Project to Restore the Leichenhalle (Mortuary) at the Jewish Cemetery in Czernowitz
The message below was sent by Helmut Kusdat to the Cz-L list on December 9th 2005 with subject line: 'Czernowitz - Ceremonial Hall'. Helmut has published books and articles on Czernowitz and has undertaken various projects in the city. Near the end of this message there is a link to fifteen photographs showing the condition of the mortuary at the cemetery. Two of the photos depict a plaque with a list of names of the leaders of the Czernowitz Jewish community at the time the Mortuary was dedicated in 1905. Helmut provides a translation of the plaque at the end of this message. The list of names was originally sent to the group on December 14th 2005. If you wish to participate in this restoration project, you can send an email direct to Helmut Kusdat: kusdat_at_mail.com --Ed.
Dear Cz-L members,
As announced earlier this year, I have been to Czernowitz end of November
together with an architect and expert for the renovation of historic
buildings from Graz (Austria), in order to examine the Ceremonial Hall on
the Jewish Cemetary.
Together with the owner of a local workshop, actually the only one in
Czernowitz having the licence and the experience to do such a work, we
spent 2 days in, around and on (!) the building, doing all the necessary
research and documentation. We also had long an detailed discussions with
the owner of the workshop about all kinds of technical, legal and
finanical aspects of such a project.
The building itself is in a deplorable condition, the dome is still
waterproof but has to be replaced by a new one, the roofs of the side
wings are partly broken down, with water and snow coming in.
The good thing is that important parts are intact, for example the big
marble plaque inside with the names of the complete 'Cultusvorstand' anno
1905 (in German), and the floor is well preserved, too.
A a first result, I will get a report from the Architect from Graz in
January, proposing WHAT should be done and which costs are to be expected
(Kostenschaetzung), taking into consideration both prices here in Austria
AND in Ukraine.
With this expertise, completed with my own documentation on the building
(we found some interesting old documents in the local archives!) I will
start my efforts to raise the neccesary money. I will report to the list
We also had talks with representatives of the Jewish Community of the
Ukraine in Kiew and of Czernowitz and with the Mayor of Czernowitz, Mr.
All of them strongly support the idea of rescuing the Ceremonial Hall and
turning it into a small museum, showing the history of the cemetary and
portraits of prominent persons buried there, and perhaps also making the
digitalized version of the cemetary register accessible to visitors.
We were taken care of in Czernowitz by the head of the city department
for the preservation of architctural monuments, and I regard it to be a
big success of this first short trip that the relationship between all
involved persons is just excellent! The foundations for a possible future
cooperation are certainly very good.
At the moment I am trying to raise money for the next steps: first of all
it is necessary to cover the roof and the open windows, just to prevent
any more damage caused by water during this winter.
Then it is necessary to get a detailed and professional concept
(Arbeitsplan), and a cost account (Kostenvoranschlag), including a new
architectural plan (Architektenplan) of the building from the workshop in
Everybody who would like to contribute to these expenses is invited to
If it is possible to send photos of the Ceremonial Hall to the Cz-List,
please let me know, and also how many kilobites the can have.
For the moment I thank you for you attention, sending kind regards from
Click HERE to see the collection of 15 photographs showing the condition of the Leichenhalle at the cemetery. These pictures were taken in November of 2005 -- Ed
Helmut T. Kusdat
A - 1200 Wien
Tel.: ++43-1-350 69 64
Mobil: ++43-699 100 687 51
Below is the list of names that appears on the dedication plaque in the mortuary. The pictures are #3 (18040.jpg) and #9 (18189.jpg) -- Ed.
Dear Cz-List members,
sorry, I was not aware of the problems with German characters. Here
comes the text on the dedication plaque in the Ceremonial Hall of the
Czernowitz Jewish Cemetary in a readable form.
Unter der Verwaltung der nachbenannten
Repraesentanz der hiesigen israelitischen
wurde der Bau dieser
im Jahre 1905
vollendet und seiner Bestimmung zugefuehrt
Dr. Benno Straucher
Samuel Luttinger Jun.
Dr. Jakob Auslaender
Dr. Neumann Wender
Dr. Friedrich Billig
Dr. Meyer Ebner
Dr. Bernhard Funkenstein
Ire (?) Geiger
J. Leon Kratter
Dr. Adolf Reiter
Dr. Ludwig Luttinger
Efroim Hersch Melzer
Als Gemeinde Rabbiner fungierten
Dr. Moses Rosenfeld
Die Baufuehrung besorgte der Stadtbaumeister
die Oberleitung fuehrten der staedtische Baurat