Antique Jewish Cemetery18.05.2008 at 20:58 | Posted in History, Walk Route | 10 Comments
Tags: graveyard, jewish cemetery
According to Jewish tradition cemeteries are established for eternity – they cannot be removed nor can the graves be exhumed. This old Jewish graveyard, located within the large Hietaniemi cemetery, is fenced off and not in use any more. In theory it can be accessed from Lapilahdentie street but the gate was locked shut so I had to photograph from behind the fence. As I read on the website of the Jewish Community in Helsinki “Finnish Jewish history effectively began in the first half of the 19th century when Jewish soldiers (so-called cantonists), who served in the Russian Army in Finland, were permitted to stay in Finland by the Russian military authorities following the soldiers’ discharge.” The cemetery can’t thus be older than 200 years. Before that Jewish settlement on Finnish territory was forbidden in conformity with Swedish law.
The old Jewish graveyard is nowadays contained within the Islamic cemetery which was officially established in 1871 and was then the first Islamic cemetery in Finland. Currently the oldest grave on the Islamic side dates from 1916 and belongs to a Cossack named Gafur Kangachlin. He served in the 5th sotnia of the 8th Orenburg cavalry regiment. [Re-edited 22.05.]