Tiszabezded Jewish Cemetery
The Jewish cemetery of Tiszabezdéd was established as early as 1853, since the oldest tombstone found in the cemetery dates to that year. The cemetery remained in operation until at least 1941, the year in which the latest tombstone was erected. The cemetery has not been fenced.
Tiszabezdéd is a village in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county, in the Northern Great Plain region of eastern Hungary. The first Jews were recorded in Tiszabezdéd in the 1747 census, when 4 Jews lived in the village. In 1770, 17 Jews lived in Tiszabezdéd on the estates of four noble families (Péczeli, Dőry, Petrovay, and Gilányi). The Jewish population increased and, in 1880, Jews accounted for 158 people of the village’s total population of 1,338. The Jewish population peaked at 169 (across 43 households) in 1848, following which the population decreased, and by 1941 only 66 Jews remained in the village (among the total population of 1,789). Jews worked primarily as traders, land managers, and farmers. Despite their low number, they had a significant influence on the life and culture of the village. For instance, one of the largest distilleries in the country—which was owned by Jews—operated in Tiszabezdéd in the Reform Era.
While the Jewish community officially came under the jurisdiction of the Mándok rabbinate, the rabbi and the rabbinate of Kisvárda had a stronger influence on the community. In addition to a synagogue (built in 1900), the community had a cemetery and a cheder. In 1938, the community fell victim to an increase in anti-Jewish atrocities. The synagogue was desecrated, Jewish property was destroyed, and some people were beaten. Moreover, some shops and houses were plundered. One family who could not prove their nationality, were deported, and ended up in Kamenetsk-Podolsk. In 1942, the young Jewish men of the village were sent away for forced labour service. In 1944, the fields owned by the Jewish community were confiscated and sold. In April 1944, following Pesach, the Jews of Tiszabezdéd were forcibly gathered and taken to the Kisvárda Ghetto, then deported to Auschwitz at the end of May. All Jewish property and goods in the town were seized and sold. Their food was taken to the community building and their animals were given to neighbours. After the war, only 10 young Jews returned to the village where the found the synagogue damaged. They soon left the village, after which the synagogue was torn down. By 1949, only 3 Jews remained in Tiszabezdéd.