Popivtsi Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Vinnytsia
District
Barsky
Settlement
Popivtsi
Site address
Beginning at the cannery at the south of the village, drive 110 metres south before turning left, then continue for 290 metres and turn left on the dirt road. After this, continue a further 550 metres, at which point the cemetery can be found to the right of the road.
GPS coordinates
48.89566, 27.83759
Perimeter length
430 мetres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
There is no one to care for the cemetery. As such, it is unfenced and overgrown with trees and shrubs. There is a marked mass grave.
Number of existing gravestones
Approximately 500 gravestones.
Date of oldest tombstone
1899 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
1971 (the latest tombstone found by ESJF).
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Municipality
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

According to Commission of the Preservation of the Jewish Heritage, it was established in the 18th century. Given the oldest preserved tombstone is dated 1899, it can be inferred it was already in use by the late 19th century. Moreover, it can be found marked on a map of the region from 1872.

Jews are believed to have lived in Popivtsi from the 17th century, while the region belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1681, only one Jewish household was listed in Popivtsi.
In 1793, after the Second partition of Poland, it came under the control of the Russian Empire, and became a part of the Podolia Governorate (Podolskaya Gubernia). The Jewish population included 57 Jews who paid poll tax in 1784; in 1847, the Jewish society of Popivtsi numbered 532 members, and had fallen to around 511 in 1897, which was around 15% of the total population of 3454. Between 1882 and 1903 Popivtsi were closed to Jewish settlers. By 1914, Popivtsi had a synagogue and Jews owned the only pharmaceutical store, both grocers and all 4 manufacturing shops.
The Jewish population of Popivtsi suffered greatly during World War I and the civil war in Russia.
After 1922, Popivtsi became a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR. In the 1920s, a Zionist adult vocational school operated in Popivtsi.
The German and Romanian troops captured Popivtsi on 20 July 1941. After it was annexed to Transnistria in early September 1941, about 1000 Jews were brought there from Bessarabia and Bukovina, most perishing together with the local Jews. During the winter of 1941-42 around 800 Jews died of cold, starvation and disease. In January 1943, around 1200 Jews lived in Popivtsi ghetto, by September 1st 1943, there were only 829.
In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Popivtsi became a part of the independent Ukraine.
The Jewish cemetery of Popivtsi was apparently established in the 18th century. It contains around 500 gravestones, dated between the late 19th-20th centuries.

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