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Jewish tours in Chernivtsi

Jewish Cemetery in Chernivtsi

Jewish Cemetery

   The Jewish cemetery in Chernivtsi was established by decision of the municipality in the year 1866. The original plan of engineer Relli was to design the cemetery as a garden-park complex.
 The Jewish cemetery is both impressive and fairly well maintained . The inscriptions on the tombstones are mostly in German, though a few are in Hebrew or even Russian.

 A lot of famous people were buried in Jewish cemetery, among them; the first Jewish mayor of the city, Eduard Reiss (1905-1907); Yiddish poet and author Eliezer Steinbarg, chief Rabbis of the community, deputy of Austrian parliament and Landtag of Bukovina, the prominent public activist and leader of the Jewish community Benno Straucher, the head of the Chernivtsi chamber of lawyers and renowned politician Max Fokschaner; as well as philanthropists Anna and Markus Kislinger; politician and deputy of Austrian parliament David Tittinger, honorary citizen of Chernivtsi Markus Kampelmacher, politicians and public activists Josef Steiner and Saul Leib Steinmetz, physicians Dr Siegmund Neuberger, Dr. Josef Ohrenstein, as well as many other people, who made significant contributions to the political, economic, cultural and public life of Chernivtsi..

 At the entrance to the cemetery there are ruins of the Room of Funeral Ceremony- “Lyayhenhalle” and symbolic Wailing Wall. The ceremonial building was erected in 1905 according to the design of the architect Fünkel and financed by the Jewish community. The building consisted of 4 rooms: a ceremonial hall, mortuary, ritual shop and office.

 Based on the latest data, the cemetery is one of the largest preserved old Jewish cemeteries in Central and Eastern Europe. About 50 000 Chernivtsi citizens are interred in the cemetery. In 1995, by decision of the city council, it was even made part of the historical and cultural reserve. Therefore, its importance is difficult to overestimate today. Having visited it, one can only imagine how much the Jewish community contributed to the development of the city of Chernivtsi.

The cemetery has four mass graves: Jewish soldiers of Austrian army from World War I (1914-1918), Turkish soldiers, Romanian citizens who died in 1941-1942, and Jewish civilians, victims of Holocaust in 1941.