LONDON (Feb. 24)
A number of Slovakia’s 600 Jewish cemeteries are going to be demolished and turned over to other uses. According to the London-based International Council of Jews from Czechoslovakia, the plan was announced to a recent meeting of the Union of Jewish Communities in Slovakia.
Julius Ehrenthal, the Union’s new cochairman, had said that some of the abandoned pre-war cemeteries had become “hotbeds of infectious diseases which threaten the environment” and the Slovak Jewish community, numbering about 3500 people, had been unable to save them.
Last year, cemeteries at Holic, Komarno (near Bratislava), Krompachy, Komjatice, Novo Mesto and Prievidza were officially listed for demolition, and it is claimed here that people in the West and in Israel were given insufficient notice to arrange for the remains of relatives to be reburied elsewhere.
Ehrenthal is also quoted as saying that the chief rabbinate for Slovakia had been moved from Galanta to Bratislava, with Rabbi Isidor Katz remaining in charge and that a number of communities no longer are able to form a minyan for prayers and therefore would be merged with larger communities. He asked for individual hardship cases to be reported and claimed that Slovak Jews enjoyed full religious freedom and kashrut facilities.