Obj. ID: 49942
Jewish Funerary Art New Holocaust Memorial in the Jewish Cemetery in Bačka Topola, Serbia, 2012
To the main object: Jewish Cemetery in Bačka Topola, Serbia
Memorial Wall to the Victims of the Holocaust from Bačka Topola in the Jewish Cemetery
Who is Commemorated?
Holocaust Victims from Bačka Topola
The memorial wall was unveiled at the entrance to the Jewish cemetery in 2012. It has inscriptions in Hebrew, Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian, and English, which commemorate the victims in a similar manner, yet with slightly different content. Architect Zoltán Beck designed the memorial wall. The memorial wall is made of red brick. On the left-hand side is a memorial plaque of black stone carrying the commemorative inscription. On the right-hand side is a frieze consisting of 21 ceramic tiles entitled “Mass Grave” with motifs in color red and black, the work by Erzsébet Cservenák, retired fine arts teacher and ceramist. Above the tiles is the Magen David in a circular frame, all made of blue and white ceramic tiles.
המצבה לזכר קורבנות השואה
Translation: The monument in memory of the victims of the Holocaust
Minden elhunyt emlékére, akik nem takar hant
Translation: In memory of all the deceased not covered with a clod of earth
U spomen preminulih koji nemaju grob
Translation: In memory of the deceased who have no grave
In the memory of those who lie in mounds unknown
The Film-Museum Civil Organization [Film-Múzeum Civil Szervezet], NGO from Bačka Topola, financially supported by the Bačka Topola municipality.
Beck Zoltán, arhitekt
Cservenák Erzsébet, keramikus-keramičar
Jews settled in Bačka Topola in 1770. The cemetery dates back to 1835 (according to some sources to 1750). The first synagogue, built around 1840, was located at today's address 20 Glavna Street. The second synagogue was built in the same place in 1863. Over 500 Jews lived in Bačka Topola prior to World War II. The deportation of the Jews took place between April 16 and June 20, 1944. Only 98 of them survived the Holocaust. The building of the synagogue was destroyed in the 1950s. No memorial plaque has been installed. The building of the Rabbinate, built at the beginning of the 20th century, still exists at the address 16 Glavna Street. Today the building is used by the 'Juhász Erzsébet' Library. There is no memorial plaque on the building.
The cemetery has about 1800 graves and only a small part of the cemetery has been cleared. It was neglected for years and exposed to vandalism and thefts of tombstones. Thanks to Mr. Antal Kocsis and a group of enthusiasts gathered around him, the cemetery was cleared of vegetation.
The Film-Museum Civil Organization [Film-Múzeum Civil Szervezet] initiated the creation of this memorial and their idea was financially supported by the Bačka Topola municipality. The local historian Antal Kocsis, the president of the Film-Museum Civil Organization, and Rózsa Cipó were the driving force behind the project.
The Holocaust memorial was designed by the architect Zoltán Beck, with the cooperation of the local Vörös stone carving workshop and the Dudás construction company, with the installation of ceramics offered by ceramist Erzsébet Cservenák. It was inaugurated in the year in which Bet Tahara at the entrance to the cemetery was renovated.
The commemoration ceremony “Memento” began at the Jewish cemetery in 2002 at the initiative of local historian Antal Kocsis and the Film-Museum Civil Organization [Film-Múzeum Civil Szervezet], of whom Kocsis is president. Since then, the Film-Museum Civil Organization, Jewish Community Subotica, and Bačka Topola municipality have been organizing annual commemoration ceremonies on the anniversary of the deportations of Bačka Topola Jews by this memorial.
Kocsis, Antal, A topolyai zsidó temető, (Bačka Topola: Pannonian Print, 2014)
Kocsis, Antal, “Topolyai zsidók,” Bácsország: vajdasági honismereti szemle 30 (2004), pp. 80-85.
"Memorials in Bačka Topola," Locations (Vojvodina Holocaust Memorials Project), https://www.vhmproject.org/en-US/Locations/Memorials/3 (accessed June 7, 2023)
“Az önkéntesek eddig 500 síremléket rekonstruáltak,” Magyar Szó, https://www.magyarszo.rs/hu/2364/hetvege/112256/A-topolyai-zsid%C3%B3-temet%C5%91.htm (accessed June 7, 2023)
“Emlékfalat állítottak a vajdasági Topolyán a holokauszt áldozatainak,” Kultúra.hu, https://kultura.hu/emlekfalat-allitottak/ (accessed June 7, 2023)
“Topolya: Minden elhunyt emlékére, akit nem takar hant,” Vajdaság, https://www.vajma.info/cikk/vajdasag/13378/Topolya-Minden-elhunyt-emlekere--akit-nem-takar-hant.html (accessed June 7, 2023)