“Jewish cemetery find hailed as a sensation” – Austrian Times – 10. 07. 13
Archaeologists are hailing as a sensation the discovery of headstones from a Jewish cemetery in Alsergrund that they say makes it one of the most historically important cemeteries in Europe. Plans are even already being planned to turn the cemetery into a tourist attraction.
The gravestones that have been discovered at least 500 years old and Oskar Deutsch, president of the Israelischen Kultusgemeinde (IKG) in Austria said that based on what they had found so far there are expecting many more gravestones to be discovered at the site. …
He said the discoveries puts the cemetery in terms of historical importance on a par with the Jewish cemetery in Prague. He said: “In 1917 there was a document deposited in an archive which actually showed how the layout of the cemetery was organised which means we will be able to put the stones back where they were originally placed. It means that of all the Jewish cemeteries remaining in Europe it will be one of the only ones where it everything is in its original condition as it was before the Second World War.Many Jewish cemeteries were destroyed during the Second World War by the Nazis although in some cases the stones were removed and hidden by members of the local Jewish community – although many of these people did not survive the war and the locations of those stones were lost.
That was what happened with the gravestones from the cemetery in Vienna’s Seegasse where the Jewish community took them to the main central cemetery and buried them where they believed they would not be found.
There were originally 800 gravestones and it is estimated that about half have so far been recovered. The cemetery which is located over 2000 m² area in the inner courtyard of the OAP home will now be renovated.
The renovation work is likely to take until 2018 according to experts.
“Centuries-old Jewish tombstones found in Vienna” – Copyright 2013 The Associated Press
Headstones, numbering in the hundreds, were hidden from the Nazis in 1943
“Ancient Austrian Jewish tombstones dating to 16th century found in Vienna” – NY Daily News
The tombstones, described as having ‘high historical value,’ were buried by Jews in Vienna in 1943 to hide them from the Nazis. The stones were only recently found.
Austrian Times / Times of Israel – foto: Tombstones discovered at a small Jewish Cemetery in Vienna, Austria [AP Photo/Hans Punz]