Shooting on the Jewish cemetery in Vidin turned out to be one of the most depressing jobs I ever did. More than a thousand graves lie there unattended, desecrated, deliberately destroyed.
The cemetery was used from 1875 into the 1950s. Since then headstones were broken, graves opened, pictures of the deceased broken. What was supposed to be the final resting place for so many people turned into a field of rubble, overgrown with weeds, not only neglected, but treated with utter disrespect.
Fighting my way through the underbrush that now covers most of the area I started brushing off the leaves of some of the graves, so the pictures on them could be seen again. Suddenly I came on a headstone with a photo of a young woman, dressed in clothes that might have been worn in the 1900s, and a very formal portrait of a toddler. I am normally rather thick-skinned, but to see that those two lovely people have to rest in a place like this got me all choked up.
No matter by what name they called God, the dead deserve better than this!
(All Images Copyright Johann Brandstätter / JB Photography)
Please visit my website for more images from the Jewish cemetery in Vidin.