Daily Archives: July 24, 2018

Euro18: old Jewish cemetery

Zentral Friedhof.  Developed by the Viennese city government in the last third of the 19th century.  A land mass half the size of Zurich.  And a dead population larger than the current population of Vienna.

The old Jewish section of the cemetery was established in 1863, with more than 70K burials by the time Austria was occupied by the Third Reich.  Graves were desecrated on Kristallnacht. 

I’ve read various sources that note that the Jewish tradition does not decorate graves the way people in my faith tradition might do.  But the Jewish tradition does tend the graves to keep them tidy.

So on Sunday, I took a sobering walk through a cemetery where no one tends the graves. At all.

Viennese Jews were deported during World War II, and most did not return.  No one is left to tend these graves from the 1800s.

As you can easily see from the panoramic photo, the Jewish section (to the left) is not as tidy as the Protestant section on the other side of the road.

But here’s a lovely idea: watering cans for a deposit, just like grocery carts at Aldi!

By the way, the Wikipedia entry about Central Cemetery is fascinating read!