Makhnivka (Komsomol’s’ke) Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Makhnivka (Komsomol's'ke)
Site address
Starting at the house on 70 Vasil Kulak Street, drive west for 90 metres before turning left and continuing for 200 metres, at which point the cemetery entrance can be found to the left, opposite the destroyed red brick building.
GPS coordinates
49.71004, 28.65962
Perimeter length
506 metres and 87 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is surrounded by a 1.5 metre tall iron fence, erected by ESJF in November, 2019.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is located on a slope by the river. It is overgrown with seasonal vegetation. Some sections of the site are severely overgrown and in need of clearance. Two sections are fenced off, one of which contains burials, the other a tziyun and a mass grave.
Number of existing gravestones
Approximately 30. The vegetation made it difficult to obtain an accurate count of the tombstones.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
1987 (the latest found by ESJF)
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
There are two ohels on the site (just the foundations and roofs). One is dedicated to Rabbi Itzhak Yoel, son of Rabbi Gdaliya Melinits (died 1828). The second is dedicated to Rabanith Batiya Rivka (died 1919). Moreover, there is a monument to the victims of the Holocaust.
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. However, given there are preserved tombstones dated to the late 19th century, it can be inferred the cemetery was already in use during that era. The cemetery could not be found on old maps of the region.

The first mention of the village dates from1430 when the progenitor of the Tyszkiewicz family received it from the Grand Duke of Lithuania Svidrigaila. From 1569 the region belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The first mention of Jews in Makhnivka came in 1648, in an account from the Cossack-Polish War (1648–57), when Khmelnitski’s Cossacks attacked the local fortress and murdered a number of Poles and Jews. In 1765, six Jews were recorded in Makhnivka. In 1793, after the Second partition of Poland, it came under the control of the Russian Empire. In the first half of 19th century, Makhnivka was the chief city of the uyezd in Kiev guberniya. In 1946, Berdychiv replaced Makhnivka as the chief city of the county, which was renamed from the Makhnovka county to the Berdichev county. When the railroads were developed in 1860s, the railroad went through Berdychiv and Koziatyn (some to the east from Makhnivka), but bypassed Makhnivka. This caused Makhnivka to decline, while both Berdychiv and Koziatyn grew. In 1847, Makhnivka’s Jewish community numbered 1934 people. In 1885, Makhnivka had a synagogue and 4 prayer houses. In 1897, Jews comprised almost half of Makhnivka’s population: 2435 of 5343. A Hasidic dynasty was established in Makhnivka in the early 20th century (it continues to flourish in Israel).
After 1922, Makhnivka became a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR. In 1935 it was renamed to Komsomolske. By the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the Jewish population of Komsomolske had dwindled to 843.
The Germans captured the town on 14 July 1941, and on September 9th, executed 835 Jews in the forest 5 km from Komsomolske.
In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Komsomolske made a part of the independent Ukraine, and in 2016, the original name Makhnivka was finally restored in 2016.
The remains of the Jewish cemetery of Makhnivka contain a few dozen headstones, which date from between the late 19th and late 20th century. In 2019, the cemetery was fenced by ESJF.

3D model