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COLTAU: Maramures County PDF Print E-mail


International Jewish Cemetery Project - Romania C US Commission Reference Number RO/MM/03
Alternate Hungarian name: Kolto. Located in Maramures County at 47°36' 23°31', 8.9 kilometers SW of Baia Mare. Upon entering the town, ask directions to the Municipal/Christian Reform Cemetery. Otherwise, drive into town and bear left at the Reform Church where the road splits. Take the next two lefts. The cemetery will be on the right-hand side. The Christian cemetery has a fence and gate that locks. Access is open to all.

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.

The Jewish gravestones in Coltau are located in a 16-sq. meter area within the perimeter of the Reform Cemetery on flat land. One readable Jewish limestone gravestone, flat-shaped, smoothed and inscribed, was found. The stone has been reset in an upright concrete casing and a concrete border placed around the grave. Our informants said that members of the local Reform church had provided the funds to improve the grave about ten years ago because the person buried there was known and respected in the community. One stone base (without headstone), a pronounced mound (without any stone or concrete), and one concrete border (also without headstone) are in the direct vicinity of the improved headstone. Our informants stated that these were probably also Jewish graves. Several bases are in the direct vicinity of the one remaining marker that is certifiably a Jewish burial. It is also likely that the site contained more stones that have been removed over the years. It is likely that the Jewish cemetery was a sub-section of the Christian cemetery. Vegetation and water drainage are not a problem. Adjacent property to the cemeteries is agricultural.

Our informants also pointed out another stone (illegible) located at the edge of the Christian cemetery but away from the other Jewish graves. They claimed that this was probably Jewish as well, along with another illegible stone (well into the Christian section). We were doubtful of the claims, because of their location but it would be impossibleto prove either way without better documentation. The owner of the Jewish portion is unknown. It is worth noting that there may be some confusion about cemetery sites in this village. When we first enquired about a Jewish cemetery, we were directed to the cemetery a.k.a. Sacalaseni II, which is in sight of Coltau down the hill toward Sacalaseni (it lies in the fields between the two villages). Further, the Baia Mare community list gives a size of 210 sq. m. for Coltau and lists Sacalaseni II as 216 sq. m. The graves we did find in the village did not cover an area nearly that size. Care: members of the Reform Church who knew the individual who is buried there fixed the repaired stone about ten years ago. Regular caretaker (taken care of at the same time as the rest of the cemetery because it is attached) clears vegetation. No 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 14 April 2000 and interviewed local residents and caretaker.


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