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      'Book of Dead' Offers Hope to Austrian Jewish Families

      A book containing records of people buried in Austrian Jewish cemetery may inform families where their ancestors were put to rest.
      By Rachel Hirshfeld
      First Publish: 4/25/2012, 3:10 PM

      Cemetery
      Cemetery
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      A book containing the records of people buried in the Jewish cemetery in Deutschkreutz Austria may finally inform families where their ancestors were put to rest, the Austrian Times reported on Tuesday.

      All records were lost after the cemetery was destroyed by the Nazis in the 1940s.

      However, a copy of the book of funeral records, listing every row of graves and their numbers, has provided hope that the Jewish cemetery in Deutschkreutz may be reconstructed.

      While the book was reportedly returned to Austria, from whom and how it was found has yet to be confirmed.

      Before the reign of the Nazis, around a thousand Jews lived in Deutschkreuz and approximately 1,500 people were buried in the cemetery, the newspaper reported.

      According to "Misrachi Österreich," a Jewish organization in Austria, before the records were found it would have been impossible to determine the exact locations of the graves.

      "When you consider that there are 8,000 Jewish graves in Burgenland, and that hardly any of the cemeteries have proper records, a book of such records can tell us a lot," said Johannes Reiss of the Jewish Museum in Eisenstadt.

      While the locations of individual graves are not provided in the book, Misrachi Österreich is going to try to complete the cemetery by looking for aerial photographs and other documents.