Synagogue of Mátészalka,

Synagogue of MateszalkaSynagogue of MateszalkaSynagogue of Mateszalka

Synagogue of Mátészalka, Kossuth tér 37

It is possible to visit the Synagogue, to get the key go the the office of the Satmar region museum a little further down on the other side on the same street:

Szatmári Múzeum ‎

Kossuth Street 5,
4700 Mátészalka Hungary
Tel: 06 44 502-646


In making this trip to Hungary, my goal was not to make tourism and for good reason that you will read below, but to visit my family who unfortunately now, can only be found in cemeteries. Apart from a few who survived the Holocaust and immigrated to North America after the war of 39/45 and a few others who have benefited from the 1956 Revolution to leave the country, the only family members who remain Hungary are now in cemeteries. Before embarking on my trip, I did a little research on the web on the Hungarian Jewish community, or at least what remains of it, I have, among others, learned that there was a Jewish organization which handles maintenance of Jewish cemeteries in Hungary. I understand that this organization has certainly not all the financial means that it would hope, and I did not expect to find a full time cemetery gardener who would spend all his time constantly cutting the grass or cleaning the graves but I thought to find something fairly decent. Disillusion quickly caught me, the first cemetery I've visited the one of Papos where my great-grandfather is buried, this cemetery has left me in a state of very low moral distress, the cemetery is in a state of total abandonment, the majority of the graves are covered with grass and shrubs. There is no fence, the cemetery is in the middle of a cultivated field. Examining the municipal street plan in the middle of the village, one might think that there is a street that borders the cemetery, but in reality it is simply a trail for bullock carts that must be followed for about 300 meters to go to the cemetery. At the end of the street "Jozseph A utca", and the intersection of so-called street "Mikszáth Utca" one cannot see anything, and there is no way to know or believe that there is a Jewish cemetery there in the middle of the field, all that we see is a field and a small square moderately wooded fallow in the distance is actually the cemetery.
Especially when lighting candles for Shabbat, my mother did not go a week without tears and crying her mother, brother, sister, nieces and nephews, uncles, aunts, brothers-in law, sisters in law, entire families, more than 70 people exterminated during the Holocaust, she had sworn never to set foot in this country who had seen her born and were a large part of the population had worked proactively for the extermination of her family.


Why the Mateszalka region ?

Are your ancestors coming from this region ? Mine yes. My maternal grandfather Menachem Meir Goldberger was born in Nitra, Slovakia in the early 1800s, he moved very young in the Mateszalka region. All members of my paternal and maternal family are from the department of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg
My father Samuel (Chayè) Silber was born in Nyirmada my mother Rosalie/Regee (Raïz'l) Goldberger in Jarmi. My paternal great grandfather Itschok Ïisick Zilber was born in Papos he died in Papos and he rest in peace in the Papos Jewish cemetery. My paternal great grandmother Esther Faigi Nokli was born in Ópályi and she rest in peace in the Jarmi Jewish cemetery. My maternal grandfather Karoli (Haïm Yékoussiél) Goldberger rest in peace in the Mateszalka Jewish cemetery. My maternal grandmother, Rivki (Silber) Goldberger (my father and my mother were first cousin) was born in Papos........has unfortunately been put on the train to Auschwitz by the Hungarian Nazi militia were among them could be found some of her own close Hungarian friends from the village of Jarmi and Matszalka, ............They said they were following orders........she nerver came back, may her soul rest in peace. My paternal grandfather Yossef Youdo Silber was born in Ópályi. My two paternal grandparents Devora (Blau) Silber and Yossef Youdo Silber may their souls rest in peace, are supposed to be buried in Oradea/Nagyvarad, but unfortunatly in May 2012 when I was in Romania, I could'nt find their tombs in both Jewish cemeteries, the Orthodox and the Neolog, located in the huge municipal Rulikowski cemetery in Oradea/Nagyvarad, Roumania.
I must return to Oradea/Nagyvarad because just before leaving, while talking to a person in charge of the community office, I've learned that there was another Jewish cemetery located in the subburbs, but for this one, unlike for the other two cemeteries, there is no book with the name of the poeple buried there. If you have information about this cemetery, please get in touch with me @:Contact Email

We need your help.

Papos: The Papos Jewish cemetery is in a total state of abandonment and it is by pure chance that I was able to find the grave of my great-grandfather Itschok Ïisick Zilber. I was lucky that the tomb was located on the corner just off the trail leading to the cemetery. Although the location of the cemetery is shown on the municipal plan located in the middle of the main street of Papos It still took the help of a local to find it. Indeed arriving at the end of the road shown on the plan, all you see at far is a large field with a wooded area. I parked the car at the end of the street and the person led me to the end of the path just traced in the field before the cemetery. Arriving at the height of the cemetery, you can see quite a few graves here and there, but the vast majority of the graves are overgrown and hidden by nature.

 Mateszalka: The cemetery is half empty, more or less maintained and it must be said quickly, during my visit, many plots were invaded by deep grass up to to my knees. Maybe if we were providing a propelled lawn mower it would increase the frequency of the grass cutting. All people for whom the land had been saved for, have unfortunately taken the path of Auschwitz and since today there are virtually no Jews in Mateszalka, the empty plots will remain so for long.

The cemetery keeper is a nice guy but ........ maintenance could be a little more frequent. Perhaps, before starting a cut, he expects that the grass is taller enough to sell it as food for cattle. As compensation for its maintenance work, he has been gave the right to use the large parcel of empty land for its own account, and probably one should not also forget the generous tip he must get from families visiting the cemetery.
My cousin Allan Scop, antiquarian in Brooklyn NY, specializing in Judaica items told me that the registery book with the name and date of people buried in the Mateszalka area is in the hands of a speculator living in Israel and this book has already been put to auction to the highest bidder, the starting price was around $ 25,000.
I do not understand how someone was able to capture a document of general interest belonging to the whole community. It would be good to buy it back, or to recover through the judicial system and then deliver it to a public agency. In this way the document could be available to all.

Ópályi  As my great grandmother and other family members were born in the nearby village of Ópályi close to Mateszalka, I decided to go there for a ride. Arriving in the middle of the village I saw a sign in the shape of an arrow on a telephone pole saying "Jewish cemetery" in Hungarian "Zsido temető" I stopped the car to go visit the cemetery. The cemetery is just up the slope along the road. There is a separation of about 50 meters and after you can see the Catholic cemetery there. The cemetery looks better maintained, it seems that they cut the grass from time to time but the graves would need a little maintenance. On some graves I looked, I have not found familiar names.

Nyírmeggyes  My maternal great-grandfather Meir Menachem Goldberger, is supposed to be buried in Nyirmeggyes, but I have not visited this cemetery, it is planed on my roadmap during my next visit to the region.


In a small perimeter around Mateszalka, there are at least 5 or 6 small villages Jewish cemeteries. They are distant from each other for only a few kilometers, which shows that the Jews were well integrated in their respective villages. These cemeteries are half empty, unfortunately in 1944 the Hongarian Nazi militia under the leadership of the German Nazis, had other plans for the future of the Jewish population "Imach shemome". 

How to help ? click here.......

Contact Email ...Tel:1-514-418-6781

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Synagogue of Mateszalka
Synagogue of Mateszalka
TSynagogue of Mateszlkae.