Turyys’k Old Jewish Cemetery
The period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown, but presumably between the 16th and 17th centuries. According to Yizkor Trisk, there was a local legend about the first Jewish cemetery of the town, which was partially preserved in late 19th century. Its location is unknown. This cemetery existed from the 17th century and was shut down in the late 19th century. Mostly wooden gravestones were used. Around 20 years ago, some old gravestones could still be found at the site, but today, none are preserved. In 2013, Israel Meir Gabbai constructed a fence surrounding the cemetery and the ohel of Avraham of Trisk (known as the Trisker Maggid, d. 1889). Yizkor Trisk also mentions that before WWII, the cemetery included the Maggid’s white ohel, buried alongside his wife and daughter, as well as the grave of the daughter of the Yom-Tov Lipmann Heller (known as Tosafot Yom Tov), whose husband was the rabbi in Volodymyr-Volyns’kyy.
The first mention of the Jews of Turyys’k (Trisk in Yiddish) dates to the mid-16th century. The Maggid of Trisk, famous in Hasidic circles, Avraham Twersky (1806 – 1889) who was the son of Mordechai Twersky of Chernobyl, created a Hasidic court here. He also built a synagogue for his Hasid followers. In late 18th cent. Dr. Moses Marcuse, a famous Maskilic physician, practiced in Turyys’k, and his “Book of Cures” (Sefer HaRefuot) became the first medical book published in Yiddish. In 1897, the Jewish population of Turyys’k reached 1,713 (58.4% of the total population). In the first decade of 20th century, a Zionist circle was organized by local maskilim, which was negatively perceived by the Hasids. During WWI, the town was under the Austrian administration. The Jewish population suffered from starvation, epidemics, and pillaging, and had been reduced to 1,713 by 1921. All buildings of the Hasidic court burnt down during the war, and the court itself was relocated to Kovel’. During the interwar period, several educational institutions emerged in the town, including a Tarbut school, opened in 1922, which enrolled up to 200 students, and a Yiddish school. Numerous Zionist youth organisations and political parties were popular among local Jews until the region’s annexation by the Soviet Union in 1939. On June 28, 1941, Nazi troops occupied Turyys’k. The ghetto was set up in spring 1942 and liquidated on August 10, 1942. Around 1,512 Jews were shot not far from the old Jewish cemetery.