Khmelnytskyy Oldest Jewish Cemetery
The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. But since it appears on Dyatlov’s city plan of 1800 as Jewish cemetery it can be assumed that the cemetery emerged in the late 18th century. Later, it was marked on plan of 1824 and on Russian map of 1870s as non-functioning.
Jews were present in 1629. The Jewish community suffered during the Khmelnytskyi massacres in 1648-49. In 1765, 750 Jews were inhabitants of the town. By that time, many Jews earned their living as tailors, shoemakers, furriers and other craftsmen. The Jewish population swelled to 3,107 in 1847. In the 19th century, Jews owned manufactories that produced sugar, bricks and roof tiles, ceramics, tobacco and candles. The number of Jewish residents increased to 11,411 (22,855% of the total population) in 1897. A Jewish hospital and nine synagogues were in operation. Around 20 Jewish educational facilities as well as a library, reading room and theatre functioned at the beginning of the 20th century. A pogrom, staged by the Petlyura troops, claimed the lives of 1,600 Jews in February 1919. Yiddish was the main language of the records and documentation before WWII. A Jewish school operated during the Soviet period. In 1939, the Jewish population reached a peak of 14,518 (38,7% of the total). Over 2,500 Jews managed to evacuate or were drafted into the Red Army before the Wehrmacht occupation of the city on July 8, 1941. In winter 1941, two ghettos for over 10,000 prisoners were established. The first was a Jewish ghetto, and the other was for a labour camp. In October 1942, during the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto 5,300 local Jews and Jews from neighbouring villages were executed. On November 30, 1942, over 7,000 prisoners of the other ghetto were shot. Remained 2,000 Jews were murdered during the liquidation of the labour camp. Three memorials were erected in the city after WWII.