The ESJF team has begun ground surveys in Mykolaiv oblast, in southern Ukraine. We are planning to visit 45 cemeteries in the region altogether.
A comprehensive list of the Jewish cemeteries in Mykolaiv has never before been compiled. As such, Kateryna Malakhova, the ESJF’s in-house historian, has been conducting archival research, and has been able to identify 16 Jewish cemetery sites which have not yet been assessed by researchers. In addition, 8 of the locations which will be visited have been documented and researched by other parties. In all of these cases the existence of the cemeteries is confirmed, and our team will be on site to gather up to date, accurate information on their current state.
The team will also visit 21 locations in which the size of the pre-war Jewish population suggests there is a likelihood of Jewish burial sites in the area. These places are often forgotten and completely undocumented. Visiting sites such as these and rescuing them from oblivion is at the core of the 2019-2020 survey project’s ethos. Survey teams are often unable to find Jewish cemeteries in these instances, which can lead to anticlimactic results, but knowing whether or not they still exist is crucial to having a full overview of Jewish cemeteries in any country.
Surveys will take place over the next few weeks, and an overview of the progress made will be published soon.