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.


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

[Yehouda Marton]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.