Ochakiv Jewish Cemetery
It is known that in 1910, the cemetery was already existing. It is marked on Russian topographic maps of 1917. A resident of Kamyanka village, Georgiy Shuenko, born in 1937, told us that he remembers this cemetery presumably in late 1940s or early 1950s. The Jews of Kamyanka also used the cemetery of Ochakiv. Supposedly, it was overbuilt in the 1950s. Local residents remember the conflict with the builders when construction works were begun on the cemetery site, as the builders were denying the existence of the cemetery at the site. According to local residents, during WWII and for a short period after that, non-Jewish sailors were buried on the cemetery. This plot has been preserved until today.
The exact period of the founding of the Jewish community of Ochakiv is unknown. Jews began settling here from the early 19th century onwards. In 1847, 406 Jews resided in Ochakiv and the Jewish population had increased to 1,480 (13% of the total population) in 1897. In 1856, the town had two synagogues. In 1910, three synagogues and a Jewish cemetery were operating. A private Jewish vocational school was also established. By that year, the Jewish population had increased to 1,650 (16% of the total population). In 1911, four hederim, in which 110 pupils had enrolled, were functioning. In 1913, a chemist’s shop and all four pharmacy warehouses, a bathhouse, three bakeries, two hotels, 72 stalls were under Jewish ownership. The period of the Civil War was difficult for the Jews of Ochakiv: many left the city afterwards, evident from the decrease of the Jewish population to 1,124 in 1920. A canteen for Jewish children was opened with the support of the Jews of Pretoria (Union of South Africa) in 1922. In 1939, the Jewish population was reduced to 377 (5% of the total population). On August 21, 1941, when the Nazi troops occupied Ochakiv, many Jews were able to evacuate the town or were mobilised. On November 5, 1941, 97 Jews were murdered. In 2005, Ochakiv had a small Jewish population.