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Dutch Jewish cemetery reopened after decades of disuse

(JTA) — Jewish and non-Jewish volunteers rededicated a 200-year-old Dutch Jewish cemetery after decades of neglect.

The opening of the cemetery in Woerden in the center of the Netherlands on Wednesday was the first time it had been open to the public since 1973, de Week Krant reported.

Jewish and Christian volunteers worked for six months to restore the headstones at the cemetery, according to the report.

At the end of the ceremony, members of the area’s Jewish community said Kaddish for several dozen people buried at the cemetery.

Separately last month, the weekly reported, the Dutch city of Wageninegen joined a growing number of European municipalities in installing memorial cobblestones in front of the homes of murdered Jews.

In total, the city now has 36 memorial cobblestones, a concept developed in the 1990s by the German artist Gunter Demnig. He has installed at least 40,000 cobblestones across Europe, he said in June. The bronze cubes bear the names of the victims.

“These stones provide passersby with a moment of reflection,” Wageningen Mayor Geert van Rumund said during a ceremony last month.

In Wageningen, where Jews lived from 16th century onward, memorials mark former Jewish butcher shops and bakeries as well as the homes of Jewish civil servants and one scientist, the report said.

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