ESJF’s comprehensive survey of Jewish cemetery site in the Volyn’ region of NW Ukrainehas revealed the perilous state of cemeteries in the region.
In total, 58 sites were surveyed, of which 30 had not been visited or described in the past. Only 16 of the cemeteries met the standard necessary to be considered even partly preserved, while no trace remained of the other 42 (72.5%), having been demolished either during the Nazi occupation, the Soviet era, or in the subsequent decades.
Of these 42, 16 of the sites have since been built over. The remaining 26 lacking gravestones can be preserved in some way. Only three cemeteries in the entire Volyn’ region are fenced.
The results from the Volyn’ survey represent some of the lowest figures recorded by the ESJF to date, not only in Ukraine, but across Eastern Europe in general.
The trend shown here is not unique to this region, but is more severe than in similar regions in Western Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland. In total, it is likely that 39 of the cemeteries may still be saved through urgent fencing and preservation projects.
Among these are the Old Cemetery in Lyubeshiv, the New Jewish cemetery in Turyysk, and the cemetery in Torchyn.