SOMCUTA MARE: Maramures County Print


US Commission No. ROCE-0372

Alternate Hungarian name: Nagysomkut and Somcutza. Located in Maramures County at 4731 2328, 18.8 km SSW from Baia Mare and at1.6 km from the center of Somcuta Mare on the road to Remetea Chioarului. This road is named Strada Somes. The cemetery is located behind house #52, on the right side of the road. Access to the cemetery is through the foyer of the house and through the garden.

  • LOCAL government, conservation, and religious authorities or offices responsible for site: Comunitatea Evreilor (Baia Mare), Str. Somesului Nr. 5, 4800 Baia Mare, Jud. Maramures, Romania. Tel: (40-62) 211-231.
  • REGIONAL poltitical, preservation, religious authorities or offices responsible for site: Comunitatea Evreilor (Bucuresti), Str. Sf. Vineri 9-11, Bucuresti, Tel: (40-1) 157-441.
  • Interested: Mr. Adolf Friedman (caretaker of Remechioara cemetery) Str. Morii nr. 12, Somcuta Mare, Jud. Maramures 4866. Karol Domokos, Str. Somes nr. 52, Somcuta Mare, Jud. Maramures 4866, the caretaker, has the key. Mr. Friedman may have more information.

At first sight, the cemetery in Somcuta Mare (Nagysomkut) appears to be in appalling condition, though compared to several others in the Lapus area, it is in relatively good condition. It is situated behind the caretaker's house. While this provides a great deal of security, the gravestones are directly or indirectly involved in the everyday operation of a Romanian farm household. In addition to a haystack partially supported by several grave stones, the yard/cemetery contains chickens, laundry lines strung between trees among the stones, and farmyard equipment parked where the stones thin out nearer the house. The grass in the cemetery is cut on a regular basis, however, the caretaker resists offers by local residents to purchase stones by saying that "she wouldn't want to have her headstone sold to make someone's house". Threats to the cemetery include further upheaval of the ground (25% of the stones have fallen; and 50% are leaning), continued use of the section nearest the house as a farmyard, and deterioration of the 'ohel'. This building is made of wood and while it still looks solid, could use some repair. It is worth mentioning that within the town of Somcuta Mare is a monument to the Jewish population that was taken away during the Second World War. The Monument is located on the right hand side of Strada Somes as you leave the town of Somcuta but before you reach the cemetery. The writing on the statue is in three languages: Hebrew, Hungarian, and Romanian.

The current town population is unknown but Jews and maybe more Jews live there. The isolated rural (agricultural) hillside has no sign or marker. The cemetery is reached by a turning off a public road onto private property. Access to the cemetery is open with permission. The cemetery is surrounded a fence and the house gate that locks. The former size of the cemetery is unknown. Present cemetery size is 860 square meters according to the B. Mare list, but on-site appears to be 35x60 m. 303 stones are in cemetery regardless of condition or position. 95% are in original location. 25% are broken or toppled. 50% are leaning. Vegetation overgrowth in the cemetery is a seasonal problem preventing access. Water drainage is good.

The marble, granite, limestone, and sandstone tombstones and memorial markers are flat-shaped smoothed and Hebrew-inscribed stones, some with carved relief decoration, and double tombstones, and obelisks. Some have traces of paint on their surfaces. Some have cement grave boundaries. No special monuments, but there is a Jewish monument in Somcuta Mare mentioned before. The present owner of the cemetery project is not confirmed but possibly a private individual. The cemetery property is now used for an orchard, hay storage, construction material storage and laundry. Adjacent properties are agricultural. The size is probably the same as before WWII. The site is visited rarely by private visitors and local residents (Mr. Friedman.) Care: clearing of vegetation by local non-Jewish residents and seasonal clearing by the caretaker who claims not to be paid but another caretaker said that she is. Within the structure of the cemetery is an ohel. Weather erosion, vegetation, and incompatible nearby existing development are a moderate threat. The yard used for household purposes can eventually damage stones.

John DeMetrick and Christina Crowder, (formerly of Cluj, they have no further information), completed this survey on 18 April 2000 using a list of cemeteries known by the Jewish Community in Baia Mare. They visited the site on 8 April 2000 and interviewed Karol Domokos, Str. Somes nr. 52, Somcuta Mare, Jud. Maramures 4866 and Adolf Friedman (caretaker of cemetery in Remechioara) Str. Morii nr. 12, Somcuta Mare, Jud. Maramures 4866.

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 January 2009 15:01