Surveys

ESJF 2019/20 surveys in five European countries

Balta New Jewish Cemetery on Krasnyy Yar

Country:
Ukraine
Region:
Odessa
District:
Balta
Settlement:
Balta
Site Address:
The cemetery is opposite the houses 65 and 67, Oktyabrs'ka Street.
GPS coordinates:
47.94687,29.62742
Perimeter length:
952 metres
Is the cemetery demolished:
No
Type and height of existing fence:
West and north sides are fenced with metal grading and brick pillars. East side is not fenced at all, and from the south is partially fenced . There are two gates, from the south and west sides.
General Site Condition:
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery. The cemetery is in comparatively good condition, it seems like it is often visited by community members or tourists. Part of the cemetery is used as a field.
Number of existing gravestones:
960
Date of Oldest Tombstone:
1886 (oldest found by ESJF expedition)
Date of Newest Tombstone:
2019, March
Urgency of erecting a fence:
Medium. The eastern and southern parts of the cemetery require fencing.
Land Ownership:
Property of Municipality
Drone surveys:
Yes

According to epigraphic data, the New Jewish cemetery of Balta in Krasnyy Yar emerged not later than 1886. It is marked on a Russian topographic map of 1917 to 1927. The oldest tombstones are located on the cemetery’s southern part. Most of the burials date to the post-war period. The cemetery is operational today.

The first Jews settled in Balta in the early 16th century. In 1768, many Jews of Balta and environs suffered from the Haidamak massacre. In 1856, the Jewish community consisted of 7,364 individuals. In the mid-19th century, 13 synagogues existed here. During the pogrom at the end of 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 and early 20th centuries, Zionist movements were widespread, and Balta became a centre of Zionism. The Jewish population in Balta reached its peak in 1910, in which 14,924 (54% of the total population) was Jewish. That year, 22 synagogues and two cemeteries were operating in the city. In 1916, the student Zionist organisation HeKhaver was founded, the members of which were the teachers of the Balta Jewish vocational school. The Jewish community suffered during the years of the Civil War. Many Jews fled to Odessa to avoid the time of lawlessness. In February 1919, Directory troops staged a pogrom which lasted nine 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, German and Romanian forces occupied Balta. A ghetto imprisoning around 4,000 Jews from Balta and refugees from Bessarabia was set up in December 1941. More than 1,000 were deported to Voytovka and Nikolayev, the majority of whom died of starvation or were murdered. The children of the two orphanages which were maintained in the ghetto were deported to Romania. During WWII, a resistance organisation with Jews from Balta and Odessa functioned. 1,795 Jews who were imprisoned in the Balta ghetto survived.