Ozerna Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Ternopyl
District
Zboriv
Settlement
Ozerna
Site address
Ozerna Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
49.62412, 25.31380
Perimeter length
367 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery. The cemetery is severely overgrown. It requires clearing and fencing.
Number of existing gravestones
About 20 broken tombstones or fragments of tombstones.
Date of oldest tombstone
The only dated tombstone is of 1851.
Date of newest tombstone
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. The only dated preserved tombstone is of 1851, which means that the cemetery emerged before that date. The cemetery is clearly marked on the Austro-Hungarian Second and Third military survey maps of 1860s and 1880s and later on Polish maps of Wojskowy Instytut Geograficzny (WIG) of 1939. It is also mentioned in Yizkor book “Sefer Ozerna” (1971). According to locals, the cemetery was severely damaged during WWII and finally destroyed in 1952.

According the “Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and After Holocaust”, permanent Jewish settlement in Ozerna began to develop in the seconf half of 19th century. At that period a Jew named Mandel Jampoler purchased an estate from Count Lubomirski and employed other Jews for work at the flour mill, distillery, and other crafts.

However, the epigraphic data clearly show that in 1851 the Jewish cemetery already existed, which means that the Jewish community emerged before that date. Jews owned flaxseed oil and cereal factories, and textile dyeing workshops. According to the Pinkas kehillot, in the 1870s, the great synagogue of Ozerna was constructed by the Jewish architects. These architects also built two churches in the town. In 1880, 955 Jews lived there. In the late 19th century, a school was opened with the support of Baron Hirsh. The peak of the Jewish population of 1,095 people (18,7% of the total population) was in 1900, and it dropped to 700 (11,6% of the total population) in 1931. In 1916, when the Russian army was retreating, many Jewish houses and a synagogue were set on fire. In the 1930s, Cooperative Folk Bank was established to support tradesmen and artisans. In 1922–39, many Jews emigrated to the U.S., Canada, and Latin American. On July 3, 1941, the Wermacht troops entered the town, 180 Jews were executed. In October 1941, a labour camp was established. In August and October 1942, the Jews were deported to the Belzec death camp and Zboriv ghetto. On July 23, 1943, the labour camp was liquidated, 260 Jews were murdered.