Eisenstadt digitizes over 1,000 Jewish graves

After months of work Eisenstadt’s Jewish Museum has completed a project to document and digitize graves in the city’s old Jewish cemetery.

Eisenstadt digitizes over 1,000 Jewish graves
The Jewish cemetery in Eisenstadt. Photo: ORF

Now, almost all of the 1,100 gravestones have been located and identified in the cemetery – which was in use from around 1679 to 1875.

Knowledge of who was buried in each grave had been lost for more than 100 years, with many of the names and Hebrew inscriptions having worn away with time and now hardly legible. Some of the graves are over 300 years old.

Visitors will now be able to use a smartphone to scan a QR code which is attached to each grave, and find out information about who is buried there, when they died, and who they were related to. 

The first Jewish community settled in Eisenstadt in the 1370s, although there is also evidence that Jews arrived in the area with the Roman Legions, well over 1,000 years before.

The Jewish community was taken under the protection of the ruling Esterházy Hungarian princes in 1622, and Eisenstadt became known as a centre of Jewish learning and scholarship.

Every year Eisenstadt’s Jewish cemetery attracts thousands of tourists, pilgrims and relatives of the dead from around the world.