Kryve Ozero Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Moldova
Region
Kishinev
District
Kryve Ozero
Settlement
Kryve Ozero
Site address
Kryve Ozero Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
47.946194, 30.355556
Perimeter length
599 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
Type of the fence
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery. The majority of the cemetery was demolished and is now derelict. The preserved section in the northwest corner is severely overgrown with bushes and tall grass. The site is used for cattle grazing. Some of the tombstones are toppled, while others are partially sunken in the ground. Private houses and gardens have been built at points around the cemetery's border.
Number of existing gravestones
67. There are a number of toppled gravestones in the demolished section of the cemetery, some of which are badly eroded, making it difficult to establish accurate dates.
Date of oldest tombstone
The oldest found is dated 1847
Date of newest tombstone
2018
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
No

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown, but according to the dates on the preserved tombstones it can be assumed the cemetery was founded in the mid 19th century. It was most likely marked on maps of the region from the 1860s. The first mention of Jews living in Kryve Ozero dates back to 1765. In 1847, the Jewish community numbered 1,116 individuals. A stone synagogue was established in 1853. By 1865, three synagogues were operational in the town. According to a census, the number of the Jews grew to 5,478 (70% of the total population) in 1897. In 1910, six synagogues, a Jewish cemetery, and a private Jewish vocational school existed in Kryve Ozero. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the Jewish population was mainly active in crafts and trade. In 1914, three pharmacies, a hotel, ten lumberyards, two oil-smelters, and 113 stalls were under Jewish ownership. In December 1919, the Jewish community was attacked in a pogrom that lasted several weeks, arranged by parts of the Volunteer Army. During the pogrom, nearly 600 Jews were killed. Jewish houses, workshops and shops were pillaged. After the devastation, around 600 Jewish families left Kryve Ozero. In the 1920s, the Jewish farming team was supported by a fraternity, founded in the USA in 1918. In 1923, the Jewish population numbered 3,939. About 300 Jewish children attended the elementary school which functioned in the 1930s. At the same time, 60 Jewish families worked at the Kotovsky kolkhoz. A Jewish library was also operating. In 1939, the Jewish population decreased to 1,447. After the Wehrmacht occupation of the town on August 28, 1941, around 45 Jews from Kryve Ozero were killed. In October 1941, most of the Jews were deported to the Bohdanovka camp. On January 1, 1942, the 186 Jews who remained were murdered. In the 1980s, the victims were reburied in the Jewish cemetery. A monument was erected at the burial site. In the 1990s, a religious community was opened. In 2002, six Jews were residing in Kryve Ozero.