A private organization is expanding its work preserving old Jewish cemeteries in Europe by employing aerial drones to map burial sites in countries where the Holocaust decimated local Jewish populations.

The European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative said Tuesday that teams plan to survey 1,500 Jewish cemeteries in Slovakia, Greece, Moldova, Lithuania and Ukraine this year.

The European Union is funding the effort at a time of rising alarm in some countries over anti-Semitic acts, including swastikas painted on gravestones and other damage at Jewish cemeteries.

Tombstones are seen in woods at a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Tombstones are seen in woods at a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

The chief executive of the Germany-based initiative, Philip Carmel, said fences will be erected around abandoned graveyards to re-establish their physical presence, “so people know there’s a Jewish cemetery.”

The group also wants to recruit volunteers in the five countries to maintain the cemeteries.

Participants of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) take pictures of tombstones at a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participants of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) take pictures of tombstones at a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participants of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) clean a tombstone at a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participants of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) clean a tombstone at a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participants of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) clean a tombstone at a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participants of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) clean a tombstone at a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participant of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) cleans a tombstone at a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participant of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) cleans a tombstone at a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
A worker walks past a fence being build round a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
A worker walks past a fence being build round a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participants of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) watch a drone take off over a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participants of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) watch a drone take off over a jewish cemetery near the village of Reca, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participants of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) walk past tombstones at a jewish cemetery near the town of Senec, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participants of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) walk past tombstones at a jewish cemetery near the town of Senec, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participant of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) walks past tombstones at a jewish cemetery near the town of Senec, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participant of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) walks past tombstones at a jewish cemetery near the town of Senec, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participants of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) look at tombstones at a jewish cemetery near the town of Senec, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Participants of a conference organized by the Germany-based foundation European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (EJCI) look at tombstones at a jewish cemetery near the town of Senec, Slovakia, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

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