COSTENI: Maramures County Print


International Jewish Cemetery Project - Romania C US Commission Reference Number RO/MM/0306

Alternate Hungarian name: Kosztafalva. Located in Maramures County at 47°32' 23°55', approximately 20 km from Tirgu Lapus and 29.0 kilometers ESE of Baia Mare. The road leading from Cupseni best approaches the cemetery in Costeni, though the road itself does not appear on all maps. The road leading directly to Costeni is impassable in all but summer. The cemetery is, in any case, on the Cupseni side of the village. Approaching from Cupseni, the road turns sharply to the right just after the first house. A smaller road leads to the left. Park somewhere near the intersection. Follow the road on the left, and where it turns right after about 100m, continue straight across the fields toward several houses visible about 200m away. A large old walnut tree should be visible from this point at the crest of the hill above and slightly to the left of the houses. The best path is between the two left-most houses and the garden patches up to the top of the hill.

The Jewish cemetery in Costeni (Kosztafalva) contains one and one-half gravestones, and at the time of the survey, was unknown to the Jewish community in Baia Mare. It is probable that the cemetery was larger at one time, but it was impossible to determine during the on-site visit.

The only real threat to the cemetery is continued weather erosion and theft of the remaining stones. The Jewish Community in Baia Mare was unaware of this cemetery at the time of the survey. It is not known if the Jewish Community in Bucuresti is aware of this site. An elderly villager said that there had been three families in Copseni, but they had left for Tirgu Lapus before the Second World War. The names given were Herman, Avram and Jacob. Jacob had two children named Sima and Aurelia.

The isolated rural (agricultural) hill has no sign or marker. The cemetery is reached by turning of a public road onto private property to the cemetery with no wall, fence or gate. Access is open to all in the area around the two limestone, flat-shaped, smoothed and Hebrew-inscribed gravestones, one whole and one with the top half-missing. Stones are probably missing, but we were unable to determine how many were there originally or the original size of the cemetery. Stones removed from this cemetery probably were incorporated into roads or structures. Water drainage and vegetation are not a problem. The owner of the property used as an orchard is a private individual. Adjoining property is agricultural. The site is never visited. No care. Weather erosion is the only slight threat.

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 7 April 2000 and interviewed 3 villagers at the first house in the village, and an elderly neighbor across the street.