Zhovkva Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
The cemetery was located on the site between today’s Shevchenka, Kruta and Ivana Bohuna streets.
GPS coordinates
50.05914, 23.96788
Perimeter length
744 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is surrounded by a concrete and brick fence. The original cemetery wall is partly preserved.
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
A market place was built over the cemetery site.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
There is an ohel of Alexander Sander Shor (died in 1735) and a memorial plaque dedicated to the former cemetery, installed by the Protecting Memory project.
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. First, it appears on Austro-Hungarian maps of the 1860s. Later, in 1939 it was also marked on Polish maps of Wojskowy Instytut Geograficzny (WIG). In the 20th century, a gravestone of 1640 was found at the cemetery of Zhovkva (פנקס). On August 1941, the Jewish cemetery was vandalised.

The Jewish residents are known from the foundation of the city in the early 17th century. At that time, the local authority permitted to build a synagogue, mikvah, Jewish cemetery and gave land for a Jewish quarter. In the first half of the 17th century, a synagogue, mikvah and cemetery operated. In 1690, a Jewish printing house was opened. In 1772, the Jewish population reached 2,027 (41.9% of the total population). Nachman Krochmal (1785–1850) and Maier Letteris (1807–1871), two leaders of the Haskala movement in Galicia, resided in Zhovkva. In the first half of the 19th century, the Misnagdim predominated in the religious circles, while in the second half of the same century, the Belz Hassidism became dominant. The Jewish population grew to 3,757 (55.3% of the total population) in 1880. During WWI, many Jews fled the city and returned when the Austrian administration set up in May 1915. In the pre-war and interwar period, the Zionists became active. During the Soviet occupation in 1939-41, the Jewish community helped the Jewish refugees to escape German-occupied Poland. In 1941, more than 5,000 Jews resided in the city. In March 1942, nearly 700 Jews were deported to the Belzec death camp. A ghetto was founded in November 1942, and liquidated on March 25, 1943. About 2,500 Jews were deported to the Belzec death camp, up to 800 people were killed on the spot. On March 25, 1943, 3,500 Jews were shot. When the city was liberated on July 23, 1944, around 70 Jews survived.

3D model