Dutch workers discover Jewish graves thought relocated decades ago


(JTA) — Construction workers in the Netherlands discovered bodies at a former Jewish cemetery that were believed to have been relocated in their entirety decades ago.

The 11 bodies, which were buried sometime before 1828, were reburied Monday at a newer Jewish cemetery. They were found earlier this month during groundwork in Winschoten, a town in the northeast, Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs said.

The Winschoten site, in the middle of town, functioned as a Jewish burial ground until 1969, when the bodies were moved elsewhere. It saw its last burial in 1828, before the passing of regulations that made its use as a cemetery impossible.

The rabbi said the bodies reburied Monday had been left behind during the moving of most other human remains in 1969.

“It is remarkable that the city authorities suspended the dig immediately,” said Jacobs, who oversaw the exhumation of the bodies for reburial at the Sint Vitusholt cemetery in Winschoten together with an archaeologist and a team of diggers.


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