Volodymyr-Volyns’ky Jewish Cemetery
The cemetery was most likely established in the 17th century. It occupied a large territory between Drahomanova Street, Sahaydachnogo Street, Skovorody Street and Kotlyarevs’koho Street. The old cemetery section, founded in the 17th century, is today adjacent to Drahomanova Street. In the late 18th century, a new section was opened, occupying a plot of land between Sahaydachnoho Street and Kotlyarevs’koho Street. The cemetery was badly damaged during WWII, when the Nazis used the gravestones to pave streets. In the 1960s, the cemetery was demolished. In 1999, the ohel of Shlomo Karliner was rebuilt, and a memorial was later constructed on the site.
The first recording of Jews in Volodymyr-Volyns’kyy (Jewish name: Ludmir) dates from 1171. The first mention of the Jewish community in Volodymyr-Volyns’kyy goes back to the 16th century. The community was led by famous rabbies of the time such as Itzhak ben Bezalel (1542-1576). Volyn was represented by the community’s rabbis in the Council of the Four Lands. One of the most legendary community representative was Yom Tov Lippman Heller (1634-1643). The Jewish community suffered during the Khmelnitsky uprising. In 1765, 1237 Jews resided here. In 1792, Moshe Gotlib founded a Hasidic dynasty here. In the 19th century, Hannah Rochel Verbermacher, known as the maiden of Ludmir, lived in Volodymyr-Volyns’kyy. She had a large following as a preacher and is the only known female tzadik in Hasidic circles. Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin, the founder of the Karliner dynasty, is also one of the prominent personalities of Volodymyr-Volyns’kyy By the second half of the 19th century, there were 7 synagogues and one Jewish hospital. A state school for Jews and a Talmud Tora had been built by 1888. The Jewish population in 1897 numbered 5,869 (59,3% of the total population). From the end of the 19th century, “Hibat Zion” operated there. In 1900, a yeshiva was opened. During WWI, the community endured a cholera epidemic and a pogrom by Cossacks. In the interwar period, a Tarbut school was opened, as well as a gymnasium with Polish-language teaching, and a school in which teaching was held in Hebrew. By 1920-30, there were 20 synagogues in the city. On June 25, 1941, after a heavy bombardment, German troops arrived in the city. On April 13, 1942, a ghetto was created. Nazi sources indicate a Jewish population of 15,000, but other sources indicate 19,000. On September 1, 1942, 15,000 Jews were shot in the ghetto. It was finally liquidated on December 13, 1943. In 1967, a monument was set up on the place of a mass shooting of the city’s Jews, close to the village of Pyatidni.