headstones are only fragments, but the local civic association is gradually restoring the site and re-assembling the tombstones. The cemetery is the property of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Slovak Republic.

  • verschleppung-(1).jpg

    According to a detailed census, some 15,102 Jews lived in Bratislava in December 1940. The Slovak state that existed during World War II was a loyal ally of Nazi Germany and adopted harsh anti-Jewish legislation that effectively stripped Jews of their basic civil and human rights, excluded them from jobs, Aryanized their businesses, and stole their homes and properties. In 1942, after looting them of everything, the Slovak authorities deported most of the country’s Jews to death camps. The Jews of Bratislava and its surrounding region were first sent to the Patrónka compound, which served as one of seven Slovak assembly camps for transports. The first transport from Bratislava left on March 27, 1942 – it consisted of one thousand single women, who were deported to Auschwitz. By October 1942, around fifty-nine thousand Slovak Jews had been deported from Slovakia. The deportations were suspended in 1943, but were resumed again in October 1944 after the Germans suppressed the Slovak National Uprising against the Nazis. Many Bratislava Jews were rounded up for deportation during the “big catch” night, September 28, 1944. 11,719 Slovak Jews were concentrated in the Sereď camp, and most of them were deported. One of these was the artist Adolf Frankl (1903-1983). He survived the Auschwitz camp and after the war used his memories of the Holocaust as the basis for his cycle of paintings called Visions from the Inferno – Art against Oblivion. Frankl settled in Vienna after the war, but he often returned to the Czechoslovak border to observe the silhouette of Bratislava with its Castle and Cathedral that appear in his artworks as symbols of pain and tragic memories.
  • parochet.jpg

    This Torah curtain (parochet) has ornamental and floral applications. Above, the abbreviation for Keter Torah (Crown of the Torah) can be seen. The Hebrew inscription reads: “This is a donation by the esteemed Mr. Joel Neumann, may his light shine, together with his wife Madam Rikla, may she live, the esteemed Mr. Jeshayahu Markstein, may his light shine, together with his wife Mrs. Rivka, may she live, for the holy community Yergen in the year 666 of the minor reckoning”. Yergen is the Hebrew name for Svätý Jur, a small town in western Slovakia near Bratislava. In German it was called Sankt Georgen, and in Hungarian Szentgyörgy. It became known in the Jewish world when religious authority and fierce defender of Orthodoxy Moshe Schick served here as a rabbi in 1838-1868, before he moved to Chust in Ruthenia. He later became the acknowledged rabbinical heir of the Chatam Sofer in Hungary. The ark is covered with a Torah curtain in remembrance of the curtain which covered the Ark of the Covenant, according to Exodus 40:21: “He brought the Ark inside the Tabernacle. Then he put up the curtain for screening, and screened off the Ark of the Covenant...”
  • bocheri.jpg

    A yeshiva is a Jewish school of higher education focusing particularly on study of the Talmud and religious law (Halacha). The head of the yeshiva (rosh yeshiva) was usually the chief rabbi; in some cases, yeshivas were headed by local rabbis as well as private scholars. The operation of the yeshiva and care for students was mostly provided by the Jewish community and sometimes by communal and educational foundations or charitable societies. Yeshiva graduates often performed the functions of the rabbi in Jewish communities. The beginnings of the Bratislava yeshiva go back to the end of the 17th century, yet the first credible reports date from the 1720s, when the school was headed by Chief Rabbi Moshe Lemberger. After his death (in 1758), the institution was enhanced by his successors, Rabbis Akiva Eger, Meir Barby and Meshulam Eger. The yeshiva reached its peak under Rabbi Moses Schreiber (the Chatam Sofer) who reorganized the school’s management from scratch, introduced a fixed structure for the educational curriculum, developed a system of social and financial support for the yeshiva and its students (including a dormitory and canteen) and took part in the creation of educational and supportive societies for the further advancement of the institution. The yeshiva consisted of educational subsections (yeshiva gedola, yeshiva ketana, kollel) for different levels of study. In the following years, his sons and their descendants continued to head the yeshiva without interruption until 1938; in fact, the pedagogical activity of the yeshiva was carried out to a limited extent until 1940. Ten years later, the Pressburg yeshiva was reopened in Israel, in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kiriyat Moshe. Ateret Bachurim, the debating club of yeshiva students, was also among the yeshiva’s educational societies and the photograph of this club dates from 1899/1900.
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