Olhopil New Jewish Cemetery
The village of Olhopil is believed to have been established in the 17th century, when the region belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, under the name Roguzka.
In 1793, after the Second partition of Poland, it came under the control of the Russian Empire, and became a part of the Podolia Governorate (Podolskaya Gubernia). The name Olhopil first was first given by Queen Yekaterina the Great to the neighboring town, Chechelnik, in 1795. Then, in 1812, Chechelnik was renamed to its original name and Roguzka was named Olhopil and became the regional center. In 1834, Olhopil’s Jews numbered 217, in 1847, 241 members and in 1860, 716 of the towns population of 4281. In 1851 a state Jewish school was established. In 1853, there was a wooden synagogue for 256 people and by 1889 there were 3 synagogues. In 1897, Jews comprised 30% of Olhopil’s population (2473 of 8134). The Olhopil Jews were engaged in crafting, commerce and transport. Jewish people owned a brewery, wood stores, one of two printing houses, all 7 inns, both watchmakers’ shops, the only teahouse and both photo shops. In 1900 a Zionist adult vocational school for 80 students was opened.
The Jewish population of Olhopil suffered greatly during World War I and the civil war in Russia. In May 1919, a pogrom claimed 20 victims. In October 1919, at Yom Kippur, another pogrom occurred.
After 1922, Olhopil became a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR. A 4 year Yiddish school was opened. In 1924, the Jewish population numbered around 2800 of the total population of 10,200. In 1930 only 660 Jews lived in Olhopil.
In 1941, Olhopil was occupied by the Germans and Romanians in July 1941, and included in the Transnistria Governorate. A ghetto was established for the local Jews and deportees from Bessarabia. In November-December an epidemic of typhus claimed many lives in the ghetto. In May 1943 about 100 Romanian Jews were brought to the Olhopil ghetto. In 1943 an Italian military unit was stationed in Olhopil, the Italians fed the Jewish kids in the ghetto. In 1943, there were now around 700 Jews, including 500 locals. In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Olhopil became a part of the independent Ukraine.
The Jewish cemetery of Olhopil today contains a few dozen headstones that date back to the mid 20th century and it is still in use today.