International Jewish Cemetery Project - Romania Bo-Bu
US COMMISSION NO. RO/MM/77
Located in Jud. Maramures at 47°39' 23°25', 256.6 miles NNW of Bucharest. Upon entering the village from the direction of Baia Mare, look for the small footbridge crossing the stream on the right hand side of the road. Cross the footbridge and walk through the front yard of the home on the left, then turn right and walk up towards the top of hill. The cemetery is off to the right. Otherwise locate the home nearest to the cemetery by asking for Mr. Lauran Vasile, who lives in house No. 3.
- Local authority should be Comunitatea Evreilor (Baia Mare), Str. Someşului Nr. 5, 4800 Baia Mare, Jud. Maramureş, Romania. Tel: (40-62) 211-231
- 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 Baia Mare or the Federation of Jewish Communities in Bucuresti.
- Caretaker:Mr. Lauran Vasile, who lives closest to the cemetery, informed us that several years ago some men from Bistriţa constructed a concrete post and wire mesh fence around the site and cleared all of the vegetation. He stated that since that time the site has been not been maintained, is overrun by vegetation, and was vandalized heavily. He recalled that the cemetery was in the shape of a right triangle with around a dozen markers. With this in mind, we made our way past the grazing cows and up towards the cemetery on the crest of the hill.
- Visitors to the cemetery in Busag should arrive in the winter months or bring a large sickle. The cemetery is completely overgrown with trees, brambles and spiny plants that make entry impossible without getting scratched. We opted for scratches. After about 25 minutes of hunting, we came across only two stones, one of which was illegible and the other of which was unapproachable. There probably are more stones in the cemetery but the high grass had recently folded under the weight of heavy rain, covering most of the ground. All but five of the concrete posts that once supported the wire mesh fence have disappeared, as has all of the wire mesh itself and the gate from between its posts.
- According to a list of cemeteries known to the Jewish community in Baia Mare, there was no cemetery in Buşag. Later that afternoon, however, when we visited the cemetery in the neighboring town of Tăuţii-Măgherăuş, the caretaker there informed us that a man named Chereches Andrei was appointed caretaker of the cemetery in Buşag several years back but that he had subsequently died.
- Prior to visiting Buşag, we had inquired with residents in the village of Merişor, several kilometers to the west, if there was a Jewish cemetery in their village. An elderly resident informed us that there was no cemetery in Merişor but that there was a cemetery in Buşag. When she was a schoolgirl, there were several Jewish families living in Merişor, one of them being the Klebner (or Klefner) family, who ran a store in Merişor and had four children: Iancala (who was a butcher in neighboring Cicîrlau), Frida, Faiga, and Berta. Our informant told us that people in the village were very fond of the Klebner family, who were the only Jews in the village that welcomed Christmas carolers into their home and gave them food and money according to local Christian tradition. She also recalled that when she was a schoolgirl, the local teacher brought the students to the Jewish cemetery in Buşag for a class field trip where Mr. Klebner spoke to the children about Judaism and his family's traditions.
- The threats to this cemetery are clear. Without a caretaker, brush clearance, and a fence, the remaining stones are in danger of eroding completely or being stolen. We noticed a two large blocks of stone prominently displayed in the foundation of a mud-brick house near the footbridge, and several fence posts in kitchen gardens that looked suspiciously like the Jewish Community "standard issue" fence corners. Further inquiries about the site could be addressed to the Jewish community in Baia Mare or the Federation of Jewish Communities in Bucuresti. The present size of cemetery according to a neighbor was about 70 sq. m. Water drainage is good but vegetation prevents access and damages graves and stones. The visible tombstones are flat shaped and smoothed and inscribed common gravestones with Hebrew inscriptions. No known mass graves.
- Someone recently had been collecting sticks in the entirely overgrown site. No one visits the site. Theft of stones is the primary problem encountered between 1945 and the present. Vandalism occurred frequently in the last ten years and between 1945 and ten years ago. Jewish groups within country did restoration about 7-8 years ago (?) and nothing since. Security (uncontrolled access), weather erosion, vegetation, and vandalism (destruction or defacement of stones and graves) are very serious threats.
- John DeMetrick and Christina Crowder (who have no further information) completed this survey on 29 June 2000 using a list of cemeteries known by Jewish Community in Baia Mare. Other documentation exists. Further inquiries about the site could be addressed to the Jewish community in Baia Mare or the Federation of Romanian Jewish Communities in Bucuresti. They visited the site 27 June 2000 and interviewed a neighbor - Lauran Vasile, #3 Sat Buşag, Comuna Tăuţii-Măgherăuş, Romania.