History of the Jewish Cemetery in Chernivtsi
The Jewish Cemetery in Street Green was founded by the decision of the local government in 1886. Initial planning was done by an engineer Relli and it was designed as a garden-park complex. A designer named Heymbe finished the project. The first section, which is allocated by the city for the cemetery was too small the Jewish community thought. So they raised funds to buy more land and increase the cemetery to contemporary size.
Nowadays the cemetery is 14.2 hectares and consists of 137 rectangles, which together form a coherent and complete complex. At the cemetery in Chernivtsi there are about 50 000 people buried, among them the first Jewish Mayor Edward Rice, Yiddish writer Elaizer Steinberg, chief rabbi of the community and the Austrian deputy of Bukovina, a prominent social activist and leader of the Jewish community Benno Straucher, head of legal Chamber and famous politician Max Fokshaner and philanthropists Anna and Marcus Kislinhers, politician and member of Austrian parliament David Tittinher , honorable citizen of Chernivtsi Marcus Kampelmaher, politicians and social activists Josef Steiner and Saul Leib Steinmetz doctors Dr. Sigmund Neuberger and Dr. Joseph Ohrenstein, and many others who have made outstanding contributions to the political, economic, cultural and social life of the city of Chernivtsi.
The cemetery has four mass grave sites:
1. Jewish Austrian army soldiers who died during the First World War (1914 – 1918).
2. Muslim soldiers of the Austrian service, who died during the First World War (1914-1918).
3. Romanian civilians that were executed in 1941.
4. About 900 civilian Jews murdered in 1941.
In 1995, by the decision of the Chernivtsi City Council, the cemetery became a part of the historical and cultural reserve “Cemeteries of the Green Street.” Today, the Jewish cemetery in Chernivtsi is one of the best preserved old Jewish cemeteries in Central and Eastern Europe. It is also a tourist attraction and a reminder of the great Jewish community that once inhabited the city and its role in the political, economic and cultural life.
Source: Brochure “Jewish Cemetery in Chernivtsi”, 2012