Ozeryany Old Jewish Cemetery (Ternopil’ Region)

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Ternopyl
District
Borshchiv
Settlement
Ozeryany
Site address
Ozeryany Old Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
48.87546, 25.94987
Perimeter length
397 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Demolished Jewish cemetery that has not been built over
General site condition
Demolished Jewish cemetery that has not been built over. The cemetery site is severely overgrown. The central part is used as a private garden. There is an abandoned building on the southern part. Th other parts of the site are used as a waste dump.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Low
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

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.