Bardejov Jewish Cemetery
The cemetery already existed in the 18th century, with the catalog of the Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee dating the oldest preserved tombstone to 1796. The cemetery is marked on an Austro-Hungarian map of the region from the 1860s, and in 2014 it was restored and fenced. It is adjacent to both industrial and residential properties.
The first mention of Jews in Bardejov can be dated to 1599. From 1631, Jews were evicted from the city, and only returned at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1787, of the population of 3760, 42 were Jewish. In 1808, Hevra Kadisha (a ritual burial society) was founded, and the Great Synagogue was built in the 1830s.
A beit midrash, a mikvah, and a kosher slaughterhouse were also erected near the synagogue. From 1856 to 1871, Rabbi Haim Abraham Orenstein (author of Divrei Avraham) was a Rabbi of Bardejov. Then, in 1874, Admore’s grandson from Sans Moshe Halberstamm became Rabbi of Bardejov. In the 20th century, a yeshiva was founded.
In 1900, 1,715 Jews lived in Bardejov (8.1% of the total population); and at the beginning of WWII, the number had risen to 2,441 (8.7% of the total population). In September 1940, approximately 200 Jews were deported to labour camps. For the remainder of the war, the Jews of Bardejov were deported to various cities and camps around Poland, including Auschwitz. After the war, a portion of the survivors returned to the city. In 1948, only 256 Jews lived in Bardejov.
Gradually, they left the city, with the last dying in 2005. After more than 260 years of continuous Jewish presence, no Jews live in Bardejov today.