J e w i s h      h i s t o r y

The Jews arrived there in 1750 from the region of Halic in Poland. In 1786 21 Jews lived in 3 houses in Giraltovce. They were 3.2% of the total population of the “shtetl”. The community was connected with the rabbinate of Hanusovce, situated 12 km south of Giraltovce.

Approximately in 1800 the cemetery was sanctified.

In 1828 lived 46 Jews in G. in four houses. The names Josef Friedmann, Lazar Gewuerz, Abraham Gottlieb and  widow Lichtenstein were mentioned in documents from the year 1842.

In 1848 there were 137 Jews in G.

A Jewish school was opened in 1890. The principal was Jakob Zukermann. In 1900 the Jewish school merged with the evangelic school and a public first grade school was created. One of the teachers was Ignac Lobelovic.

In 1900 a synagogue was built and several years later a mikve too.

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The majority of the community was orthodox. Mor Stark, Ignac Haendler, Isidor Lichtenstein and Nute Schoenfeld were in the 1920’s and 30’s decades heads of the community .

The Jews earned their living mainly from commerce and trade. In the second half of the 19th century the following physicians were mentioned: 1875 - Dr Henrich Hoffmann, 1885 – 1898 Dr Jacob Weiss, 1899 - Dr Arthur Horowitz and in 1909 Dr Jacob Gottlieb was nominated as chief regional health inspector.

Between the two world wars the Jews were mainly: tailors, shoemakers, carpenters etc. Some of them had food or clothing shops. The local pub, the mill , the sawmill and the electric plant were owned by Jews.

In 1924 the Lichtenstein family built a net and supplied electricity in Giraltovce, Marhan and Krucov, thus raising the life standard of the population. There were also Jewish attorneys and teachers.

In 1867 the Jews of Giraltovce were granted civil rights like all Jews of Hungary.

The Jews participated in the battles of WWI. Abraham Horowitz was mentioned among those killed in the battle.

With the proclamation of the Czechoslovak Republic after WWI the Jews were recognized as a cultural and national minority. At the parliament elections in April 1920 ,475 Jews from Giraltovce voted for the Jewish Party. In the whole district 6751 people voted.

In 1930 the distribution of the national groups was: 1395 Czechoslovak, 7 Russian, 25 Hungarian and 220 Jewish.

At the same period of time there was zionist activity in the shtetl. Bnei Akiba and Betar predominated among the zionist young movements.

In February1942  were in Giraltovce 356 Jews in 62 families.

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Last updated May 12th, 2009