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“Dolny Stal” – Encyclopaedia
of Jewish communities, Slovakia
(Dolný Štál, Slovakia)

47°56' 17°43'

Translation of the
“Dolny Stal” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Slovakia

Edited by Yehoshua Robert Buchler and Ruth Shashak

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 2003



Project Coordinator

Madeleine Isenberg


Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem
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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot Slovakia: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Slovakia,
Edited by Yehoshua Robert Buchler and Ruth Shashak, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.

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[Page 141]

Dolny Stal

Translated by Madeleine Isenberg

(Hungarian: Alistal)

A rural settlement in the Dunajská Streda District in the Bratislava Region of south-west Slovakia).


Year Residents Jews %
1746 - 5 -
1767 - 5
1828 928 89 9.3%
1880 1,089 115 10.5%
1919 1,138 69 6.1%
1930 1,119 32 3.1%
1948 1,717 30 1.7%

[Page 142]

Dolny Stal was first mentioned in 1254 as a village in Bratislava's (q.v.) settlement and over the years was part of the estate of various Hungarian nobles. Its residents, almost all of them Hungarian Catholics, engaged in farming or served as laborers in the estates.

During the period of the Czechoslovak Republic, Dolny Stal remained an agricultural locality. In November 1938 it was annexed to Hungary and at the end March 1945 was liberated by the Soviet Army. In 1948, it joined with the nearby village of Horny Stal and the name of the new settlement was called Hrobonovo. Today, its name is once again Dolny Stal.


About the History of the Community

According to local tradition, Jews were living in Dolny Stal already in the later middle ages and it is believed that in the 16th century a Jewish community existed there. In time the Jews abandoned the village and only in the 1740s, the Jewish settlement was renewed. In the 1746 census, two Jewish families were registered in Dolny Stal (5 persons), and according to the 1767 list of taxpayers of the Bratislava region, 6 Jewish heads of family paid taxes of 44.7 florins.

From the beginning of the 19th century, the number of Jews in Dolny Stal increased at a rapid rate and Jewish public institutions were established there. The existence of gravestones give evidence to a Jewish cemetery from the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. At first, the Jews of Dolny Stal belonged to the community of Dunajská Streda (q.v.) and its rabbinate. But by the middle of the 19th century Dolny Stal had its own independent Jewish community, to which Jews from neighboring villages also joined. Among the community founders, were members of the STERN and PASHKUS families.

The Dolny Stal community had several public institutions, including a mikveh (ritual purification bath) and a synagogue in the center of the village, and it employed a shochet (ritual slaughterer), who also served in leading the prayer service and as the rabbi. Among the community rabbis are known Rabbi Yehuda SEMNITZ, who opened the Talmud Torah and managed it. He was succeeded by Rabbis Shlomo STERN, Yeshayahu NEUSATZ, and David Yehuda SILBERSTEIN. In the second half of the 19th century the community opened a four-year elementary school in which religious studies were integrated with general studies. At school more than 60 students learned there from Dolny Stal and the nearby localities, and the language of instruction was in Hungarian.

Several charitable societies and study groups were existed in Dolny Stal, among them the Hevra Kadisha (ritual burial society), the “Jewish Women's Association,” Chevrat Mishnayot (Talmud study group), and several others. Throughout its existence the Dolny Stal community also included Jews from small communities in the area. With the split among the Jewish communities in Hungary in 1869, the Dolny Stal community joined with the organization of Orthodox Communities.

After the First World War only about 70 Jews remained. The entire community numbered approximately 400 people (84 heads of families who paid the community tax), residents of Dolny Stal and 7 neighboring villages. In 1922, it was headed by Emanuel TENDLER and Rabbi David Yehuda SILBERSTEIN continued to serve on as rabbi. In the 1930s (until 1937) Rabbi Shlomo GOLDBERGER served as the Rabbi of Dolny Stal as well as running a small Yeshiva (seminary). In the years between the two wars, the community established a Beit Midrash (House of Study) and a residence for its employees.

The Jews of Dolny Stal earned their living mainly from trade in agricultural products, and three of them had grocery stores. Among the Jews were some craftsmen and farmers who owned their own plots of land.


The Holocaust Period

Immediately with the annexation of Dolny Stal to Hungary, the Jews were subjected to persecution and anti-Semitic decrees. The Jews economic activity was restricted and they were gradually disassociated from their sources of livelihood. In 1941, many men were recruited to "labor battalions" and transferred to forced labor camps. Some of them were sent to the eastern front where they perished.

When the Germans occupied Hungary on March 19, 1944, the community numbered only 25 heads of households. Joseph POPPER headed the community that employed a shochet (ritual slaughterer) and a teacher. At the end of May 1944 the Jews of Dolny Stal were ordered to gather in the synagogue. Hungarian policemen supervised the concentration. In the synagogue, 130 people were crammed in and confined. After a while they were sent to Dunajska Streda, where they were interned in a temporary ghetto with the rest of the Jews of the surroundings. On 15 June 1944, the Jews of Dolny Stal were added to the transport to the Auschwitz death camp.



At the end of the war several survivors gathered in Dolny Stal but the community did not resume. During the war, the Germans destroyed the synagogue and the rest of the community institutions were vandalized. Reconstruction activities were not initiated and the Jewish institutions of the past remained in ruins. In 1948 only about 30 Jews were living in Dolny Stal. Most of them immigrated to Israel in 1949.


Cohen, Khakhmei Hungaria (Hungarian Sages), p. 323.
Bárkány-Dojč, pp. 163-164
MHJ, vols. VII, XVI
Schweitzer, p.81


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