Didymoteicho New Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Site address
Having left the town of Didymoteicho westbound on Epar.Od Didimotichou-Metaxades Street, turn left near the Christian cemetery and proceed for 230 metres. The old cemetery is located 15 metres from the road on the left.
GPS coordinates
41.34818, 26.48081
Perimeter length
218 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The old masonry wall is partially preserved and traces of old repairs can be found. The fence’s foundations are preserved.
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is abandoned and overgrown with vegetation. It requires a restoration of its fence, building on the existing foundation.
Number of existing gravestones
Around 200. Approximately 150 tombstones are in their original location, the rest have been removed and are lying on the cemetery site.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

A Jewish community existed in Didymoteicho as far back as the early years of Ottoman rule (14th century). It was predominantly Sephardi and numbered a few dozen families by 1821. A synagogue operated by 1862. The school established in 1883 came under the patronage of the Alliance Israelite Universelle in 1897. A new school building was inaugurated in 1911. The Jewish community grew in the first decade of the 20th century and numbered 950 in 1913. Hebrew teachers from Bulgaria introduced Zionist ideas to Didymoteicho in that era. In 1919, Didymoteicho came under Greek rule. The community, now numbering over 1,000, was well organized and by 1924 boasted a new synagogue, a school, and a community center. In the 1930s, many Jews emigrated.

The Germans invaded and occupied Didymoteicho. Until mid-1942, the Jews were left in peace. On 4th May 1943, the men were gathered in the synagogue, declared under arrest and ordered to collect their families for transfer to Poland. After the war, most of the Jewish possessions and buildings including the synagogues and schools were not returned to the community. The community dwindled with emigration and was dismantled in 1967. Only four Jews remained in 1983.

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown, but it can be assumed it was founded in the 14th century.

3D model