A Jewish Cemetery for Confederate Soldiers


There’s only one Jewish military cemetery outside of Israel–and it has quite an unsavory distinction.

Richmond, Virginia’s Hebrew Confederate Cemetery was established for Confederate soldiers who were restricted from being buried in regular military cemeteries on account of their Jewishness.

Barred from two of Virginia’s military cemeteries, the bodies of 30 men were brought to Richmond to be buried in a special section of the Hebrew Cemetery. A year after the war ended The Hebrew Ladies Memorial Association was formed to take care of the graves. The ladies raised money for upkeep, and for an elaborate iron fence to encircle the section. The fence posts are topped with furled Confederate flags and soldiers’ caps, and the railings are crossed swords and sabers hung with wreaths of laurel.

If you can put aside the fact that these Jews fought on the side of slavery, the cemetery is a beautiful place. But those little soldiers’ caps and flags make it pretty difficult to forget.

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