Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jewish Waldheim Cemetery - Chicago, IL

Images of graves submerged in water appear in the newspaper. My first thought was for my great grandparents - Samuel and Helen Deutsch - buried there, somewhere.

Coincidentally, on Monday, I discovered the cemetery's online request form Elsewhere I read they will email photographs, so I sent in a request. I haven't heard back, though the website says to give them 3-5 days, so I could hear tomorrow - if the graves are accessible.

In the cemetery there are 200,000 graves, only a fraction near the river. I live five hours away by car, and haven't been to the cemetery. My mother attended an aunt's funeral there five years ago. My great-aunt is likely a safe distance from the flood waters, though -- the newspaper says only the indigent have been buried there in recent years.

A map I found of the cemetery suggests the graves of my great grandparents are probably safe. They are in Section 37, (aka Progressive Order of the West), which is apparently to the East of Des Plaines Avenue, separating it from the river. I don't know how far East, or how far the river has flooded.

Even if their stones are safe, my thoughts go to the heartrending photographs. They are family of others.

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