Surveys

ESJF 2019/20 surveys in five European countries

Balta New Jewish Cemetery on Komunariv Street

Country:
Ukraine
Region:
Odessa
District:
Balta
Settlement:
Balta
Site Address:
The cemetery is located opposite 16, Komunariv Street.
GPS coordinates:
47.92218, 29.63334
Perimeter length:
508 metres
Is the cemetery demolished:
No.
Type and height of existing fence:
The cemetery is surrounded by a metal grated fence and brick pillars, 1.8 metres high. It has two gates on the southern and northern side. The cemetery's east side is delineated with a metal mesh and slate fence.
General Site Condition:
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery. The cemetery is well-kept and protected and has a cemetery keeper.
Number of existing gravestones:
Around 700
Date of Oldest Tombstone:
1829 (oldest gravestone found by ESJF expedition)
Date of Newest Tombstone:
2018
Urgency of erecting a fence:
Fence is not needed (already fenced)
Land Ownership:
Property of Municipality.
Preserved Construction on Site:
The cemetery includes gravestones of Jews who died in the Balta ghetto between 1941 and 1944. It is unclear whether the tombstones were built during this period, or after WWII.
Drone surveys:
Yes

According to epigraphic data, the cemetery already existed in 1829. It can be presumed that the cemetery emerged in the early 19th century, after the Balta Old Jewish cemetery on Bolnychna Street, in the southern part of the town, was closed. The cemetery is operating today.

The first Jews settled in Balta in the early 16th century. In 1768, many Jews of Balta and its environs suffered from the Haidamak massacre. In 1856, the Jewish community consisted of 7,364 individuals. In the mid-19th century, 13 synagogues existed. During the pogrom in late March 1882, 125 Jewish houses and shops were destroyed. By 1897, the Jewish population reached 13,235 (57% of the total population). In the late 19th until the early 20th century, Zionist movements were widespread in Balta, which led to the town becoming a centre of Zionism. The peak of the Jewish population in Balta, with 14,924 people (54% of the total population), was in 1910. In that year, 22 synagogues and two cemeteries existed in the city. In 1916, the student Zionist organization HeKhaver was founded, the members of which were teachers in the Balta Jewish vocational school. The Jewish community survived severe damage during the years of the Civil War, although many fled to Odessa. In February 1919, the troops of the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic staged a pogrom lasting 9 days. The Jewish population decreased to 9,116 in 1926 (40% of the total population), and to 4,711 by 1939. On August 5, 1941, Nazi and Romanian forces occupied Balta. A ghetto with around 4,000 Jews from Balta and refugees from Bessarabia was set up in December 1941. More than 1,000 Jews were deported to Voytovka and Nikolayev, the majority of which were murdered or died of starvation. Children from the ghetto’s two orphanages were deported to Romania. During the war period, an underground Jewish organisation with members from Balta and Odessa was active. 1,795 Jews of the Balta ghetto survived.