The Jewish Cemetery in Rácalmás, Hungary has undergone restoration work with state funding, continuing work begun last year.
According to an August 27 government press release, restoration work to the lower part of the cemetery was carried out with 5 million forints ($20,800) in funding awarded from the civil fund set up by the government to provide financial assistance for non-governmental and local government initiatives realized during the official Hungarian Holocaust Memorial Year (April 2014-April 2015).
During the course of the renovation project, a cemetery gate was constructed, 30 gravestones were renovated and a gravel path and overpass were established.
A commemorative plaque was affixed at the entrance to the cemetery. More than 20 volunteers took part in the action.
The government civil fund awards provided financial aid to hundreds of initiatives, including several Jewish cemetery clean-ups. But more than three dozen organizations, mainly Jewish communities or associated groups, turned back the funding to protest what they criticized as an attempt by the state to whitewash Hungary’s involvement in the Holocaust.
Cemetery caretaker Viktor Nagy said that the first Jewish families settled in Rácalmás in the 1720s and the cemetery was opened in 1740. Research into local history has confirmed the existence of a thriving Jewish community, he said, adding that some 300 people from Rácalmás had fallen victim to the Holocaust.
Mr. Nagy also mentioned that renovation work had been ongoing since 2013 in cooperation with the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) and with the help of over 20 volunteers. The restoration of the lower part of the 1300 square metre cemetery has been successfully completed, and work will continue in the upper area in the autumn.