Zhabokrych Jewish Cemetery
According to the Commission on the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, the cemetery was established in the mid-19th century. It can be found marked on a map of the region from the 1900s.
The earliest known reference to the village of Zhabokrych is in 1559 when the Polish king confirmed ownership of a region that includes the village. From 1569 the region belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Jews settled in Zhabokrych in the first half of the 18th century. By 1765 there were 6 Jewish families in the village. In the 1770s the number of Jews in Zhabokrich had fallen due to attacks by the Haidamaks, but started to rise at the end of the century: in 1790, 55 Jews lived in Zhabokrych.
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). In 1847, the Jewish community of Zhabokrych consisted of 665 members. In 1853, a wooden synagogue with 120 parishioners operated in Zhabokrych, and it is possible there was more than one. In 1897, Jews comprised more than 20% of the town’s total population: 1307 of 6252. In 1889, Zhabokrych had 2 synagogues and 4 chadarim. Jews played a significant role in the economic life of Zhabokrych, they were craftsmen, shoemakers, furriers, carpenters, and blacksmiths, among other economic roles.
The Jewish population of Zhabokrych suffered greatly during World War I and the civil war in Russia. In 1917 and 1919, pogroms in Zhabokrych claimed a number of victims.
After 1922, Zhabokrych became a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR. In the 1920s a Jewish soviet and a Jewish orphanage operated in Zhabokrych. A Yiddish school was established but soon closed; two of four chadarim still operated for a limited time. In 1932-33 Jews along the other townsfolk suffered due to the Holodomor. In 1923, 823 Jews and in 1939, 679 Jews, lived in Zhabokrych. The Soviet ban on private business forced many Zhabokrych Jews to find new occupations. Some of them found employment in small-scale industry in the town itself and some on a Jewish kolkhoz, which later became a mixed Jewish-Ukrainian one, that was established near the town in the late 1920s-early 1930s. Many Jews from Zhabokrych, especially younger ones, left the town for larger towns and cities in search of educational and vocational opportunities.
After the start of World War II in 1939, some refugees from Poland arrived in Zhabokrich. Zhabokrych was occupied by the Germans and Romanians in July 1941, and included in the Transnistria Governorate. On July 27-29, the murder of the Jews occurred at three sites within the town. A few Jews who were rounded up and shot were only wounded and managed to escape. On September 1st 1941, Zhabokrich became a part of the Romanian occupation zone of Transnistria. In the late fall-early winter of 1941, 245 Jews from northern Bukovina and Bessarabia were deported to Zhabokrich and settled in the empty houses of local Jews murdered in July of the same year. The deportees joined about 200 Jews of Zhabokrich who had survived the July massacre. A ghetto was established in the town. The inmates of the ghetto lived in appalling conditions, with a number of them succumbing to disease, hunger, and terrible sanitary conditions. They were also forced to perform various kinds of hard labor.
In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Zhabokrych became a part of the independent Ukraine.
The Jewish cemetery of Zhabokrych is situated at the north-western outskirts of the village. It contains around 300 headstones, which date back to the 20th century.