Ozeryany Old Jewish Cemetery (Ternopil Region)
The period of this cemetery emergence is unknown. Yizkor Ozeryany retells the local tradition that the Old cemetery of Ozeryany was established “in late Middle Ages”. However, there is no evidence nor of an early existence of this cemetery, nor even of Jewish presence in Ozeryany at that time. The cemetery is not marked on the available historical maps. The location of it was shown by local people.
According to Yizkor Ozeryany, there used to be an ohel of Yeshaiahu Ha-Levi Heller, a descendant of Tosefot Yom Tov, at that cemetery, and his family members used to visit the site.
The Jews are present in Ozeryany at least since the late 18th century. The Jewish population stood at 1,558 (48,1% of the total population) in 1880. By that time, Haskala movement, as well as Zionist trend, acquired followers among the local Jewish community. The local Jews were engaged in tailoring and trading of cattle and horses. In 1912, 30 Jewish families became homeless after the fire. The Jewish community suffered during WWI. The Jewish population declined to 1,302 (57,3% of the total population) in 1921. The commercial and public activity of the Jewish organizations were banned by the Soviet government in 1939-1941. Some of the local Jews were drafted into the Red Army. On July 1941, the Hungarian army occupied the town. The Gestapo came to Ozeryany two months later to establish a ghetto. On September 26, 1942, 700 Jews were deported to the Belzec death camp. In October 1942, the rest of the Jewish population of Ozeryany (500 people) were sent to the other ghettos. Around 50 Jews survived the war.