||Bi-lingual illustrated Hungarian-German broadsheet describing a conflagration that destroyed the Orthodox synagogue in Bartfa and left many people homeless on October 18, 1908. At the top of the broadsheet are three photographs, the first showing the Orthodox synagogue (Gemeinde-Synagoge) prior to the fire, the middle photo the prayer-house (Gemeinde-Gebethaus) with Jews standing by the building, and the third the remains of the mikvah (rit. Gemeinde-Badehaus) after the fire. The text begins by noting that the fire left many Jews homeless, and the desgruction of the old synagogue, with its bet Midrash and the ritual bath house (mikvah). The broadsheet concludes with an appeal for assistance. Unsere Gemeinde – buhufs Restaurirung ihrere Bethäuser – mit Ihren milden Gaben gütigst unterstützen zu wollen.
Bartfa (Bartfeldt, Bardejov) is today in Slovakia, on the Polish border. Jews, mainly from Galicia, settled in Bardejov in the 18th century. Jewish residence in Bardejov was formally authorized around the beginning of the 19th century. The synagogue was built in 1808. A main Jewish occupation was export of wine to Poland, and Jewish enterprise helped to develop Bardejov as a fashionable health resort in the early 19th century. The Jewish population numbered approximately 300 in Bardejov and its surroundings in 1848, 181 in the town itself in 1851, 480 in 1862, 1,710 in 1900 (of whom, in 1901, 220 owned businesses, 24 kept taverns, and 89 worked as artisans), and 2,264 in 1930. In 1940, during World War II, the Jewish houses were raided by Germans. Jews from eastern Slovakia were assembled in Bardejov for transportation to the death camps (2,411 by 1942). About 1,500 Jews were deported from Bardejov and the vicinity. Only one-tenth of the community survived the Holocaust. After the war Bardejov became a rehabilitation center for Jewish survivors from the concentration camps and a transit center for "illegal" emigration to Palestine (see Berihah). Anti-Semitism was still rife and Jews were attacked in June 1947 without being protected by the police. Of the few Jews, mainly physicians, who tried to resettle there, only one family remained by 1965. Ritual objects from Bardejov are preserved in the Divrei Hayyim synagogue in Jerusalem, named in honor of R. Hayyim Halberstamm, whose descendants were rabbis in Bardejov.
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