Sarajevo Jewish Cemetery Burial House 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 the city. Its strategic location made it a favorite of snipers during the 1992-1995 War in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 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 undoing 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 site. These funds were matched by donations from private sources and from the Sarajevo municipal and regional governments. The first stage of the restoration 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 completed.

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