The Shoah Period
As a result of the Munich agreement, in September 1938, the Czechoslovak
Republic was liquidated . In October 1938 Slovakia obtained autonomy. In
March 15th 1939 as a vassal of Nazi Germany an "independent" Slovak state
was created .
The strong antisemitic propaganda all over created within the population hatred against the Jews. The antisemitic legislation removed the Jews from schools ,offices, social and from economic life. The Jewish owned commerce and industry was overtaken by Aryans and until 1942 all Jewish property was liquidated.
The young men were recruited for forced labor within the 6th batallion of the Slovak Army.
In March 1942 began the deportations of Jews in Slovakia . First, young women from 16 years of age were deported to the extermination camps in Poland. After that they deported the young men. At the end whole families were sent to their death.
From Giraltovce and the surrounding villages were
deported until May 1942 :
84 men between the age of 16 – 55;
123 women from the age of 16;
115 children up to the age of 16;
130 men above the age of 55.
All together 452 Jews from Giraltovce and the surroundings were deported. In March 1944, because of the approaching front, the rest of the Jews from the district were evacuated to the West part of Slovakia. Most of them to the concentration camp Zemianska Kert.
Between the years 1941 and 1944 a partisan group, including several Jewish young men was active in the Matiaska forests near Giraltovce. Stefan Kubik (Friedmann) from Presov was their commander.
The Russian army entered Giraltovce on January 18, 1945..
"The Valley Of Communities " near Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Eastern Slovakia "kehilot" section.
To enlarge the photo, click here.
After the war.
Only 73 of the 356 Jews of Giraltovce itself survived
the war. Some of them returned to the shtetl and left after some time. The
family of Jankel Deutsch was the only one who remained there. The others made
aliya to Israel or emigrated to the US.
The synagogue was destroyed during the war and all the houses of the Jews were demolished
in the years after the war.
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Last updated May 12th, 2009