Kozyatyn Jewish Cemetery
According to the Commission on the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, the cemetery was estabished in the second half of the 19th century and demolished in 1953, after which a park was built on its former site. It can be found marked on a map of the region from the 1900s.
Kozyatyn was founded as a railway station in 1874, at the place where Kozyatyn village had already existed since at least 1734, when the region belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. A Jewish presence is first mentioned in Kozyatyn in the second half of the 18th century.
In 1793, after the Second partition of Poland, it came under control of the Russian Empire, and became a part of the Kiev Governorate (Kievskaya Gubernia). In the mid 19th century only a few Jews lived in Kozyatyn. The development of railway lines in the area led to a dramatic increase of the Jewish population. At the initial period of town history, in the early 1880s, Kozyatyn numbered 76 households. By 1883, a synagogue already existed in Kozyatyn. In 1897, Kozyatyn’s Jews comprised 1731 of 8614, which was 20% of the town’s population. In 1910, Kozyatyn had two synagogues, a talmud-torah and two private Jewish schools, one for boys and one for girls.
There was a pogrom in Kozyatyn in 1905. Later Jews of the town suffered greatly during the revolutionary years and the civil war in Russia. In 1918 Jewish houses were looted during a pogrom in the town.
In 1913, almost all small businesses in Kozyatyn belonged to Jews: a pharmaceutical warehouse, all 12 shops, including 7 manufacturing shops and a photo studio.
In April 1920, during the Polish-Bolshevik War, the town was captured by Polish forces in what became known as the Raid on Kozyatyn. Then it was recaptured by the Bolsheviks and after 1922 became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR. In the late 1920s and early 1930s Kozyatyn had a Jewish council that held its deliberations in Yiddish, and Yiddish-language schools. In 1939 Kozyatyn had 2648 Jews, who comprised 15.8% of the total population.
In 1941, many Jews fled to the East but some remained behind. Kozyatyn was occupied by German troops on July 14th 1941. Several weeks later all Jews still living in Kozyatyn were forced into a ghetto, which included several streets of the town. Inmates of the ghetto were strictly forbidden to leave the ghetto and were forced to perform various types of hard labor. The Jews also had to wear a white armband with a Star of David.
In August and September 1941 about a dozen of Kozyatyn’s Jews were murdered by units of Einsatzgruppe C. In early June 1942, most of the Kozyatyn Jews were shot. Several dozen young, able-bodied Jews and skilled Jewish workers who had been temporarily spared were murdered in December 1942.
Kozyatyn was liberated by the Red Army on December 28, 1943. A few Jewish families lived in Kozyatyn after the war. In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kozyatyn became a part of the independent Ukraine. Today there exists a tiny Jewish community.
The Kozyatin Jewish cemetery, apparently established in the second half of the 19th century, was demolished in the mid 20th century.