Derazhnya Old Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
The cemetery is located adjacent to the house at 39, Pushkina Street.
GPS coordinates
49.28089, 27.41502
Perimeter length
489 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
Fenced by ESJF in May 2023. There are remnants of an old stone wall of one-metre height.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
This is a fenced and well-maintained Jewish cemetery. Several gravestones are buried in the ground or covered in vegetation.
Number of existing gravestones
About 400. Vegetation on the site does not allow to establish the exact number of gravestones.
Date of oldest tombstone
1710 (oldest found by ESJF expedition)
Date of newest tombstone
1965 (latest found by ESJF expedition)
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown, but according to dates on the preserved tombstones it can be assumed that the cemetery already existed in the early 18th century. First, it appears on a Russian map of 1879. Later it was marked on the Soviet map of 1985.

Jews are known from 1550. During the Khmelnytskyi massacre, a Karaite community of Derazhnya perished, several surviving families fled to Bar. In 1734, the Haidamaks attacked the Jewish community of Derazhnya. In 1757, Talmud books in Derazhnya and other Jewish communities of the region, and burnt in the square in Kamyanets’-Podil’skyy. This process was a consequence of the dispute between orthodox rabbis and Jakob Frank. In 1765, 310 Jews lived in Derazhnya. In the 1810-30s, Jews supported the units of U. Y. Karmalyuk. In the 1860s, Hirsh Meerovich fulfilled the duties of a rabbi. In the late 19th century, the Jewish community of Derazhnya kept five synagogues, and by the beginning of the next century, this figure doubled. In 1897, the Jewish population reached 3,333 (68% of the total population). Three private vocational schools, as well as heders, were open for Jewish youth in the early 20th century. Jewish library operated as well. The Jews of Derazhnya were engaged mainly in trade by that time. They owned about 30 manufactory stores, three wholesale stores, two lumber yards, etc. The Zionist circle, headed by Yampolsky and Shapiro was active. A series of pogroms were staged by the Russian army (in November 1917) and by the Ukrainian People’s Republic army (in June 1919, November 1920). In 1926, the Jewish population was 3,735 (92% of the total). In 1930, a kolhoz was established. The number of the Jewish community stood at 2,651 people (40% of the total population) in 1939. During the Nazis occupation (July 11, 1941-1944) a ghetto for 1,848 Jews of Derazhnya and surrounding villages was created. In September-October 1941, during liquidation of the ghetto, over 1,500 Jews were shot. In September 1970, a memorial was opened on the place of the shooting. In 1998, several Jewish families resided here.