Bilopillia Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Vinnytsia
District
Kozyatinsky
Settlement
Bilopillia
Site address
The cemetery is located to the right of the house on 19 Molodezhnaya Street (formerly referred to as Komsomolskaya street).
GPS coordinates
49.8382, 28.857
Perimeter length
329 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is unfenced, but there is a ditch visible around the perimeter.
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
Local residents have made efforts to preserve the cemetery. According to local testimony, under the USSR, tombstones were stolen for use as construction materials.
Number of existing gravestones
Approximately 50. According to local testimony, the last burial on the site took place in 1942.
Date of oldest tombstone
1916 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
1925 (the latest tombstone found by ESJF).
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Municipality
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

According to the Commission on the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, the cemetery was established in the 18th century. It can be found marked on a map of the region from 1941.

A Jewish presence was first recorded in Bilopillya in the early 18th century. In 1793, after the Second partition of Poland, it came under control of the Russian Empire, and became part of the Podolia Governorate (Podolskaya Gubernia). In 1847, the Jewish community of Bilopillya consisted of 1237 Jews and in 1897, 1141 Jews lived in Bilopillya, comprising 43.6% of the total population.
The Jewish population of Bilopillya suffered greatly during World War I and the civil war in Russia. In 1919, a pogrom in Bilopillya claimed a number of victims. After 1922, Bilopillya became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR. Under the Soviets the social and occupational structure of Bilopillya’s Jews changed greatly, as commerce was forbidden and private property was outlawed, and many of them shifted from engaging in commerce to becoming craftsmen and clerks. In the mid-1920s, a Jewish rural council was established in Bilopillya. In the 1920s and 1930s, there was a Yiddish school in Bilopillya. In 1926, Bilopillya had 1255 Jews, who comprised 39.1% of the total population.
The Germans occupied Bilopillya in the second half of July 1941. Most of Bilopillya’s Jews apparently succeeded in leaving before the arrival of the German forces. Soon after the start of the occupation local Ukrainians staged a pogrom in Bilopillya, killing at least one Jew. Jewish houses were confiscated by the Germans and the Jews began being sent to perform forced labor. In May 1942, around 70 Jews from Bilopillya were murdered by German and Ukrainian auxiliary policemen. At the end of 1942, 24 Jews who had remained in Bilopillya were sent to forced labor.
A few dozen matzevot, which date back to the first half of 20th century, are still seen at the Bilopillya old Jewish cemetery.

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