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CULCEA: Maramures County PDF Print E-mail


International Jewish Cemetery Project - Romania C US Commission Reference Number RO/MM/03

Alternate Hungarian name: Kovarkolcse. Located in Maramures County at 47°34' 23°33', 11.4 kilometers SSW of Baia Mare. The 2x6-meter cemetery in Culcea (Kovarkolcse) currently consists of three grave mounds without headstones on flat ground, in an isolated place. The current owner of the land purchased the space about five years ago and is not listed as an official caretaker. This site is not on the Baia Mare list. Although the site has not been incorporated into the nearby fields, there is no fence or other marker. It is not known how many graves were in the original site, but our primary informant (another neighbor) said he only remembered four graves, but that several stones or parts of stones could be found in the local houses and farmyards. We interviewed a man who was using part of a gravestone as the stepping stone for his well. It had been cut down from its original size, but when turned over, the name Rozsa Moses was still visible. Her date of death was Aug. 13, 1914, aged 15 years (written in Hungarian). When questioned about why he had taken the stone, the man said that if he had not, someone else would have. Anyway, it was the Ceacescu era; and everything was in short supply. He ended the interview by saying that if someone came to re-build the cemetery, he would give the stone back.

Although this man was the only person we interviewed who had actually removed a gravestone, we feel that this response is typical for others who removed stones. Because many of the sites are for all intents and purposes abandoned, without regular visitors or caretakers, sometimes not even known to the local community, many people 'get past their scruples about disturbing a graveyard. Therefore, they are willing to take what is often rare and expensive stone for their private use.

This site was not listed on the Baia Mare Jewish Community list. It is not known whether the Jewish Community in Bucuresti is aware of this site. Mr. Viorel Conti, Culcea nr. 171, Com. Sacalaseni, Jud. Maramures. Tel: (40-62) 204-919 (local exchange) x 78 (internal line) owns the property the cemetery is on, now used for waste dumping. Adjacent properties are agricultural. Because this site is not cared for, and not known to the community, it is possible that it will be incorporated into the adjacent fields.

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 on 13 April 2000 and interviewed several local residents.

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