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Jewish Families from Humenne, Slovakia

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This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families form Humenne, Slovakia.

Humenne is located in eastern Slovakia. While Jews had been living in Humenne, it was not until 1780 that the Jewish community was officially recognized. During this period, the community organized a chevra kaddisha, founded in 1787, and constructed a synagogue. Rabbi Jakob Spira was the first rabbi of the congregation, followed by Rabbi Fischel Horovitz.

In 1835, a Talmud Torah was established to aid in the education of poor children. An old Jewish cemetery is located in Humenne with 500-5000 tombstones in the gravesite, dating back to the early 19th century. During World War II, more than 2,200 Jews from Humenne were murdered.

The largest city in far Eastern Slovakia, Humenne is cradled in a valley created by the confluence of the Cirocha and Laborec Rivers.  To the south Vihorlat, an extinct volcano and the highest peak in the eastern Carpathian Mountains, towers over the valley.  My Grandfather was born about 2/3 up the north slope of Vihorlat.  The Ukrainian border is 23 miles to the east, Poland 20 miles to the north. Source

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"Geschichte Der Juden In Humenne" (The Story of the Jews of Humenne) by David Friedmann 
This book gives a history of Humenne from the earliest times of Jewish inhabitance until 1933. Written in German. Surname lookups are possible.

Outstanding & Famous Humennites

  1. Paul Newman - The American actor's mother came from Humenne
  2. Andy Warhol - The American artist's parents came from a town near Humenne
  3. István Thomán Thomán was born in Humenne in 1862 to Dr. David Thoman and Rosa Weisberger. He was a student of Franz Liszt. He taught piano at the Royal Hungarian Academy of Music in Budapest (now the Franz Liszt Academy), and Bela Bartok was one of his pupils. Thomán's six-volume Technique of Piano Playing is still in use today. (Mary Ellen Kammert(9-18-06)
  4. Ladislav Grosman, Famous author of stories about life in Humenne.
  5. Leopold Salamon, Businessman and President of the Grandfathers Association to aid the poor.
  6. Rav Meir Eichler, Chassidic Master of Sefad
  7. ◦ Meet Master Musician Peter Breiner
  8. ◦ Artist Yuri Dojc
  9. Mikulas Klimak, Greek Catholic painter
  10. Lubica Cekovska, musician

Books and Movies About Humenne


"Z Pekla Stesti" or "The Devil's Own Luck" (1979) Originally Written in Czech, (translated into Slovak) by Ladislav Grosman. It's about a Humenne Jewish boy during the Holocaust.

Obchod na Korze , or "The Shop on Main Street ," 
One of the feature films presented at the Cannes Film Festival and 1965 Academy Award winner for best foreign language film.
Filmed in Sabinov, from an original story by Ladislav Grosman. 
In Slovak with English subtitles, starring Ida Kaminska, screenplay by Ladislav Grosman.

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