Sarajevo Jewish Cemetery Restoration

At the request of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2000, the Commission helped to restore the Jewish cemetery of Sarajevo.


The cemetery, founded in 1630, is the oldest intact burial ground of any religious group in Sarajevo. Its strategic location made it a favorite of snipers during 1992-1995 Civil War in the country. As a result, the cemetery, its elaborate pre-burial house, and walls sustained significant damage. The area was also extensively mined. The pre-burial house, a large building near the entrance to the cemetery, was totally burned during the siege, destroying much of the original structure and the restoration work that had been done only a few years before.


The U.S. Congress appropriated $100,000 to the Commission to restore the building. These funds were matched by donations from private sources and from the Sarajevo municipal and regional governments. The first stage of the project consisted of removing the explosive mines. The second, was restoring the pre-burial house. The building's structure was secured and the restoration of the exterior was completed. Renovations of the interior and the caretaker’s basement apartment were also done.


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