Kropyvnytsky Jewish Section

Cemetery Information

Site address
The cemetery is located adjacent to the house on 30 Skhidna Street. The municipal cemetery has two Jewish sections in coordinates 48.515773, 32.306514 and 48.520904, 32.314002.
GPS coordinates
48.515773, 32.306514
Perimeter length
459 metres and 229 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
Preservation condition
Jewish section
General site condition
The cemetery is generally well-maintained.
Number of existing gravestones
Around 3,000 in the old section and around 30 in the new one.
Date of oldest tombstone
1952 (Old), 1990 (New).
Date of newest tombstone
2019 (Old), 2018 (New).
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

There are two Jewish sections on the municipal cemetery. According to the dates of the tombstones, the older section was created in the 1950s. Once there was no further space in the section, burials were reallocated to another site in 1990. The new graves on the old section belong to the descendants of those buried there in the past. On the new section there are a few new graves without gravestones. Moreover, there are a few Christian graves located around the site. The Jewish sectors within the municipal cemetery were founded no later than the mid 20th century, as the earliest preserved tombstone dates to 1952. In the 1990s, the second site for Jewish tombstones was allocated within municipal cemetery.

Kropyvnytsky (historically also known as Elisavetgrad, Elizavetgrad, Zinovyevsk , Kirovo, Kirovograd) was established as a fortress named after st. Elisaveta in 1754, and became the town Elisavetgrad in 1775.
From 1782, Elisavetgrad was a regional center (uezdnyj gorod) in the Novorossian Governorate (Novorossijskaya gubernia), and from 1806, it was a regional center of the Kherson Governorate (Khersonskaya gubernia).

In 1797, Elisavetgrad had no Jewish population. By 1799, there were 3 Jewish merchants and 395 other Jewish residents, in 1803, 7 Jewish merchants and 567 other Jewish residents were listed. In 1854, there were 2323 Jewish residents; in 1861, 8073 Jewish residents as well as 3 synagogues and 15 Jewish prayer houses were listed in Elisavetgrad. In 1897, the Jewish population comprised almost 24000 of the 61488 inhabitants of the city.

In April 1881, Elisavetgrad was one of the first cities where the pogrom originated. In 1905, another pogrom took place. In 1909 Elisavetgrad listed 17 Jewish schools: a talmud-torah, general and vocational schools, a Saturday school as well as a number of chadarim. The Jewish population of Elisavetgrad suffered greatly during World War I and the civil war in Russia. In 1919, a pogrom claimed a huge number of victims, between 1500 and 3000 people
After 1922, Elisavetgrad became a part of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR. The Jewish life was oppressed, religious and community institutions and Zionist newspapers were closed. In 1923, the Jewish population numbered 18,871; in 1926, 18,358 (27% of the city); in 1939, the Jewish population was 14,641 people. In 1924 it was renamed Zinovyevsk, it was then named Kirovo on the 7th of december 1934, and then on January 10th 1939, it was renamed again to Kirovograd.
Kirovograd was occupied by the Germans between August 5th 1941, and January 8th 1944. In 1941, many Jews fled to the East or were drafted to the Red Army, but most remained behind. The vast majority of them perished.

After the war some Jews came back, and the Jewish community was reestablished. A synagogue was opened in 1946, in a private house, however it was closed in 1957. In 1959, the Jewish population numbered 5702 (4.5%), 5202 (2.7%) in 1970 and 4460 (2%) in 1979.
In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kirovograd became a part of the independent Ukraine. Today a tiny but active Jewish community exists in Kropyvnytskyi, which was renamed again in 2016 due to decommunisation efforts in Ukraine

The only existing and operating Jewish cemetery in Kropyvnytsky is a section at the common municipal cemetery. It consists of two sectors: the oldest one dates back to 1950s-1990s and contains around 3000 gravestones, and the newer sector, which dates back to the 1990’s, and contains around 30 graves.