Berdyansk Jewish Cemetery
Berdyansk (Ukr. Бердянськ, Rus. Бердянск, Yid. בערדיאַנסק, in 1939—58 Osipenko, Ukr., Rus. Осипенко) had a Jewish presence since the establishment of the city in the early 19th century. The Jewish population grew from 162 in 1857 to 3,048 in 1897 (over 11% of the total population). The city also had a Karaite community (258 in 1897). The community maintained 2 synagogues, a Talmud-Torah, a Jewish school for boys, and 2 schools for girls. The Bund and Zionists were active. The Soviet authorities closed the Karaite kenassa in 1920. There were 2,394 Jews (over 4% of the total population) in 1939. Many Jews were able to evacuate before the Germans arrived in October 1941. About 1,000 Jews were murdered less than two weeks later. In 1942, women in mixed marriages were murdered along with their children. Jewish community life was revived in the 1990’s. According to the 2001 census, there were 175 Jews in Berdyansk.
The cemetery was established in the second half of the 19th century. The last burial was in 1953. According to the Berdyansk Museum of Local Lore, the cemetery was demolished in two stages. Most of the cemetery was destroyed between 1947–1948 during the construction of the Azovkabel plant. The part of the cemetery with the most elaborate tombstones survived the construction of Gorgaz and the gas storage in 1987.
– Spector, Shmuel, Geoffrey Wigoder, and Elie Wiesel. The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust. New York: NYU Press, 2001.
– Katsenelson, Lev, and David Gintsburg, eds. Evreiskaia entsiklopediia: Svod znanii o evreistvie i ego kulturie v proshlom i nastoiashchem. Saint Petersburg: Brockhaus–Efron, 1908.
– Encyclopedia of Russian Jewry. “Pavoloch.” rujen.ru/index.php/Бердянск
The Jewish Encyclopedia in Russian on the Web. “Berdiansk.” eleven.co.il/diaspora/communities/10545/
All-Ukrainian population census. ukrcensus.gov.ua