Olevsk New Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
The cemetery is opposite the building along Herzen Street, No. 17 (at the entrance from the village of Sosnovka).
GPS coordinates
51.21998, 27.66304
Perimeter length
437 мetres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is fenced along the entire perimeter by a stone fence 1.7m tall.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
It is a well-groomed cemetery, however it is covered with seasonal vegetation.
Number of existing gravestones
There are about 1,500 gravestones.
Date of oldest tombstone
1906 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
2013 (the latest tombstone found by ESJF).
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
There is a beit-tahara.
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. It was established no later than the early 20th century, as the earliest preserved tombstone dates to 1906. The cemetery was restored in the 1980s.

A Jewish community was first mentioned in Olevs’k (Ukr. Олевськ, Rus. Олевск, Yid. אָלעווסק) in the 18th century. The Jewish population rose from 157 in 1765, to 845 in 1847, and had reached 1,187 (57% of the town) by 1897. The community maintained a synagogue and the town had a Jewish loan fund. The Jews survived several pogroms during the Civil War of 1918–21. Zionists were active until at least 1925. The Jews of Olevs’k founded 2 agricultural collectives in the Kherson District. There were 2858 Jews (42%) in Olevs’k in 1939. After the German invasion of the USSR in 1941, many of Olevs’k’s Jews were able to evacuate. Olevs’k was initially controlled by German-aligned Ukrainian nationalists under Taras Bulba-Borovets (the so-called Olevs’k Republic). The Jews who remained in Olevs’k were subjected to brutal treatment, property confiscations and some were murdered. When the German civil administration was established in November 1941, the Jews were confined in a ghetto. The majority of them were murdered soon after. After the liberation, Jews began to return to Olevs’k. In 1959, there were around 1,300 Jews (13%) in Olevs’k. Most of the Jews emigrated to the US or Israel in the late 20th century. As of 2001, there were 41 Jews living in Olevs’k and the neighbouring area.
It is not known when exactly the cemetery was founded. The oldest tombstone dates back to 1906. Restoration work was carried out in the 1980s.