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CAVNIC: Maramures County PDF Print E-mail
International Jewish Cemetery Project - Romania C

US Commission Reference Number RO/MM/0309

Located in Maramures County, at 47°40' 23°52', 21.2 km E of Baia Mare. Site is approximately 2km before (below) the town of Cavnic on the road from Baia Mare. It is just barely visible from the road, and can be reached by a footbridge over the river. From the footbridge, cross through the house yard on the left and walk parallel to the river about 200m. The cemetery is visible in the edge of the forest on the right. Alternate Hungarian name: Kaprukbanyga.

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.

No caretaker.

The cemetery in Cavnic (kavnikbanya) is unusual in that the graves are outlined with small, angular rocks. The site also contains an unusual rounded obelisk headstone (though the top half is broken off). It is located in an isolated spot about 2 km below the town, but the older village residents we spoke with all knew where it was. The site is surrounded by a broken barb wire fence on the far side of the river from the main road to Cavnic and is reached by a rickety foot bridge that leads to two houses on that side.

Vasil Iagher Dragomir and his family moved to this home in 1990. In that year, an elderly man from Israel visited the cemetery. The former owners of the property used to take care of the cemetery. After they passed away, a couple of their nieces and nephews came a few of times to clear the underbrush but then stopped coming. Mrs. Iagher heard from neighbors that there were more stones at one time but that people from the town of Cavnic and neighboring Laschia (Lachaz) came during the night with horsecarts and hauled away some stones to build steps. The Iagher family has also heard that most of the surrounding land here was owned by Jewish people and that at one time, there were several homes in the small valley across the river from the cemetery. She also said that the remains of a synagogue could be found directly above her house, although from what we found (two large un-marked, but shaped stones) we were not able to determine what type of building had been there.

The land is not used for agricultural purposes, most likely because the soil is not of high enough quality to support the growth of an orchard. However, Mrs. Iagher claims that the land belongs to the town of Cavnic but has been leased out to some shepherds in neighboring Laschia who have taken down the gates at either end of the cemetery and regularly walk their flocks through the site.
The isolated wooded hillside has no sign or maker. Reached by turning off a public road onto private property, access is open to all via a broken barbed wire fence on wood posts lying mostly on the ground and no gate. The present cemetery size is 10x60 meters. Fifteen limestone, flat-shaped, smoothed and inscribed gravestones and one obelisk are in the cemetery, regardless of condition or position with 4 toppled or broken and 2 leaning. Stones or concrete boundaries mark 53 graves. Missing stones were probably incorporated into roads or structures. The inscriptions are in Hebrew and Hungarian. The name 'Rozen Benci' is visible on one gravestone. Vegetation and water drainage are not a problem. No known mass grave. Owner of the property used only as a Jewish cemetery is unknown. Adjacent property is agricultural. The size is probably the same as before 1939. Rarely visited, the cemetery is known to have been vandalized between 1945 and ten years ago. No care. No structures. Uncontrolled access and weather erosion are slight threats.

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 9 April 2000 and interviewed Mrs. Iagher Vasile Dragomir, Str. Soimiului nr. 2, Tel: (40-62) 495-506 (mother-in-law). This family lives in the house closest to the cemetery.

 
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