Young people from the Youth Network of the local Muslim community, led by local Imams, have organized a clean-up of the Jewish cemetery in Tuzla, Bosnia Herzegovina, according to the Tuzlanski.ba news site.
The article on Tuzlanzki.ba said the action was taking place today, April 28, on the occasion of the Day of the Mosque. It described the initiative as a “beautiful and socially-beneficial action.”
The cemetery, which was registered as a B-H national monument last year, was founded in the late 19th century and is located along a roadside outside town in the district of Boric.
According to the Institute for the Protection and Use of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Tuzla Canton the cemetery covers 2,760 square meters and has around 161 tombs. It said it had noted gravstones from 1868, 1892, 1893, 1894, and 1897 years as well as at least one from 2017: there is a tiny Jewish community in Tuzla that still uses the cemetery.
As of two years ago, the cemetery was in very neglected and overgrown condition, but it appears to have been undergoing maintenance since being listed as a national monument. (See recent photos HERE.)
The survey of Jewish heritage sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina published in 2011 by the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad stated that at the time it was:
a reasonably well preserved complex, but poorly maintained. The central part is relatively clean, but bordering parts are fully covered with vegetation. It is fenced, with a gate. Inscriptions are in Hebrew, Ladino, German, and Serbo-Croatian.
A documentation of the cemetery carried out in 2017 by the Institute for the Protection and Use of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Tuzla Canton found the cemetery overgrown and very neglected, with some gravestones in danger of falling over. “Tombstones are hardly visible due to the fact that the cemetery is not maintained, and is overgrown with grass,” it said.
Photos published from this 2017 documentation on the Institute’s web site showed that the only enclosure was loose barbed wire fencing.