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BERCHEZ: Maramures County (Magyarberkesz in Remetea Chioarului commune PDF Print E-mail
Remetea Chioarului (Hungarian: Kővárremete) is a commune in Maramureş County composed of five villages: Berchez (Magyarberkesz), Berchezoaia (Berkeszpataka), Posta (Pusztafentős), Remecioara (Kisremete) and Remetea Chioarului. Proper lat/long probably is 47°32′N 23°33′E

US Commission Reference Number RO/MM/03

Alternate/former Hungarian name of town in Hungarian: Magyarberkesz. Located in Maramures County at 47°31' 23°30', approximately 1.5 km from Somcuta Mare (Nagysomkut) and 17.8 kilometers SSW of Baia Mare. Upon leaving the town of Somcuta Mare, continue down the road approximately 1.5 km towards Berchez. About half way down the long hill leading to Berchez proper are two dirt roads leading into orchards on either side of the road. Walk up the road on the left about 150 meters, then make a sharp right hand turn and walk a further 100 meters between the rows of fruit trees.

  • LOCAL: Comunitatea Evreilor (Baia Mare), Str. Somesului Nr. 5, 4800 Baia Mare, Jud. Maramures, Romania. Tel: (40-62) 211-231.
  • REGIONAL: Comunitatea Evreilor (Bucuresti), Str. Sf. Vineri 9-11, Bucuresti, Tel: (40-1) 157-441.
  • Caretaker with key: Adolf Friedman, Strada Morii # 12, Somcuta Mare, Judetul Maramures 4866. No phone.

Berchez 1850 total population: 15 76, Jewish 76. 1880; total population: 533, Jewish: 62. The caretaker for the cemetery in Berchez (Magyarberkesz) is Adolf Friedman. He is one of two Jewish individuals living in the neighboring town of Somcuta Mare. His parents, who used to live in Berchez, are buried in this cemetery. The cemetery is protected by a concrete post and chain link fence that was constructed in 1986 by the Jewish community in Baia Mare. On the day of our visit, however, the gate was unlocked because Mr. Friedman does not lock it. The 345-sq m cemetery itself is in good condition. Most of the stones are standing upright; and Mr. Friedman regularly clears vegetation. One of the problems with this cemetery is its isolated location, surrounded by dense orchards. When asked if he was a guard and a caretaker Mr. Friedman replied: "Yes, well, I am a caretaker but how can I be a guard if the cemetery is here and I am living so far away? Look over here!" Turning around, he pointed out a stone that had been freshly knocked over since his last visit a week before. He later pointed out another stone that had been damaged a year before.

Adolf Friedman claims that the rural, hillside cemetery is at least 200 years old. Twelve limestone or sandstone flat-shaped, smoothed and Hebrew-inscribed gravestones are in the cemetery. Stones probably have been removed and incorporated into roads or structures. Vegetation and water drainage are not a problem. Present owner is unknown. Adjacent properties are agricultural. The cemetery is the same size as before 1939. Care: Fence put up in 1986 by Jewish community, seasonal clearing of vegetation by Jewish caretaker. Threats: weather erosion and vandalism.

John DeMetrick and Christina Crowder, (formerly of Cluj, they have no further information) completed this survey on 22 April 2000 using a list of cemeteries known by the Jewish Community in Baia Mare. They visited the site on 8 April 2000 and interviewed Adolf Friedman, Strada Morii # 12, Somcuta Mare, Judetul Maramures 4866. No phone.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 January 2013 14:43
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