Kupil Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Khmelnytskyy
District
Volochysk
Settlement
Kupil'
Site address
The cemetery is located opposite the hospital on Likarnyana Street.
GPS coordinates
49.61775, 26.5184
Perimeter length
471 metres. The perimeter is approximate because of the quality of a google satellite picture.
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is severely overgrown. It requires clearing and fencing. There are ruins of a hut on the site. The site is polluted with waste and animal skulls.
Number of existing gravestones
50. Vegetation on the site does not allow to establish the exact number of gravestones. There are a lot of gravestone's fragments.
Date of oldest tombstone
1881 (oldest found by ESJF expedition)
Date of newest tombstone
1934 (latest found by ESJF expedition)
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown, but the oldest preserved gravestone relates to the second half of the 19th century. First, it appears on Russian maps of the 1870s. Later it was marked on maps of 1915 and 1939.

Jews were present in the 18th century. A printing house owned by a Jew S. Vislotsky, operated in Kupil’ in 1796, was one of the first printing presses in Russian Empire. In 1847, 1,170 Jews resided here. In 1865, three synagogues existed in Kupil’, and in 1871, a public school was opened. By 1897, the Jewish population reached 2,720 (52,8% of the total). In 1907, a Jewish school functioned. In 1923, during the Soviet period, the number of Jews dropped to 1,530. In the prewar period, Jewish entrepreneurs rented steam mills in Kupil’. During WWI, Jews of Kupil’ were persecuted for espionage. In the years of the Civil war, the Jewish population suffered attacks by the troops of Yuriy Tyutyunnyk. In the interwar period, the Soviets closed synagogues, heders and restricted activities of the Zionist organizations. The branches of the Zionist organizations Hashomer-Hatsair and Tsofim operated secretly. In 1927, many Zionists were arrested. In the 1920s, a Yiddish school was opened. In the 1930s, 1,630 Jews left for Birobidzhan and the Crimea with the assistance of OZET. 38 Jewish families joined the Ukrainian and Polish collective farms. In 1935, a Jewish kolkhoz was created. By that time, a synagogue was converted into a club, and a Jewish drama and music circles operated there. In July 1941, the Germans occupied Kupil’, a ghetto was formed. On July 5, 1941, about 100 Jews were murdered. In August 1941, 50 old Jews were placed into stables and suffocated. In September 1942, 600 Jews were deported to Volochisk, where they were executed. In the 1990s, a monument was erected on the mass grave. Zeev (William) Homsky, father of the philosopher and linguist Avram Noam Homsky, was born in Kupil’.

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