Surveys in Ukraine

ESJF 2019/20 surveys in five European countries

Skalat Jewish Cemetery

Drone survey :
Skalat Jewish Cemetery
Skalat Jewish Cemetery
Skalat Jewish Cemetery
Historical map and perimeter :
Skalat Jewish Cemetery

Country:
Ukraine
Region:
Ternopyl
District:
Pidvolochys’k
Settlement:
Skalat
Site Address:
On the site of the town stadium between Lesya Kurbasa, Stadionna and Shashkevycha streets.
GPS coordinates:
49.42886, 25.98107
Perimeter length:
502 metres
Is the cemetery demolished:
Yes
Type and height of existing fence:
Type of the fence. A lapidary with preserved gravestone from the site is surrounded by a metal fence on a concrete foundation.
General Site Condition:
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery. The cemetery site overbuilt with a stadium. Adjacent to the cemetery site (49.42957,25.98319) there is a lapidary with preserved gravestones from the cemetery.
Number of existing gravestones:
19 tombstones in a lapidary. Some dozen fragments of tombstones are laid behind the memorial.
Date of Oldest Tombstone:
1855 (oldest found by ESJF expedition)
Date of Newest Tombstone:
1935 (latest found by ESJF expedition)
Urgency of erecting a fence:
Fence is not needed
Land Ownership:
Municipality/Property of local community
Preserved Construction on Site:
A Holocaust memorial sign and a lapidary with 19 preserved gravestones and gravestone fragment are located on the cemetery site.
Drone surveys:
Yes

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. The cemetery appears on the Austro-Hungarian military survey maps starting from 1780s. Most probably, it was established in late 17th century, when the communty became independent. According to locals, the cemetery was demolished in 1950s, and a soccer field was constructed on the site. A lapidary with preserved gravestones was established in 2002 adjacent to the stadium. Presumably, the tombstones were moved there during the stadium construction.

The Jews are known in Skalat from 1613. In 1765, the Jewish population was 686. The Jewish community was organised and became independent in the late 17th century. In the 1830s, a Jewish school was opened. In 1890, the Jewish population reached a peak of 3,256 (55,2% of the total population). Because of the pogroms in the 1880s and 1900s, many Jews immigrated to the U.S. The refugees flooded the town during WWI. 2,919 Jews (49,1% of the total population) resided here in 1921. In the interwar period, the Zionist movement was active in Skalat. In 1939, the Soviet Union annexed the town. Around 200 Jews left the town together with the retreating Red Army. On July 7, 1941, the Wehrmacht troops occupied Skalat. On the first days of the occupation, local Ukrainians started a pogrom that claimed the lives of 560 Jews. On October 21, 1942, 3,000 Jews were deported to the Belzec death camp, and 153 were shot on the spot. More than 200 Jews survived the war.