Babchyntsi Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Vinnytsia
District
Chechelnyk
Settlement
Chernevets
Site address
Starting at the sign at the exit of Babchintsy, travel 400 metres in the direction of Trostyanets and turn left onto the dirt road, at which point the cemetery can be found to the left of the road.
GPS coordinates
48.4028, 28.16817
Perimeter length
261 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is overgrown with thorny bushes, rendering it inaccessible. According to the deputy head of the village council, many of the tombstones were stolen for use as construction materials in the 1970s-80s.
Number of existing gravestones
6. The team were able to locate 6 tombstones, but there are presumably more, hidden in the bushes.
Date of oldest tombstone
N/A
Date of newest tombstone
N/A
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
State
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. Given it can be found marked on maps of the region from the early 20th century, it can be inferred it was already in use by then. It can also be found marked on a Red Army map from 1941. According to locals, the majority of the tombstones were removed in the 1970s-80s for construction purposes.

The land around Babchyntsi has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Babchyntsi itself was established in the 12th-13th centuries. From 1569 the region belonged to The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Jews first started to settle in Babchintsy in the mid-18th century. In 1793, after the Second partition of Poland, it came under the control of the Russian Empire, and became part of the Podolia Governorate (Podolskaya Gubernia).
Until the late 19th century many of Babchintsy’s Jews made their living from tobacco growing and other Jews were small-scale merchants or artisans. The Jewish community of Babchyntsi flourished, there were synagogues and a public bathhouse. In 1882, after the “May Laws” (Temporary regulations regarding the Jews) Jews lost the right to lease land for plantations; the financial situation and population of the community had deteriorated significantly.
After 1922, Babchyntsi became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR. Many of Babchintsy’s Jews who stayed in the village worked on the nearby “Zarya” kolkhoz. In the 1920s the Babchintsy synagogue building was used as a 4-year Yiddish school, however it was later demolished. In 1939, 192 Jews lived in Babchyntsi. In August 1941, 94 of them were murdered by the Nazis.
The cemetery of Babchyntsi was established no later than the early 20th century. Today only few matzevot survive in the abandoned plot, some were used for construction purposes in 1970s-80s.

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