DOLNI KUBIN (Slovak Dolný Kubin ; Hung. Alsókubin ), town in N. Slovakia, now Slovak Republic. According to existing documentation, Jews arrived in the city of Dolni Kubin, and in the Orava region, by the beginning of the 18th century, though it can be assumed that they were in the area earlier.
Moravian Jews were the pioneers of Jewish settlement in the entire region of northern upper Hungary, from Čadca to Bardejov. *Holešov Jewry, in northern Moravia, settled in many Jewish cities of this region, including Dolni Kubin in 1710. During their initial years in the city, the Jews rented houses from local inhabitants and were quick to exploit the city's strategic location between Cracow and Vienna for business purposes. In 1775 the Jews built their first synagogue. They also acquired land for a cemetery.
In 1780 there were 112 Jews in the Orava region; in 1801, 668; in 1840, 2,333; and in 1900, 3,197 (probably the peak). In the town of Dolni Kubin the Jewish population rose from 124 in 1835 to 680 in 1921 but then dropped to 248 in 1940 (of a total 2,005).
In 1870 the community split into an Orthodox and a *Neolog congregation. It was reunited as a *status quo community in 1886. The Zionist movement in Dolni Kubin was one of the first in Hungary. Moric Greunwald was among the founders of the World Mizrachi movement and was a personal friend of Theodor *Herzl. He participated in the second and third World Zionist Congresses. At the end of World War i a wave of pogroms shook the region. Jewish war veterans fought off threatening mobs.
In September 1938 Slovak autonomy was proclaimed, and on March 14, 1939, the independent Slovak state came under German protection. From the outset Jews were persecuted. On June 5, 1942, the Jews of Dolni Kubin and the vicinity were dispatched to the Zilina transit camp, and from there to extermination camps in Poland. In 1947, 27 Jews lived in Dolni Kubin, most of them leaving in 1948–49. The synagogue became a movie house. In 1991, a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust was erected in the presence of President Vaclav Havel. It was the first such ceremony since the fall of Communism in Slovakia.
Magyar Zsidó Lexikon (1929), 32, s.v.Alsókubin; M. Lányi and H. Propperné Békefi, A szlovenszkói zsidó hitközségek története (1933), 225–9; Monumenta Hungariae Judaica, 7 (1963), 323–5; J. Bató, in: Uj Kelet (Feb. 11, 12, 13, 1969); B. Tomaschoff, ibid. (May 15, 1970).
[Yeshayahu Jelinek (2nd ed.)]