Synagogue of Mateszalka

Synagogue of Mátészalka, Kossuth tér 37, Magyarország

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

Who am I ?

« If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am 'I'? And if not now, when? ? »  Hillel Ha Zaken

Who will light a candle and place a stone on their graves?

Who are we? how it started?

How did the idea to build this site germinated in my head and then how the idea of ​​establishing a foundation came later?
My parents and all my immediate family are from this Mateszalka region in the county of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg in Hungary. My parents immigrated to France during the last century in the early '20s. My youth was steeped in the stories my parents told me about events that have marked their youth, Jarmi, Papos, Mateszalka, Opalyi, Nyirmada, Nagyvarad etc. .. But as more than 70 people in our immediate family, including my maternal grandmother, were killed by Nazis militias and their collaborators, my mother had sworn to never set foot in this country who has organized the assassination of her mother and 98% of her immediate family. Hungary For me, it was far, far away in the depths of Eastern Europe, like in the distant steppes of the film "Dr. Zhivago". My parents z"l have left this world in the 70s but I have always cherished the desire to see in person and finally be able to see if the postcards that my imagination had created over the years of my youth resembled the reality on the ground and that's what I did in May 2012. A short 3-day stay in Budapest on arrival, including a Chabad Friday night Shabbat, not only with prayer but with a extraordinary Shabbat Diner that followed, more than a hundred people at the table that included many young Israelis (For the meals, you must pass by Friday morning to book and pay). On Monday morning I went to get the car that I had rented from Montreal. Before my departure, I took care to equip my GPS with a map of Europe and I can say that it have been very useful in my travels. I went to a service station to buy a receipt to cover the costs of highway tolls and here I am en route to Mateszalka. The roads in Hungary are very well maintained worthy of what we know in the Westerns countries. The toll road highway goes up to Nyíregyháza, then we must take a series of smaller roads to get to Mateszalka. Arriving almost at destination, by surprise, all of a sudden when my eyes have seen this road sign with JARMI written on it, a large shiver went through my body and I could not believe that I was in the village who saw the birth of my mother, she had so much spoken about it, it was no longer a legend, I was there in person. The first cemetery my wife and me visited, was the one of Papos and it left us in a state of great sadness, there was this Jewish cemetery in the middle of a field and in a state of total abandonment. Yet it seemed to me that an organization in Budapest was supposed to take care of the maintenance of the Jewish cemeteries, at least this is what they say and claim on their website.
It is at this precise moment that everything switched on in my head, at that moment, I decided that I would do something by starting a website to sensitize the Jewish community in general, and especially the Jews native from the region of Mateszalka. With a big "bli-neder" I promised myself that I would take back the Dreamweaver book "Classroom in a book" that was lying on my desk for over the last two years and I would resume my lessons "how to build a website" continuously until the site is finished. Today, I can say "mission accomplish" it's done. From May to September 2012, as a good autodidact I have not stopped even one day and the result is what you can see on
We have to do something, we must restore the decorum worthy of the name of the last resting place of our ancestors. That we do it ourselves by traveling in person on site to ensure that the money donated follow the objectives for which they were collected, or by sending money to these Hungarians Jewish organizations, who probably have done a better job in other areas, at least I hope so....., but something must be done. We must show that those Nazis mucks failed to erase the memory of a Jewish presence in Hungary that goes back for more than a millennium.
Here is the site of the foundation which should normally take care of the maintenance of the Jewish cemeteries in Hungary.
Let us ourselves ours, by doing nothing we cannot blame people other than ourselves, we need to get at work ASAP. You have any ideas? you want to participate in being part of the Board of Directors of the Foundation currently in the process of creation? you do not have time, but you want to participate financially? all good suggestions are welcome, contact us:
 mail to: :  or   Tel.: 1-514-418-6781

Who am I ?

As you/we will have to collect a lot of money for this maintenance project of Jewish cemeteries from the Mateszalka region in Hungary and Nagyvarad/Oradea in Romania, I thought it would be good for you to know who's the person behind this project, here is this little resumé in shaped of CV. Of course I expect to be accountable to all the benefactors who will ask about details to know how the money was spent.

