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Part of Budapest Jewish Cemetery Being Expropriated by the Government

The Hungarian government has decided to expropriate a large section of Budapest’s old Jewish cemetery of “Aszod.” The act will involve thousands of graves and monuments some dating generations back. The recently decreed order is the third expropriation move affecting old Jewish cemeteries in Hungary and some circles here believe that eventually all will be affected.

Families of those buried at “Aszod” can either agree to have the remnants buried in a common grave or can opt for reinterment elsewhere. The latter procedure, however, is very costly and most of the families involved have already said they will be unable to meet the casts. Many other families are now living abroad. This is especially true for the small towns and villages where Jews used to live and prosper before the war and where only a handful of Jews remain.

It is believed that the old and often neglected Jewish cemeteries in these towns will soon be affected by government expropriation moves.

The Hungarian Jewish community is in close contact with the Jewish community in Czechoslovakia where similar expropriation moves are underway. Members of both communities have reportedly asked Jewish organizations abroad presumably in the West, to help ensure the reinterment of those in expropriated plots. It is believed that the expropriation order will not affect the historic old part of the Budapest cemetery which is being kept in relatively good condition by the local community with the help of government funds.

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