Oster Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Chernihiv
District
Kozelets
Settlement
Oster
Site address
Oster Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
50.94614,30.88148
Perimeter length
490 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
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery. The cemetery's old section is severely overgrown with trees and bushes. Some of the tombstones have been damaged by falling trees and branches. The cemetery's last groundskeeper died on February 6th 2020, and it has gone unprotected since as there is no set replacement. The ravine dividing the Jewish and Christian cemeteries is used by locals as a dump. It appears the cemetery's older section is mixed, as it contains toppled metal crosses.
Number of existing gravestones
240
Date of oldest tombstone
1902
Date of newest tombstone
2017, still operational
Urgency of erecting a fence
Low
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. However, it appears on Russian maps of the region from the 1880s, so it can be assumed it was founded in the latter half of the 19th century. The oldest preserved tombstone dates from the early 20th century.
Jews have lived in Oster since the 18th century. According to the census of 1847, the town was home to 633 Jews. In 1862, there was one wooden synagogue; in 1867, two synagogues; and in 1886, four synagogues. According to the 1897 census, the population increased to 1,596 Jews (29%). Traditionally, Jews were involved in trade and commerce. In 1913, the town had a warehouse of pharmacy products, a hotel, an inn, and over 50 shops and stores. The Jewish community survived pogroms in October 20, 1905, and from 1919-1920. In 1923, Rabbi Girzel, the spitirual leader of the town, was arrested. There was a decrease in the number of Jews between the Civil War and World War II, for various reasons. The main was the pogroms of 1919-1920, but a lot of Jews moved to larger cities. In 1920 the town was home to 1,523 Jews, but by the 1926 the number had already decreased to 1,267 (18.5%), and as of 1939 there were only 841 Jews left (13.3%). On October 29th, 1941 a detachment of Sonderkommando 4A shot 215 Jews, as well as locals. From 1941-1943 279 Jews were shot. in March 1946 the remains of Holocaust victims were reintered in a mass grave at the Jewish cemetery . As of 2014, the Jewish population of Oster numbered around 10 people (this small community was headed by Dosya Abramovna Mihno). The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. However, given it appears on Russian maps of the region from the 1880s, it can be inferred it was founded in the latter half of the 19th century. The oldest preserved tombstone dates from the early 20th century.
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