Surveys in Ukraine

ESJF 2019/20 surveys in five European countries

Chernivtsi New Jewish Cemetery

Historical map and perimeter :
Chernivtsi New Jewish Cemetery

Country:
Ukraine
Region:
Chernivtsi
District:
Chernivtsi
Settlement:
Chernivtsi
Site Address:
The cemetery is located adjacent to 13, Zelena street.
GPS coordinates:
48.29393, 25.95794
Perimeter length:
1031 metres
Is the cemetery demolished:
No
Type and height of existing fence:
Type of the fence. The cemetery is surrounded by a metal mesh fence on a concrete foundation.
General Site Condition:
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery. The cemetery is well-maintained.
Number of existing gravestones:
About 45,000
Date of Oldest Tombstone:
1860s
Date of Newest Tombstone:
2010s
Urgency of erecting a fence:
Fence is not needed
Land Ownership:
Municipality/Property of local community
Preserved Construction on Site:
There are a few ohels and Beit-Tahara on the cemetery site.
Mass Graves on Site:
Yes. There are a Holocaust memorial and a WWI monument for Jewish soldiers of the Austrian army.
Drone surveys:
No. The site is in a restricted flight zone of an airport.

The cemetery was founded by the municipality in 1866. According to the original plan of an engineer Rally, the cemetery was designed as a garden complex. The planning was completed by a designer Gaimbe. The municipality initially allocated smaller land plot, and the Jewish community raised funds for the purchase of land under the extension of the cemetery to its present size. About 50,000 Chernivtsi people are buried in this cemetery, including the first Jewish mayor, Edward Reiss (1905-1907); Jewish poet Eliezer Steinbarg, Chief Rabbi of the community Benno Straucher, Chairman of the Chernivtsi Chamber of Advocates Max Foxganer; philanthropists Anna and Marcus Kisslinger; Reichsrat politician and deputy David Tittinger, the citizen of honour of Chernivtsi Markus Campelmacher, politicians and public figures Joseph Steiner and Shaul Leib Steinmetz, doctors Dr. Sigmund Neuberger and Dr. Joseph Okhrenstein, as well as many others who made a significant contribution to the political, economic, cultural and social life of Chernivtsi. There are a lot of masterpiece ceilings, sarcophagi, mausoleums and obelisks are made of marble, granite, gabbro, sandstone, cement and other materials. Such prominent sculptors as B. Reder, L. Kukuruza, the Moskalyuki brothers, K. Kundl and others worked on the cemetery. The ceremonial building (Beit-Tahara ) was built in 1905, designed by architect Funkel. Since 1995, by the decision of the Chernivtsi City Council, the cemetery is part of the historical and cultural reserve “Cemetery on Zelena (Green) Street”. Today, thanks to the efforts of I. Zisels, the process of compiling a catalogue of the cemetery and reconstruction ceremonial building is ongoing.

Jews are first mentioned in Chernivtsi in the early 15th century. During the Russo-Turkish war, a synagogue was burned. The Jews were engaged in cattle trade, agriculture and crafts. In the second half of the 19th century, a synagogue and 28 private prayer houses operated. In 1872, an ultra-orthodox community established, it rivalled with an existing Jewish community. The local authority brought about a reconciliation between these two communities. The first Zionist organizations launched their activity from 1886. The father of modern Jewish theatre, Abraham Goldfaden (1840-1908) was native-born of Chernivtsi. The Jewish population reached 17,319 (24% of the total population) in 1890. The Jews were involved in the political and cultural German life at that time. In the pre-WWI period and the inter-war period, Yiddish and Hebrew publishing activity was spread. During the WWI, many Jews fled the city, when the Austrian troops invaded. In 1918, Jewish self-defence groups were set up. The Joint Distribution Committee and B’nai B’rit supported the Jewish community and contributed to Jewish education. The Bund party was also active in education. In the 1920s, a Yiddish vocational school and yeshiva were functioning. The Jewish population grew to 45,592 (41% of the total) in 1930. The Zionist youth movements Ha-Shomer, Beitar and Maccabi organised the immigration of the youth to Eretz Yisrael. During the Soviet annexation in 1940-41, around 3,800 Jews were expelled to Siberia, and their property was nationalized. The Romanian army occupied Chernivtsi on 5 July 1941. A ghetto was formed in October 1941, nearly 50,000 Jews were imprisoned there. 5-8 families stayed in each flat. In October and November 1941, around 30,000 Jews were deported to Transnistria. In June-September 1942, 4,790 people were expelled to Transnistria or murdered. During the occupation, a Jewish underground organisation headed by M. Batero, Y. Deisch and l. Reiter operated. The Jewish population was 14,750 in April 1944. Three monuments were erected in the city at the mass shooting sites.