FAURESTI: jud. Maramures Print

 

International Jewish Cemetery Project - Romania F-J US Commission: RO/MM/0308

Alternate Hungarian name: Forrasfalva. Located in Maramures at 4734 2345, 16.7 kilometers SE of Baia Mare. On the road from Copalnic Manastur, the road to the cemetery crosses the second bridge on the right. Follow the road back along the river. Cross the waterfall formed by a small stream entering the river continue following the track up the hillside. Nearing the top of the hill the cemetery is visible down on the right about 200 meters away.

  • 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.
  • Interested: Gheorghe Danciu, Fauresti # 161/a, Jud. Maramures, Romania. Tel: (40-62) 497-204.
  • No lock or key. Mr. Ioan Vint supposedly is the Jewish cemetery caretaker but this needs to be confirmed.

The cemetery in Fauresti (Forrasfalva) is badly in need of a caretaker. Although fenced at one time, sections are missing. Vegetation has been cleared occasionally, but threatens to take over the site and further disturb stones that are already leaning precariously. The cemetery currently has no caretaker, our informant, Mr. Gheorghe Danciu (44), said that the former caretaker, Mr. Ioan Vint, passed away in 1990 and that since his death there has been no caretaker. Before 1990, there was a man, who Mr. Danciu believes was from the Jewish community center in Cluj or Bucuresti, used to visit every year to make sure upkeep was being performed. One year, he came with jars of paint and colored in the writing on many of the stones, though today only a few traces remain. "In that time, in the time of Ceaucescu, this was an authorized cemetery like any other cemetery. It was protected by laws!" The road leading up to the cemetery was once covered with small rounded stones from the riverbed so that it was at one time possible to drive a car up to the top of the hill. Today, the site is in need of some serious repairs as many of the stones are leaning over; and the undergrowth is beginning to take over. A number of stones were removed before the 1990's especially towards the bottom of the cemetery where an entire row of perhaps 7 or 8 stones are missing.

Although Mr. Danciu is only 44 years old, his father told him a great many stories about the former Jewish community. He pointed out that there used to be an "ice house" and a small building, that belonged to members of the Jewish community, at the intersection of the stream and the river. The "ice house" was in fact an artificial cave tunneled into the side of the hill to the left of the stream, that was supported by large timbers on the inside and had a door that locked. "In the winter time, they would use saws to cut large blocks of ice out of the river and then store them deep inside the ice cave. Then, in the summertime, when it was hot, they would take out blocks of ice and use it cool down drinksand beer.. Man did that get cold!" When Mr. Danciu was a child, in the middle 1960s, he and his friends used to play in the abandoned ice cave on hot summer days to keep cool. The ice cave is no longer recognizable today, only a slight depression in the hillside remains where the entrance used to be. Although the well, which supplied water to building near the icehouse, was filled in years ago, portions of the stones that were used to cover it up and fill it in are still visible beneath the underbrush. During the war, according to what Mr. Danciu has heard from his father, the Jewish community of Fauresti was taken away to the ghetto in Copalnic-Manastur in horse carts during the night.

The cemetery location is rural (agricultural), on a hillside and isolated with no sign or marker, only a broken fence and gate that does not lock. The approximate size is 715 square meters and probably the same size as in 1939. 37 limestone or sandstone, flat-shaped, smoother and Hebrew-inscribed gravestones are in the cemetery, all in original location with ten broken or toppled and ten leaning. Missing stones probably were incorporated into roads or structures. Vegetation is a constant problem, disturbing stones and graves and damaging stones. Water drainage is good all year. No structures. The current owner is unknown. The substantially empty site is used for agricultural purposes and was vandalized between 1945 and the last ten years. In 1990, the Jewish Community in Baia Mare erected a fence and cleared vegetation. Seasonal clearing of vegetation stopped a few years ago. Uncontrolled access, vegetation, and erosion are serious 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 7 April 2000 and interviewed Mr. Gheorghe (Ghita) Danciu.