Khmel’nyts’kyy Old Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Khmelnytskyy
District
Khmelnytskyi
Settlement
Khmel'nyts'kyy
Site address
Khmelnyts'kyy Old Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
49.42743,26.9922
Perimeter length
435 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery. The cemetery site has been built over with blocks of flats and private houses.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved. The tombstones were used to create a mound for the bridge near ​​Svobody Street.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

The cemetery was established in the first half of the 19th century and was operational till the early 20th century. It first appears on the 1824 city plan and later on a Russian map of the region from the 1890s. Today, no visible traces of the cemetery or its boundaries remain. There was a Jewish presence in the city from 1629. The Jewish community suffered during the Khmelnitsky massacres in 1648-49. In 1765, 750 Jews lived in Khmel’nyts’kyy. By that time, many Jews earned their living as tailors, shoemakers, and furriers, among other professions. The Jewish population swelled to 3,107 in 1847. Jews were owners of sugar, bricks and roof tiles, ceramics, tobacco, and candles factories in the 19th century. The number of Jewish residents increased to 11,411 (22,855% of the total population) in 1897. A Jewish hospital and nine synagogues were in operation. Around 20 Jewish educational facilities as well as a library, reading room, and theatre functioned in the beginning of the 20th century. The pogrom arranged by the Petlyura gangs claimed the lives of 1,600 Jews in February 1919. Yiddish was the primary language of the records and documentation before WWII. The Jewish school operated in the Soviet period. In 1939, the Jewish population reached a peak of 14,518 (38,7% of the total) with over 2,500 who managed to evacuate or were drafted into the Red Army before the Nazi occupation of the city on July 8, 1941. In winter 1941, two ghettos for over 10,000 prisoners were established. One was for all Jews and another one for labourers of the camp. In October 1942, during the liquidation of the first ghetto, 5,300 local Jews and Jews from neighbouring villages were executed. On November 30, 1942, over 7,000 prisoners of the other ghetto were shot. The remaining 2,000 Jews were murdered during the liquidation of the camp. Three memorials were erected in the city after the end of WWII.