Lyubar Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Zhytomyr
District
Lyubarsky
Settlement
Lyubar
Site address
Entrance to the cemetery is through the gas office at No.40 Peremogy street.
GPS coordinates
49.93049, 27.73448
Perimeter length
518 мetres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is fenced on the front and sides. There used to be a lake at the back of the cemetery. The cemetery has its own gate from the road, but it is overgrown. Therefore, the entrance is through the gas office.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is very overgrown. Urgent maintenance is required. There is a security guard at the gas office, they let you into the cemetery. Half of the gas office occupies the territory of the cemetery. A SHELL gas station also occupies part of the cemetery.
Number of existing gravestones
About 30. There are only a few tombstones visible due to the dense vegetation.
Date of oldest tombstone
1925 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
2005 (the latest tombstone found by ESJF).
Urgency of erecting a fence
Low
Land ownership
Municipality
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery establishment is unknown. It is marked on the maps from the 1900’s and the 1870’s. The cemetery was restored in the 1960’s.

Lyubar (Ukr., Rus. Любар, Yid. לובער) may have had a wooden synagogue as early as 1491 evidence of the early arrival of Jewish residents. During the Paliy uprising of 1702–1704, the Jews of Lyubar fled the advancing Cossacks, with only 7 Jews returning by 1703. Five Jewish families from Lyubar settled in Medzhybizh in 1717. As of 1765, the Jewish community of Lyubar had 405 taxpayers, including 62 in the nearby Novyi Ostropil. By 1847, the Jewish population had grown to 3,770. As of 1870, the community numbered about 2600, which was 54% of the total, and maintained a synagogue and 6 prayer houses, growing to 6,111 (49%) in 1897. There were enough emigrants to the US to form a society of Lyubar Jews in 1895. In the early 20th century, the town had a Hebrew elementary school, a Jewish loan fund, a Jewish hospital and an old people’s home as well as a talmud-torah. A Zionist group was active around 1905. During the Civil War, in 1920, a pogrom was staged in Lyubar by the Red Army soldiers. About 50 Jews were killed, over 180 wounded. In the 1920s, a local council (soviet) deliberated in Yiddish, Lyubar had a Yiddish elementary school, a kindergarten, a loan fund for Jewish artisans. Lyubar is the birthplace of Aron Vergelis (1918–99), a Soviet Yiddish poet and journalist, the editor-in-chief of the Yiddish-language journal Sovetish Heymland. In the interwar period, many young people left Lyubar for big cities, and the Jewish population had decreased to 1,857 (70.3%) by 1939. With the arrival of the Germans in July 1941, the Jews from Lyubar and the surrounding areas were confined in a ghetto. By the end of October 1941, all of them were murdered, with the most killings on 13 Sept, when 1,119 Lyubar residents and about 180 Jews from nearby communities were shot at a sandlot. The town had a Jewish population of 10 in 1989. According to the 2001 census, a few Jews still lived there.
Although it is not known precisely when the cemetery was founded, it is marked on maps from the 1870s. According to the 1994–95 survey of the Jewish Preservation Committee (KSEN), the earliest gravestone dates back to 1925. Maintenance work was done in the 1960s.