identify #cemetery from statues in photo? #romania
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An Eastern European Jewish Cemetery expert replied to me:
1) My first reaction when I saw the photohgraph as a whole, without focusing on the couple or the statues, was that they were not in or adjacent to a cemetery because I saw no clear-cut indications that they were. That is, I see no fence or gate or entrance to the cemetery as would logically and normally have been the case. Secondly, I would think that statuary of this scale would be either part of a larger family mausoleum or displayed at the entrance or at some other prominent place within a cemetery. The photo shows no sign of a mausoleum associated with the statues, nor are there signs that the art work has been placed in prominent proximity to a cemetery. To me, this scene seems more likely to show a town square with the sculpture placed in an open area. Of course, if the owner of the photo is certain of the provenance of the photo, then he or she may know definitely whether the couple is standing near a cemetery.
2) Of the towns mentioned as possible locations, Barlad, Botosani, and Bucharest, I believe that we can rule out the cemeteries in Barlad and Botosani. I have visited all three locations; however, I have worked in only one of the cemeteries in Bucharest. In Barlad there are supposedly three Jewish cemeteries. I have visited two of them, and I can say this statuary was not there as of 2014, nor were those cemeteries of a scale that would have accommodated such a large monument. The third Barlad cemetery was overrun with vegetation and inacesible, but again, the modest size of that cemetery would argue against a sculpture this large.
I have seen information indicating three cemeteries located in Botosani; however, Mr. Iordache, the caretaker there, has told me there are only two. I have visited both repeatedly and the statuary in question was not present. In addition the size of the two cemeteries argues against a monument of this size having been located there in the past.
Bucharest seems a more likely candidate for the location of this monument. I have visited only one of several large cemeteries located there, in part because I have found information about the cemeteries in Bucharest to be singularly confusing. However, if Ms./Mr. Silver believes the photo shows a Romanian cemetery, then I would start with Bucharest.
3) If the search has to be expanded beyond Bucharest, I would suggest keeping in mind several fairly obvious points. Firstly, I would guess that the monument is located in a large urban area. I can think of cemeteries in Warsaw, Lodz, Wroclaw, and Budapest where this monument would not be markedly out of place despite its scale. Secondly, perhaps that large urban area would also be one with a signficantly assimilated Jewish population that also displayed marked socialist or Bund inclinations. The monument strikes me as more secular and socialist than religious, and if that is true, it would require a significant part of the relevant population to be able to implement its erection in a cemetery where most of the art work is relatively conservative.
4) If Ms./Mr. Silver needs the asssistance of someone on the ground in Romania, I can provide contact information for a good man with whom I have worked repeatedly.
From: main@... [mailto:main@...] On Behalf Of V Silver via groups.jewishgen.org
Sent: Wednesday, April 1, 2020 12:22 PM
Subject: [JewishGen.org] identify #cemetery from statues in photo?
I believe this photo was taken at a Jewish cemetery in Romania and I’m wondering if anyone might be able to identify it from the large statues?
If I had to guess at a city/location, I might guess Bucharest, Barlad, or Botosani.
Thank you if you have any ideas about where to look. I did try a Google images search but no luck so far.
Miami, FL, USA
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Thank you so much for such a deep analysis.
I did get the answer from someone. Indeed, not a cemetery at all.
The Jewish Palestine Pavilion at the 1939 Worlds Fair at Flushing Meadows-Corona, NY
Since I likely have family buried in one of the cemeteries mentioned, I would be very interested in having the name of your contact and for Mr. Iordache in Botosani.
Is it possible to search Romanian cemetery records online or by email? (I assume not in English). As I'm new to these pages, I haven't yet researched this topic which is surely covered in depth.
Thank you again for your kind help.