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Jewish cemeteries

Motion for a recommendation | Doc. 12115 | 04 January 2010

Mr Mátyás EÖRSI, Hungary, ALDE ; Ms Anne BRASSEUR, Luxembourg, ALDE ; Mr Mevlüt ÇAVUŞOĞLU, Turkey, EDG ; Mr György FRUNDA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr John GREENWAY, United Kingdom ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Andres HERKEL, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Mr Mladen IVANIĆ, Bosnia and Herzegovina, EPP/CD ; Ms Corien W.A. JONKER, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Göran LINDBLAD, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Sir Alan MEALE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Christos POURGOURIDES, Cyprus, EPP/CD ; Mr Samad SEYIDOV, Azerbaijan, EDG ; Mr Luigi VITALI, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Paul WILLE, Belgium

In most member states of the Council of Europe the creation and maintenance of cemeteries is part of the duties of the states, in most cases those of local authorities;

In several cases, municipalities may entrust different Ngos, and notably churches, to maintain cemeteries;

According to the principles of preservation of the cultural heritage of Council of Europe member states, communities are in general morally obliged to look after the dead, who belonged to their communities when they were alive;

While nations, religions, languages, etc. may be born and then disappear in history, there is one community in European recorded history which ceased to exist in its previous form, due to the most terrible crime called Holocaust;

Before World War II, Jewish people used to live basically everywhere in Europe and Jewish communities performed all duties that nationals and minorities carried out in their area including, inter alia, the maintenance of Jewish cemeteries;

One of the tragic consequences of the Holocaust is that, in numerous villages and cities all over Europe, no Jewish communities remain alive;

In those areas, Jewish cemeteries are getting more and more severely damaged and they may soon get to a point of no return and perish;

It is clear that without a legal duty of the states to maintain Jewish cemeteries, these cemeteries will perish;

Therefore, we, members of the Parliamentary Assembly propose that the Committee of Ministers draft an international treaty on the duty of the member states in maintaining Jewish cemeteries.