Podilsk Old Jewish Cemetery
There is almost no information on Podil’s’k’s Old Jewish cemetery. It is not marked on any pre-war maps. According to interviews with local people taken by Jewish Preservation Committee expedition in 1994, the cemetery was established in the 1860s and was used until early 20th century, when the New cemetery of Podil’s’k was opened. The cemetery was ruined in the 1920s, In 1940, as a result of a landslide, part of the cemetery territory slid into a ravine. After WWII, a Christian municipal cemetery was constructed on the site.
Jews settled in Podil’s’k (known as Birzula before 1935, and from 1935 to 2016 as Kotovs’k) in the early 19th century. Until the late 19th century, the Jewish population grew slowly. In 1897, 95 Jews were living here (10% of the total population). From 1882 to 1903, Jews were forbidden to newly settle in Podil’s’k. But in the early 20th century, the town developed as a centre for economics and transport. The Jewish community grew rapidly to 2,205 Jews in 1923, and to 2,507 Jews in 1926 (25% of total population). The community suffered from pogroms in 1905 and 1919. During the early 20th century, the community’s rabbi was Mordechai Shrabmachen, and later, Yosef Diment. In 1939, there were 2,375 Jews living in Podil’s’k. In November 1941, around 50 Jews were executed by the Nazis. The majority of the community was deported to Dubassary and shot. In 1942, a railroad labour camp for Jews of Bukovina and Transylvania was organised. After WWII, some Jews returned to Podil’s’k. In 1946, a small community and a synagogue were operating.