Ustyluh Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Volyn
District
Volodymyr-Volyns'ky
Settlement
Ustyluh
Site address
Ustyluh Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
50.863516, 24.16118
Perimeter length
560 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery. The cemetery site is partly overbuilt and partly overgrown.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

The period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown, but is estimated to be in the 18th century. It appears on Russian maps of the mid-19th century. In 1941 and 1942, groups of Jews were shot in this cemetery. The cemetery was supposedly damaged during WWII and demolished during the Soviet era. In the 1970s, a local school was built on the site.

The first mention of the Jewish population of Ustyluh dates back to the 17th century. During the 18th and 19th century, Ustyluh became an important Hasidic centre. In the Hasidic world, it is famous for the so-called “Wedding at Ustila” of 1813, where some 200 Hasidic leaders gathered to debate whether the Pshishka variant of Hasidism deviated from the general movement. In 1847, the Jewish population numbered 1,487 and by 1897, 3,212 Jews (89% of the total population) resided in Ustyluh. By that time there were 12 Hasidic synagogues in the town. During WWI, most Jews left the town following the retreat of the Russian Army. Some moved to Volodymyr-Volyns’kyy, but came back when Austrian authorities took over. The military government restricted the movement of Jewish merchants, leading to tough economic times for local Jews. Nevertheless, a Jewish school with German and Hebrew instruction was opened, as well as a Jewish drama club and two Hebrew and Yiddish libraries. In 1921, 2,723 Jews lived in Ustyluh. In the interwar period, two Jewish banks and both Tarbut and Yavne schools were functional. Politically, most of the Zionist parties functioned in the town. By mid-1941, the Jewish population had reached more than 3,200 people. On June 23, 1941, the town was occupied by Nazi troops. A ghetto was created in March 1942 and liquidated within half a year. At the beginning of September 1942, 1,847 Ustyluh Jews were killed. After WWII, there was no Jewish community.