Friday, May 29, 2009

Estonia: New Info on Jewish Sites Listed On-Line

Tallin, Estonia. Jewish cemetery. Photos: Samuel D. Gruber

Estonia: New Information on Jewish Sites Listed On-Line

(ISJM) New, extensive and up-to-date information about Jewish heritage sites in Estonia has recently been added to the website, where detailed lists and descriptions of Jewish sites in a number of little documented countries are being posted, little by little.

The Estonia section includes the most comprehensive information available about synagogues and former synagogues, cemeteries and Holocaust-related sites.

The Jewish Community in Estonia continues to move forward on several heritage documentation projects. The two most prominent are the placement of commemorative marker on the site of the Great Choral Synagogue of Tallinn at 5 Maakri Street, and the erection of more commemorative markers on sites of the approximately 20 Nazi-sounded labor and death sites throughout the country, where up to 20,000 Jews from Germany, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania and elsewhere toiled - especially in the oil shale industry - and where many died. In the past five years the project has identified these site, some of which were never marked, and others which were marked with non-specific commemorative inscriptions dating from the Soviet period. New or additional markers were installed at five sites - Ereda, Kiviõli, Klooga, Illuka, Metsakmistu and Vaivara, in 2005
. Markers are reportedly ready for another three sites, though there have been delays over disputes about who will maintain them.

The Jewish community of Estonia dedicated a new synagogue in Tallinn (photos) in 2007 designed by local architects Kimmel and Stöör and last December (2008) they opened a museum to document the life of Estonian Jews from the second half of the 19th century to the present.

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