Since 1931, the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities [SIG] has been in possession of a Jewish cemetery near the Wildboden woodland cemetery in Davos.
Initially, most of the burials were of people who had died in Davos. Mainly, these were people with lung conditions who had come to Davos from various countries hoping to find a cure. By the outbreak of the Second World War, 50 graves existed. During and after the war there were burials not only of those who had come to Davos in search of treatment but also of refugees who, either legally or illegally, had crossed the Swiss border.
By late 1950, the number of graves at the cemetery had risen to 110. Among them was one special burial plot. In 1945, the remains (ashes and bones) of unknown Jews from the Buchenwald concentration camp were brought to Davos and laid to rest there on 6th September 1946. The monument commemorating this terrible period of human history is located to the right of the entrance to the cemetery.
Memorial for prayer books
In 1962, prayer books were rendered unusable by an avalanche at the Etania Jewish clinic. On 4th November 1963, these were burried at the Davos cemetery according to Jewish rite and custom. This spot, too, is marked by a monument.
On 2nd August 1923, three Jewish mountaineers from Vienna lost their lives in the Jungfrau region. They were buried at the Lauterbrunnen cemetery in the Canton of Bern. The SIG did not learn of this event until plans were afoot to decommission the section of the cemetery in question. It organised the exhumation and transfer of the remains in strict accordance with halachic principles. On 10th June 2004, the remains of the three deceased were finally laid to rest at the Davos cemetery and the original memorial stone was set up once more. The memorial stone, bearing the names of the deceased, also has the inscription ‘Victims of their Love of the Mountains’.
Today, the cemetery still carries out occasional funerals of Jews who had lived in Davos or had a close connection with it. Now housing some 185 burial plots, the cemetery is a source of dignified peace and is well worth a visit.