Tragically, many Jewish cemeteries in Europe are in disrepair and are unattended, leaving them vulnerable to vandalism and the theft of headstones. Thankfully new technologies are making it easier to keep an eye on these sacred properties and to keep track of the important information they contain.
Starting big and growing more detailed, satellite and drone photography like Google Earth can record precise locations of cemeteries, as well as how they are arranged. As Jewish Heritage Europe reports, an exciting new online project allows users to tour a Jewish cemetery in Bialystok, Poland, by drone. Beyond that, the site points out, radar can search beneath the ground for burials no longer marked by stones. As for time-weathered memorials, 3D scanners can help reconstruct a marker’s original text.
. . . Not only do new technologies facilitate the recording of information before it grows even more difficult to grasp, but it makes it easier to keep watch over these cemeteries in the future, even from a distance.
You can take a virtual tour of a Jewish cemetery in Bialystok, Poland, home to 6,000 graves dating back to 1890. The cemetery was owned by the local Jewish community until 1943, the National Treasury took it over in 1966, and it’s been closed since 1973.