Tombstones hidden from the Nazis uncovered in Vienna

Jewish headstone in Währing, Vienna (Photo: Florian Prischl)

Jewish headstone in Währing, Vienna (Photo: Florian Prischl)

Hundreds of Jewish tombstones which were hidden from the Nazis have been uncovered in Vienna.

Memorials at the Rossau site, the oldest Jewish cemetery in Vienna, were buried in 1943 by the few Jews who remained in the Austrian capital. They were unearthed during a recent renovation.

Raimund Fastenbauer, general secretary of the Jewish Community of Vienna, called the discovery “very interesting”. He said the gravestones had “high historical value”, the importance of which could even match that of the ancient Jewish cemetery in Prague.

He said that though many of the tombstones, some of which date back to the 16th century, had most likely been destroyed, the community remained confident of finding more. There were originally 900 headstones.

Mr Fastenbauer also said the cemetery had previously been destroyed twice even before the Nazi persecution of the 1940s.

Last updated: 5:02pm, July 10 2013