• Prešov Monument and Museum of Jewish Culture
The Museum of Jewish Culture was established in the orthodox synagogue of Prešov. Standing in the courtyard is a monument to the residents of the Prešov region who perished in the Holocaust.
Image: Prešov, undated, City scene, Stiftung Denkmal
Prešov, undated, City scene, Stiftung Denkmal

Image: Prešov, 2004, The old Orthodox synagogue is now home to the Museum of Jewish Culture, Stiftung Denkmal
Prešov, 2004, The old Orthodox synagogue is now home to the Museum of Jewish Culture, Stiftung Denkmal
As in all »royal cities« of the Kingdom of Hungary, Jews were not allowed to settle in Prešov (Hungarian: Eperjes) from the Middle Ages on. A small number of Jews lived outside of the city gates. The ban was revoked in 1840 and soon a small Jewish community was established in Prešov. Many supported the Hungarian battle for independence in 1848–1849 against Habsburg rule. In 1849, the first synagogue in Prešov was built, and at the turn of the century, there were about 2,000 Jews living in the city. Apart from Orthodox members of the community, there were also many aligned with Neolog Judaism. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were various Zionist organisations active in Prešov. After the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918, the Jewish community of Prešov continued to grow, comprising of 4,300 members in 1938.
That year, the Slovak People's Party led by Jozef Tiso came to power and in 1939, established a dictatorship in now-independent Slovakia. The Slovak government began systematically persecuting the Jews residing in Slovakia. They were excluded from public life, their property was confiscated and many were deployed in forced labour. In 1942, Slovakia began deporting Jews to ghettos and concentration camps in German-occupied Poland, conducting this in close coordination with the German Reich. The main deportation destinations were the Auschwitz and Majdanek concentration camps. A total of 6,000 Jews were deported from the Prešov region.
Image: Prešov, undated, City scene, Stiftung Denkmal
Prešov, undated, City scene, Stiftung Denkmal

Image: Prešov, 2004, The old Orthodox synagogue is now home to the Museum of Jewish Culture, Stiftung Denkmal
Prešov, 2004, The old Orthodox synagogue is now home to the Museum of Jewish Culture, Stiftung Denkmal
Of the 70,000 Jews deported from Slovakia, 6,000 came from Prešov and the surrounding areas. Only few survived the concentration camps. The Jewish community of Prešov did not recover after the war.
Image: Stropkov, 1942, Jews from Stropkov are forcibly taken to Prešov to be deported from there by train, Múzeum SNP
Stropkov, 1942, Jews from Stropkov are forcibly taken to Prešov to be deported from there by train, Múzeum SNP

Image: Prešov, 2004. Monument to the Holocaust victims in the synagogue's courtyard, Stiftung Denkmal
Prešov, 2004. Monument to the Holocaust victims in the synagogue's courtyard, Stiftung Denkmal
The synagogue of the Orthodox community was inaugurated in 1898. In 1928, the community opened Slovakia's first Jewish museum in the building of the synagogue. The museum was shut down during the war and the collection was handed over to the Jewish museum in Prague. Only in 1993, after the breakup of Czechoslovakia, was the collection returned and the museum in Prešov reopened. The synagogue building was renovated in the 1990s.
On August 17, 1991, the Prešov Jewish community dedicated a monument in the synagogue's courtyard to the 6,000 Holocaust victims from Prešov and surrounding areas. The city administration unveiled a memorial plaque to the victims on the town hall in 1998.
Image: Prešov, 2004, Plaque with the names of victims on the synagogue wall, Stiftung Denkmal
Prešov, 2004, Plaque with the names of victims on the synagogue wall, Stiftung Denkmal

Image: Prešov, 2004, Town hall memorial plaque, Stiftung Denkmal
Prešov, 2004, Town hall memorial plaque, Stiftung Denkmal
Name
Múzeum židovskej kultúry ─ Prešov
Address
Okružná ulica 32
08001 Prešov
Phone
+421 51 773 16 38
Web
http://www.snm.sk
E-Mail
zno@zoznam.sk
Open
Tuesday and Wednesday: 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Thursday: 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Sunday: 1.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Possibilities
Permanent exhibition displaying Jewish cultural artefacts and objects of everyday use