August 8, 2022

The Klyachanovo Jewish cemetery in Zakarpattia, Ukraine has been fenced

The Klyachanovo Jewish cemetery in Zakarpattia, Ukraine has been fenced under funding from the Auswärtiges Amt! While the cemetery was regularly cleared of vegetation, over time it became increasingly at risk of shrinking due to the growth of the surrounding gardens of local residents and the lack of Jewish community to take care of it. Thanks to our work, the cemetery has been protected!

It is thought that the Jewish cemetery in Klyachanovo was established in the 19th century. The cemetery was used presumably until WWII, although the latest preserved gravestone is dated 1930. Today, there are 89 tombstones remaining. Jews are believed to have arrived in the Klyachanovo area in the mid-18th century. In 1768 there were three Jewish families. In 1830, 55 Jews were living in the town. In 1880, the Jewish population had risen to 187 from a total population of 703 inhabitants. In 1921, during the Czechoslovakian period, the Jewish population decreased to 215 individuals. Jews were engaged in agriculture and commerce, and they owned two quarries.

The Hungarians arrived in Klyachanovo in March 1939. Consequently, Jews were persecuted and forced out of their homes. Jews from the area were drafted into forced labor battalions. Others were sent to the Eastern front, where most perished. Some families without Hungarian citizenship were expelled to Kamenets-Podolski in Nazi-occupied Ukrainian territory and murdered. The remaining Jews of Klyachanovo were deported to Auschwitz in late May 1944. As a result, no Jews live in the town today, making the preservation of this burial ground, one of the last testaments to this community, extremely important!

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