Korosten New Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
Entrance through the Orthodox cemetery on the street. No.166 Ivan Kotlyarevsky Street.
GPS coordinates
50.95753, 28.60409
Perimeter length
953 мetres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The Orthodox cemetery is fenced, the Jewish sector is not fenced separately.
Preservation condition
Jewish section
General site condition
The Jewish sector is well-maintained. The part (Sector 3) where the older tombstones are, is overgrown. There is a memorial honoring victims of the Shoah. The entrance is through the Orthodox cemetery. It was not possible to find the transferred tombstones from the Old Jewish Cemetery, the caretaker of the cemetery does not know where they are. A representative of the Jewish community may have more information, however we were unable to contact him.
Number of existing gravestones
About 3,000.
Date of oldest tombstone
1919 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
2019 (the latest tombstone found by ESJF).
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
There is one Ohel.
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The Jewish section of the municipal cemetery was established no later than the first half of the 20th century, as the earliest tombstone dates to 1919. There is inscription on the earliest tombstone that the buried Jews were murdered by Petlyura troops. According to the Commission on the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, there is a tombstone transferred from the Old Jewish cemetery dated 1914. The cemetery is marked on the Russian map of 1931 and on the German map of 1922.

A Jewish leaseholder is known to have lived in Korosten’ (Ukr., Rus. Коростень, until the early 20th century Iskorost, Rus. Искорость, Yid. איסקערעסט) as early as 1618. A Jewish community in a larger sense only emerged in the 19th century. Korosten’ had a Jewish population of 331 in 1847 and about 1300 in 1897, which was 48% of the total population. During the Civil War of 1918–21, the community survived several pogroms. The construction of the railroad in 1902 caused rapid population growth: there were 4,322 Jews in Korosten’ in 1923, 6,089 in 1926 (51%). Zionists were active until at least 1925. A conference of 90 Ukrainian rabbis, attended by 1,500 guests, was held in Korosten’ in 1926 and a cheder continued working underground. The Soviet authorities promoted a secular Yiddish-languge culture: Korosten’ had 2 Jewish clubs, several libraries, 2 Jewish schools (one with ten grades). In 1925, Jews from Korosten’ founded 7 agricultural colonies in the Kherson District. In 1939, the Jewish population of Korosten’ was 10,991 (36%). When Germany invaded the USSR in 1941, many of Korosten’s Jews were able to evacuate. Over 6,000 Jews were murdered in 1941–42, although some 200 fought with partisan groups in the area. Jewish community life resumed after the war, with the synagogue reopened in 1946, Jews in need received financial support and the community had a shochet. The synagogue was closed in 1957. The 1970s–80s saw a revival of Jewish activism: a minyan gathered illegally, shechitah was performed. Mass emigration occurred in the late 1980s and the early 1990s, when most Jews left for Israel or the US. At the same time, new Jewish cultural and educational institutions were established. A synagogue with a mikveh and a yeshivah were opened in 1995. According to the 2001 census, Korosten’ had a Jewish population of 331.

According to the 1994–95 survey of the Jewish Preservation Committee (KSEN), the new city cemetery was founded in 1935. A few tombstones were brought from the old Jewish cemetery. There is an ohel over the grave of R. Yehoshua Chaim Matusov, who died in 1938.