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Cemetery Information

Cemetery Identification
Cemetery ID: COL-09456
Cemetery Name: Cementerio Sefaradi Antiguo - Universal
Cemetery Location
Country: Colombia
City: Barranquilla
Street: Calle 47 # 35 - 03
Cemetery Details
Number of Burials: 164
Number of Photographs: 164
Cemetery Description: This cemetery was active until 1981. Although the oldest headstone is dated from 1858, the year of the first actual burial in this cemetery is unknown. The first Jewish cemetery in the city was built by David Senior in the Parque San Mateo (today known as Parque de la Independencia). When that cemetery was closed, many of the Jews buried there were moved into this cemetery (an estate within the Cementerio Universal) and buried in a mass grave. Many requested and got permission to have their relatives buried individually in new graves. The same headstones that stood in the previous cemetery, were used for this one. It’s believed that this transfer took place around 1877 since the six oldest headstones dating between 1858 and 1876 are all placed one next to each other without any separation and against the wall at the end of the cemetery. There’s only one headstone from 1869 (belonging to Mauricio Wolf) that is separated from those six, indicating that this was one of those that received permission to be buried individually. The Jews buried here were in their majority Sephardic immigrants. The oldest burials are mainly of Jews that came to Barranquilla from the island of Curacao, while the later burials are mainly of Jews that came from the former Ottoman Empire. The cemetery has 201 burials. There are 37 graves without any headstone although marked with a white Star of David. The reason for these missing headstones is unknown, however, it’s believed of them being stolen or removed by their relatives who assimilated to Catholicism and didn’t want there to be any proof of them having Jewish ancestors. The two only records of the people buried in this cemetery were done in 1994 and 2000 by Jose Watnik Baron and published in the first and second edition of his book “NUESTRAS GENTES – Primera Generacion”. All the additional information added to these records that is not registered in the headstones themselves, was provided by the local Jewish researcher David Lukowiecki.
Data last updated: 01/21/2021

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