Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sarajevo 03: The Jewish Cemetery

Our last day in Sarajevo dawned drizzly and chilly. SPC C and I were shown around the city by a Soldier who'd been there for more than a year. His plan was to take us to historical sites, and in particular those with a religious connection. Our first stop was at Europe's second-largest Jewish cemetery, which had been damaged severely. It had been founded in 1630, and is among the most famous Sephardic cemeteries in the world.

It was at least heartening to see restoration work being done on the property. It seemed pretty clear that the small chapel on the premises had been repaired. It was locked, so we were unable to get inside.

Many graves had been desecrated, which left me feeling angry and sad.

The farther we walked up the hill, the older the gravestones appeared, and the more overgrown the underbrush.

This gravestone appears to have been laid in the year 1900.

The views of the city below were spectacular.

Almost all of the grave markers that I saw had pock marks from small-arms or larger-caliber bullets. There's absolutely no excuse for that kind of behavior!

It never ceases to amaze me what human beings can perpetrate against one another....

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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