Jewish cemetery - memento for those who are not with us anymore

Historical sources says that Jews of Spišská Nová Ves were initially buried in the main town cemetery. Later a Jewish cemetery was built that is located in the eastern part of the town near the railway line. The oldest grave dates back to 1880 and the youngest one is from 1955. According to the latest listing, the length of the cemetery is 125 m and its width is 20 m. 280 tombstones have been preserved.

Monument to the former Jewish community

The first Jewish families were settled in the town in the 50’s of the 19th century. The Jewish community was formed in 1872. On today Školská street there used to be majestic Jewish Synagogue, which was destroyed during World War II. Before the war about 200 Jewish families lived in the city. The horrors of the concentration camps were avoided by only around 10 % of the Jewish population. After the war most of them found a new home abroad.

Renovated and open for the public

In the past part of the cemetery was a gateway with an enclosure and ceremonial chapel with a mortuary, which was originally used as a house of purification - Bejt tahara. Part of the ceremonial chapel on the edge of the cemetery, from which are preserved only the foundations, was rebuilt into a pillbox fortification by the German Army in September 1944.

After the war, garages were built on the sides of the cemetery and the garden area was established. As after the war the cemetery was not maintained, many tombstones have fallen victims to vandals or have been stolen. The cemetery was restored for the first time after 1989.

In 2007, the cemetery was cleaned up thanks to an initiative of a local secondary school, the town of Spišská Nová Ves, Slovakia’s Central Union of Jewish Religious Communities, and the grant program “A better place to live” from Konto Orange, n. f. The cemetery was subsequently open to the public. Access to the cemetery is provided by the Tourist Information Centre.

The monument on the Slovak Jewish Heritage Route

The Jewish cemetery is the last surviving monument of Jewish culture in the town. In 2010 it was included among the monuments on the Slovak Jewish Heritage Route which is part of the European Route of the Jewish Heritage Route.