Jewish cemeteries in Slovakia

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Cemeteries in
 693 identified Jewish cemeteries have been preserved in Slovakia.
 Unfortunately, many of them have been desecrated and vandalized. Tombstones
 have often been stolen by unscrupulous people, and the peace of the dead has
 been disturbed by vandals who have succumbed to naive stories about treasures
 buried in Jewish graves.

                                            Cemeteries are located in all regions of
                                            Slovakia, even in some remote places, thus
                                            serving as stone witnesses of former
                                            Jewish settlement in small mountain
                                            villages. Each cemetery is different: some
                                            contain wealthy tombs of prominent
                                            citizens, while others feature simple
                                            matzevot of rural Jews.

Important and still not researched cemeteries are spread across north-eastern Slovakia,
once dominated by the Hassidism, with many interesting folkloric decorative elements that
slowly disappear with every new rain. An undisclosed number of cemetery chapels has
been preserved.
                            Bratislava's cemetery

A remnant of a Jewish cemetery is
located at the Christian cemetery of
Bratislava´s city district - Rača.

The cemetery gradually vanished
since World War II, when this 20 x
35m large area with gravestones
with Hebrew and German
inscriptions, was fenced.

After several episodes of vandalism,
only two gravestones survived to this
day, paled by an iron fence and
decorated with a Star of David.

It is located in the western part of the
Christian cemetery, close to the main
entrance from Žitná Street.
                                       Nitra's ceme tery

In Nitra, both orthodox and reform Jewish cemeteries can be found, situated
in the same site on the hill near. This complex represents one if the best
preserved cemeteries in Slovakia with about 5000 graves.

On this 120x80m large area, monumental tombstones from marble and
granite with inscriptions in Hebrew, German, Hungarian and Slovak can be

Originally, the cemeteries were separated from each other by a
brick wall, which was ruined during World War II, when the
Orthodox cemetery served as a strategic base for German
soldiers fighting against the progressing Soviet army.

                                                               Here one can find simple sandstone
                                                               gravestones dating back to the 17th century and
                                                               impressive marble 20th century tombstones as
                                                               well. Some of the older gravestones are
                                                               decorated with remarkable motives, e.g. view of
                                                               the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The cemetery
                                                               chapel stands near the entrance to the orthodox
                                                               cemetery. The Holocaust memorial was erected
                                                               nearby. A children section is located in north-
                                                               western part of the cemetery.
                                   Trnava's ceme tery
East of Trnava, near the protestant and former military cemeteries, the third Jewish cemetery is located.

This 130 x 80m large area was used since 1879 by orthodox and status quo communities and therefore
more then 1000 graves can be found here.

  The oldest ones are grouped in the north-eastern part. Richly decorated children graves
  stand behind the former cemetery chapel, which is now partially used for residential

                                                  Many gravestones are
                                                 decorated with pictorial
                                                 motives like the blessing
                                                hands of Kohanim, Levi’s
                                                 jar, the Shield of David,
                                                      weeping willow,
                                                  candlestick and styled
                                                floral motifs. Inscriptions
                                                       are in Hebrew
                                                   complemented with
                                                 German or Slovak ones.
                            Šala's ceme tery

     There were two Jewish
   cemeteries in the Šala city
 district called Veča. The older
one vanished, but the other one
 which is situated near the river
   Váh remains one of the last
    proofs of the lost Jewish
   presence in this region. On
  cemetery area cca 60 x 45m
 large around 250 gravestones
           can be found.

                                               The oldest known gravestone dates
                                               back to the year 1897. Gravestones
                                                  were made from sandstone,
                                               granite, white, pink or red marble
                                               and decorated with symbols of the
                                                Shield of David, Levi’s jar, palm
                                                tree and inscriptions in Hebrew,
                                                  German and Hungarian. The
                                               cemetery doesn’t serve its original
                                               purpose any more, but it remains a
                                                      dignified place of the
                                               commemoration, thanks to current
                                                 maintenance by the local civil
                                                       association Maceva
Made by

Ivana Pavlovičová

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