My name is Edmond Silber, I was born in Vigneux-sur-Seine in the Paris suburbs. My brother and my two sisters were also born in France, my brother and 1 sister in Vigneux and my other sister in Paris,13. All my family comes from the greater Mateszalka,Hungary region. My paternal grandparents moved from Nyirmada to Nagyvarad which was then still part of Hungary, it was not until after the 1939-45 war that the Soviets of the Stalinist era have traced new borders for the region, what was then part of the Hungarian Transylvania became all of a sudden Romanian. Nagyvard is now called Oradea. My father and his brother Uncle Armin, in the 1920s immigrated to France and settled in Vigneux-sur-Seine.

My mother was born in Jarmi. In 1923, thanks to a chidouch (arranged marriage) my father returned to Hungary to marry his cousin he had never met before, yet my father was born in Nyirmada less than 20 kil. of Jarmi.
Once married, they moved to Vigneux at 7 Rue Pierre Curie, in a house they shared with my uncle Armine and my aunt Serene for a few years. (no it's not the house that is now on google), the house was originally a house made ​​of wood, painted in green and much smaller. (The "toilet" was in a cabin outside) Later we moved to, 87 Rue des Chênes, Vigneux-sur-Seine that is where I was born.

My father and uncles were among the founders of the Chevra Kadisha of Vigneux. They also organized the offices of the great Tishri Hight Hollidays. For many years the prayers were made in a small house adjoining the one of my Uncle Maurice and Aunt Marguerite Morawiecki, the sister of my mother. My uncle and aunt graciously put this room available to the community, they lived at 6 rue du Chateau Vigneux-sur-Seine. My father and uncles, in turn, were respectively for many many year President and/or Treasurer of the association.
As they are today unfortunately not here, it is my cousin René Zilber who is the president. In the Vigneux cemetery, the Jewish square graves, are located towards the center of the municipal cemetery located after "la Patte d'oie" crossroads, on Avenue Henri Barbusse towards Draveil. One of my sisters is buried there. Once upon a time there was a small fence around the graves, but when my parents later left the association because of philosophical religious differences, my uncle Armine did remove the fences. Today, my parents z "l, rest in peace on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

Since 1959 I live in Montreal, I'm pretty active in the Jewish community and very militant for everything that has to do with Israel. I am an executive member of the organizing committee of the celebration of Yom Haatzmaut in Montreal. I am a board member of the CSUQ (Unified Sephardic Community of Quebec). I've also been in the past a board member of The Canadian Institute for Research on Judaism and member of the board of the deceased Quebec Israel Committee replaced today by CIJA.

During the war we lived in Choisy-le-roi  Val-de-Marne94, at 28 rue Mirabeau in the Gondoles neighborhood. From 1942 until the end of the war, we were hidden in Morsang-sur-Orge in a house kindly lent to us by a French couple, Mr. and Mrs. Fournier of Choisy-le-roi, G.d rest their souls. Extraordinary people. Our neighbors at 26 Rue Mirabeau Choisy-le-roi Mr. and Mrs. Milleville, people also extraordinary, left the back door of the their basement overlooking the garden open all the time to allow us to take refuge there in case of descent of the French police or the Gestapo. Mr. and Mrs. Millville took a big risk I do not need to tell you what would have happened if the French police would have realized that we jumped the fence to go for a refuge in their basement. I would have so much loved to register Mr. and Mrs. Fournier and Mr. and Mrs. Millville at Yad Vashem as Righteous among the Nations, unfortunately I do not know their first names respectively, nor the names and address of their descendants.
My parents who would have been able to give me all this information, are unfortunately not from this world anymore. Mrs. Fournier was a nurse, my mother met her at the hospital in Paris,13th when she gave birth to my sister Micheline. For the address of Mrs. Fournier I do remember that their street was along the parc of the of the former City Hall of Choisy le Roi, it is the rue Waldeck Rousseau, I know it was in one of the buildings (there were 2 or 3 that were similar) but I do not know witch one. They were extraordinary people, they lent us their country house free of charge and nothing in return, this house was in Morsang-sur-Orge.
The house was small but there was a very large field in front with lots of fruit trees. We stayed there from 1942 to 1945. I still remember very well the day of liberation, It was in Morsang, columns of trucks, tanks and allied soldiers who threw us Lifesaver candies, packs of chicklets and small packets of five american cigarettes.
Is there a way to find the final resting place and or the descendants of these great people? When they retired Mrs. Fournier returned to their native region of Normandy in Tesse-la-Madeleine or Bagnole de l'Orne or La Ferte Mace. Mr. and Mrs. Milleville, as I know, they retired to they native north of France.

