Vyshnivets Old Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Ternopyl
District
Zbarazh
Settlement
Vyshnivets’
Site address
The cemetery is located at the hill on Myru Street.
GPS coordinates
49.90433, 25.74467
Perimeter length
442 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery has a fence installed in Juny 2019 by ESJF.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is well-maintained. The fence is in good condition.
Number of existing gravestones
300
Date of oldest tombstone
1806 (oldest found by ESJF expedition)
Date of newest tombstone
1954 (latest found by ESJF expedition)
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 exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. According to the US Commission expedition in the 2000s, the earliest preserved gravestone relates to 1583. It can be assumed that the cemetery already operated in the late 16th century. First, it appears on Russian maps of 1891.

The first Jews settled in Vyshnivets in the mid-16th century. The Jewish community suffered during the Tatar invasion in 1653. In 1765, 501 Jews lived in Vyshnivets. By 1847, the number of the Jewish population reached a peak of 3178 people. In 1863, five synagogues and a Talmud-Torah operated in the town. In the second half of the 19th century, Yehuda-Leibush Averbukh served as rabbi of Vyshnivets. The Russian revolution of 1917 accelerated the development of the cultural and political life of the Jewish community of Vyshnivets. During this time, Jewish political parties, a drama circle, and a library operated in town. In the period of the Russian Civil War, the Jewish self-defence group managed to stave off the violence. In 1921, the Jewish population declined to 2,825 (70% of the total population). In the 1920s – early 1930s, a yeshiva operated in Vyshnivets. Eight synagogues functioned in the town in the 1930s. In 1937, Jewish residents numbered around 3,000 (60% of the total population). In July 1941, more than 400 Jews were murdered after the occupation of Vyshnivets by the Wehrmacht troops. In March 1942, 3,500 Jews were forced to live in a ghetto. The Jews from the neighbouring villages were placed into it. On August 11, 1942, about 2,500 Jews were executed when the ghetto was liquidated.

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