JEWISH CEMETERY

WHERE IS IT?

In Belgrade there are two Jewish cementeries: Ashkenazic Jewish cementery at 50 Ruzveltova Street and Sephardic at 1 Mije Kovačevića Street. The Sephardic cementery is right next to the cementery of the liberators of Belgrade; Ashkenazic cemetery is across the street and leans against the New Cemetery.

THE HISTORY OF THE SEPHARDIC CEMENTERY

The Sephardic are descendants of exiled Jews from Spain after 1942. They settled in the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 16th century and their history in Belgrade has been followed from that moment. The Sephardic cementery was created by moving the old Jewish cementery (1925.). It covers area of 12.748 m2, and there are 4.000 tombstones on it. Today, the Sephardic Jewish Cementery is active, while burials are occasionally at the Ashkenazic Jewish Cementery in the places of those who have living descendants. A group of commemorative monuments and important landmarks attract special attention at the Sephardic cementery such as:

Monument to the perished warriors (132 fallen Jewish heroes) in wars between 1912. to 1919. The monument is the work of architect Samuel Sumbul and it was unveiled in 1927. At the end of the main alley of the Sephardic cementery there is a monument dedicated to the Jewish victims of fascism- the work of architect Bogdan Bogdanović. The monument was unveiled in 1952., and the author was awarded with the October Award of Belgrade for that monument.

Here are the monuments that belong to the group of commemorative monuments:
1) Monument dedicated to Austrian Jews who were killed in 1941. in Zasavica near Šabac. This monument was made thanks to the Jewish community in Vienna and the architect Andrija Mešulam after the transfer of 800 victims (1959).
2) Monument over the common grave containing the remains of children who died of Spanish fly and other diseases between the two wars and whose separate monuments were destroyed. The monument was built according to the project of the painter Jovan Ćurčić and it was financed by the Jewish Community of Belgrade.

THE HISTORY OF THE ASHKENAZI CEMETERY

The Ashkenazi (Hebrew "Germans") are a Jewish ethnic group that had their own community until the end of the first millennium. They had their communities in Central and Eastern Europe and they moved to Serbia in large numbers in the 18th century. This cemetery was built in 1876. and it is a part of the New Cementery, from which it is separated by a wall. It is smaller in size and is no longer used today, exept in rare cases. After 2010, the Ashkenazi Cemetery which have been abandoned until then was renovated and today the care of Jewish Cementeries is managed by commission of the Jewish Community "Hevra Kadiša".
Today, Jewish cementeries are nature parks and parks of Belgrade's cultural heritage and they are extremely important for preserving the indentity and permanence of the Jewish Community in Belgrade.

Written and translated by Iva Pešić

Pripremila: Iva Pešić