At the end of the war, my parents made ​​the acquaintance of Rabbi Zalman Schneerson the Rabbi's cousin. He was in France since before the war, he spent the entire period of the occupation in hiding with a group of Jewish children. In 1945, since the war has deprived us of any Jewish education, my brother and myself, we went to Judaize ourselves and went to the Yeshiva of Rabbi Zalman Schneersohn located at the Chateau du Manoir in Saint-Étienne-de-Crossey (Isère) near Voiron France.
Subsequently, the master of the places a chatelaine, wanted to get back her domain she graciously made ​​available to the Rabbi for the wartime. We then returned to Paris at 10 rue near the Place de la République in the 10th district were the Rabbi had the headquarters of his organisation the AIP (Association des Israélites Pratiquants).

There we stayed for a few months because after the Rabbi bought a property on the banks of the Oise river in Eragny-sur-Oise, 20 route de Neuville. Property extended from the Neuville road on one edge and on the other side by the Chemin du Halage on the edge of the river. This is where I made my Barmitzva.

My sisters got married with Lubavitchers, we can better understand why my parents chose the Lubavitch clan, instead of the of the Satmars, one can also understand why there are several of my nephews Lubavitch Shlihimes in many countries, as Sao polo & Porto Alegre Brazil, Barranquilla Colombia, Zagreb in Croatia, Brussels in Belgium, DDO-Montreal Canada, Kfar Chabad Israel.
In 1949, I did stay a little more than a year studiyng in the Yeshiva of Aix les Bains.

Today b"h I'm bless with 3 children, a son and two daughters and 9 grandchildren.

I've never set foot in Hungary before this trip in May 2012. Even if I never wanted to speak Hungarian when I was young, my parents always spoke Hungarian to each other at home, it seemed that the language was embedded in my head despite myself. It help me alot because during my trip to Hungary, Hungarian returned as if I had always spoken this language. Of course I do not speak it fluently, but enough to find my way and make me understand.
Before leaving in May 2012, I did some research on the Jews of Hungary. I learned that in 1939 the total population of Hungary was approximately 8,000,000 and there were nearly 800,000 Jews, more or less 10% of the population.
Unlike North America were Jewish communities can be found in large cities, Hungary's Jewish population was predominantly scattered throughout Hungary and in many small villages such as those of Jarmi, Papos, Opalyi, Komádi that had very small community of only a few Jewish families each. Even if the villages were separated by only a few kilometers, each village had its own little Jewish cemetery.
Hungarian Jews were well integrated. Hungarian Jews spoke Hungarian at home, They used the Yiddish only has an opportunity to communicate in the community, especially on Shabbat.My maternal grandparents lived in Jarmi. My maternal grandfather was an retired officer of the Austro-Hungarian army. He was very religious he had a beard like the hassidimes. As a retired army officier, in recognition for his loyal service, the government gave my grandfather, a piece of land to grow tobacco as a sharecropper.

Hungarian Jews were good loyal citizens they have always had a very good relationship with the non-Jewish population and yet in...........1944...........

...............among the Nazi militias who came to get the Jews of the Mateszalka region there were neighbors, people they rubbed shoulders throughout their lives. "They obey orders" They accompanied them bayonets on the gun to cattle wagons for shipment to Auschwitz.
Hungarians Nazis militias were really of an amazing "efficiency", they were even more efficient than the Germans, they were able to deport more than 550,000 people in less than 3 months and that in 1944 while Eruope was almost at half liberated.

From 800,000 before the war, the Hungarian Jewish population today is only about +or- 50,000 people, they live mostly in Budapest and the surroundings and in the city of Debrecen. It was during my trip in May 2012, while visiting the small villages of my ancestors as: Nyírbátor, Jarmi, Papos Opalyi that I really understood ​​all that and I still have much more to discover.

How many more others abandoned Jewish cemeteries such as Papos there is to discover?

Visit: Hungary

Source: Of approximately 825,000 Jews living in Hungary in 1941, about 63,000 died or were killed prior to the German occupation of March 1944. Under German occupation, just over 500,000 died from maltreatment or were murdered. Some 255,000 Jews, less than one-third of those who had resided within enlarged Hungary in March 1944, survived the Holocaust. About 190,000 of these were residents of Hungary in its 1920 borders.

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



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TSynagogue of Mateszalkare.