Temető - Béth Hácháim - Cemetery

The jewish community of Balassagyarmat, which is almost 600 years old had a burial ground before the turkish army came to Hungary, but there are no clues left about it, and no written sources.

The town was repopulated in the early XVIII. century. And the members of the renewed "minjan' started to use the current orthodox cemetery, and also started to build the "Béth Hácháim", the house of the living.

Even if the local Chevra Kadisa had a registry for the funerals, it was destroyed during World War II. We, as the employees of the Foundation, faced the fact, that the migrated survivors and their relatives come here to our town and they are searching for their ancestors. And often they came in vain, because they were unable to find, who they were looking for among the 3500 graves.

We wanted to do something to help this process. So in 2003 the Foundation started to make a map for the cemetery. First oif all we needed to figure out a system. We divided the cemetery into 3 parcels, A, B and C. Each was further divided into subdivisions whit 10 meters*10 meter parcels. We started at the wall of the cemetery and we planted sticks at every 10 meters, then we connected those sticks with strings.

After this we spent two summers making digital photos about all the stones. It took so long because we wanted to make good quality photos, and for that we cleaned all the stones with a small brush and water. We did not wanted to use anything larger or more rough, because some of the stones are hundreds of years old, and we did not wanted to damage them on any way. But we needed to clean them, in order to make them more readable and recognisable.

This was followed by creating a catalogue for all this information. Now all the pictures and most of the translations of the writings on the stones (both hebrew and hungarian) are available on DVD or CD.
(Note: We made more than one pictures in many cases to be sure, the final result will be good enough, and the whole writing will be visible.)

In the next phase we tried to finish with all the translations. Some of the stones were damaged over the hundreds of years, some writing faded away, or partially disappeared. So this process take years, now we finished with all the stones, which were in good shape (a little bit more than 3000), and the final few hundred is still in process, we try to publish as many information about them as possible due to their bad shape.

Below you can see fragments of this work:

 

  1. Some of the pictures about the nearly 3500 graves of the parcels A, B and C. (For more information and pictures check out the Gallery link, and its sublink: the art relic jewish, orthodox cemetery of Balassagyarmat)
  2. The hungarian and hebrew translations of subparcels „A / I” and „A / XVIII” and „B / I
  3. One tenth of the graveyard's catalogue in ABC 
  4. Eliezer Itzkovits's translations (fragments)

We inform and warn you that:

  • These are only fragments of the catalogue, which is available on DVD's and CD's with the translations and pictures.
  • Our Foundation gladly helps, and we give you any information available if you are in search for lost family members or relatives.
  • We happily accept every and any feedback given to us considering the catalogue, the pictures or anything related to this work
  • We ask you, if you have any information, or picture, or any other valuable thing about anyone who is burried in the jewish cemetery of Balassagyarmat, please feel free to contact us, and share your knowledge with us, maybe some day it will help someone to find his/her relatives. We also try to collect photos and other memories of migrated survivors, and if you give us permission and you are one of them, we would love to feature you on our webpage to.

Our employees are waiting for your letters, e-mails and observations, and we also would like to ask you, if you can help us do our job better, or you feel we deserve your donation, please help us.