You are here: Home Eastern Europe Romania BERBEŞTI: Jud. Maramures (BERBEŞTI , BÁRDFALVA , BERBESHT , BÁRDFALU)

ALTERNATE NAMES: BERBEŞTI [ROM], BÁRDFALVA [HUN], BERBESHT and ברבשט  [YID], BÁRDFALU. 47°51' N, 23°56' E, 6 miles S of Sighetu Marmaţiei.


Alternate/former Hungarian name: Bárdfalva. Located in Jud. Maramures at 47°51' 23°56' 257.7 miles NNW of Bucharest. The cemetery is located on the side of the village nearest to Maramures Sighet, and the road leading to the caretaker's house turns off the main road to the west (on the right side coming from Sighet) before the center of the village. The caretaker's house is approximately 250m up this road on the right at nr. 53.

  • Local authority should be Comunitatea Evreilor (Maramures Sighet), str. Basarabiei 8, Sighetu Marmatei, Jud. Maramureş, Romania. Tel: (40-62) 311-652.
  • Regional authority: Federation of Jewish Communities Romania, Str. Sf. Vineri 9-11, Bucureşti, Tel: (40-1) 613-2538, 143-008. Contact: Mr. Alex Silvan
  • Interested: Jewish community in Sighet or the Federation of Jewish Comm in Bucuresti.
  • Caretaker: Mr. Gheorge and Mrs. Iliane Ţiplea, Berbeşti nr. 53, Sat Giuleşti, Jud. Maramureş, Romania

A concrete post, a locking gate, and wire mesh fence protects the cemetery in Berbesti. By far the largest in the entire Mara Valley and certainly larger than a single unpaid family of caretakers should be expected to maintain, Gheorghe and Iliana Tiplea nevertheless have managed alone to take good care of the site since WWII, later with the aid of their hardworking son. The most that they can do is tend the growth of grass and saplings. Most of the stones are in good condition but a fair number are leaning and toppled. Perhaps ten stones have been moved off to the perimeters of the cemetery where they lie in piles. The Tipleas are sorry to see that more and more stones have begun to lean and topple over the years, but regret that they have been unable to find help in raising and repairing stones. No money ever has arrived from the Federation in Bucuresti or the community in Sighet. The caretakers told us that about six or seven years ago, people came from Israel to repair several of the markers that belonged to their grandparents. These markers have been very well restored; and the Tiplea family is very pleased (and proud) to see how beautiful these stones look today.

The isolated rural (agricultural) cemetery location is on hillside no sign or marker. Reached by turning off a public road and crossing private property, access to the cemetery is open with permission. A fence and a gate that locks surround the cemetery. Present size of cemetery is on-site estimate - 6000 sq. m. 161 gravestones are in original location: 33% standing straight up, 15% toppled, 50 leaning and several stumps visible where stones once stood. The caretaker's wife stated that no stones had ever been removed from the site, but another younger woman (+/-20) said that she remembers there being more stones when she was a child.

Vegetation overgrowth and water drainage are not a problem. Special sections may exist in older sections for men and women, possibly Cohanim. The marble, granite, limestone, and sandstone flat shaped, smoothed and inscribed, carved relief decoration, double tombstones, and multi-stone have traces of painting on their surfaces and recent cement footing for stones. Inscriptions on tombstones are in Hebrew. No known mass graves. The cemetery property is now used for orchard. Adjacent properties are agricultural. Compared to 1939, the cemetery boundaries enclose are the same area (probable). The cemetery is rarely by private visitors (Jewish or non-Jewish.) The caretakers said that one family from Israel (originally from the village had visited approximately six or seven years ago with their twelve grandchildren.

Theft of stones is the primary problem encountered between 1945 and the present.

Care includes re-erection of stones, patching of broken stones, cleaning of stones, and clearing of vegetation by local non-Jewish residents and Jewish individuals abroad. Care: Seasonal clearing of vegetation (twice a year minimum) The family from Israel has re-set, and completely restored three stones in the grave yard. The regular unpaid caretakers do all other care. No structures. Weather erosion is a slight threat. John DeMetrick and Christina Crowder (who have no further information) completed this survey on 30 June 2000. Further inquiries about the site could be addressed to the Jewish community in Sighet or the Federation of Romanian Jewish Communities in Bucuresti. They visited the site on 20 June 2000 and interviewed caretakers: Mr. and Mrs. Tiplea and their niece Maria Pop.

[UPDATE] Photos by Charles Burns [July 2018]

Last Updated on Sunday, 08 July 2018 19:51
Web site created by Open Sky Web Design based on a template by Red Evolution