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Viseul-de-Sus

VISEUL-DE-SUS

VISEUL-DE-SUS (Hung. Felsövisó ; referred to by the Jews as Oybervisha ), town in N. Romania; until the end of World War i and between 1940 and 1944 in Hungary. The Jewish community in Viseul-de-Sus was organized in 1877, although Jews had already been living there for a long time. The Jewish population developed rapidly during the 1880s. In 1885 the community was designated as the Jewish center for the three villages of Felsövisó, Alsóviso (Viseul-de-Jos), and Középvisó (Viseul de Mijloc), and later for a number of other villages. The ḥevra kaddisha was established in 1895. The community was Orthodox and Ḥasidism wielded a powerful influence. There were four synagogues, a number of additional prayer houses, and a yeshivah. In the main, the occupations of the Jews, including ordinary laborers, were connected with the forests and the wood industry of the town and its environs. In 1896 a Hebrew press was established; as it was the only press in the town it also printed works in other languages. The Hebrew religious periodical, Degl ha-Torah, was printed there from 1922 and ran to about 80 issues. In 1930 there were 3,734 Jews (33.7 percent of the total population) in Viseul-de-Sus. About the same number of Jews lived there in the spring of 1944, when the Fascist Hungarian authorities set up a ghetto, in which Jews from the surrounding villages were also concentrated. It is estimated that about 35,000 Jews passed through this ghetto on their way to *Auschwitz. After World War ii about 700 Jews returned to the town. Their numbers declined through emigration and by 1971 the Jewish community had ceased to exist.

bibliography:

Magyar Zsidó Lexikon (1929), 272; I. Benoschofsky and E. Karsai, Vádirat a nácizmus ellen, 2 (1960), 259, 266, 272.

[Yehouda Marton]

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