Jewish cemetery in Nikolaev

Benjamin Belenky
2 min readJan 26, 2021

-- — online burials catalog.

The Jewish cemetery in Nikolaev was part of the city necropolis — several cemeteries located on the outskirts of the city along the bank of the Ingul River. Cemeteries have existed since the city was founded at the end of the 18th century. The southern part of the necropolis was occupied by Jewish, Karaite and Muslim burials.

With the development of the city, the necropolis found itself within the city limits, and in January 1972, the city authorities announced the closure of cemeteries and partial reburial until the end of the 1970s. At the time of closure, the Jewish cemetery had just over 600 graves. The Jewish and Karaite cemeteries were in the development zone. The first was replaced by a city zoo, and the second — by a tram park. A small plot of 4 hectares remained from the Jewish cemetery.

In the 1990s, the authorities carried out a reburial, and another part of the Jewish cemetery was given away for the construction of a multi-storey residential building. Since the second half of the 1990s, mass events were held on the site of the cemetery, performances were staged and visiting attractions were located.

In 2014, the city council leased the land on which the cemetery was located to a commercial firm for three years. The latter began construction of a parking lot and partially blocked the passage to the rest of the cemetery. The Jewish community of the city began an active campaign to prevent the development of the territory of the Jewish cemetery. In 2015, volunteers held subbotnik and cleaned up the remaining graves. Jewish communities from 29 countries have joined the struggle to preserve the cemetery.

As a result, in 2017, the city authorities did not renew the land lease agreement, and the commercial firm was suing the city, trying to get the document to be rolled over.

The burials are cataloged. There are 341 burials in the electronic register. Among them, four did not preserve the dates of birth and death. Only the names and surnames remained: Krasnyansky, Yanovsky Vova, Wasserman Emmanuil Solomonovich and Omashpolskaya Eleonora Yakovlevna.

The dates have been preserved on three graves, but there are no surnames. These are the burials of Alexander Markovich (1910–1956), Mikhail Nesterovich (1919–1959) and Emma Borisovna (1919–1956).

Only the dates of burial have been preserved on five graves. The earliest of them is dated 1941 and belongs to Reznik S.F., and the later one belongs to Rudoy Ilya Yakovlevich, buried in 1960. On the grave of Katya Markovna Kaplun (born in 1923), the date of burial has not been preserved.

Another 27 monuments contain only the names and initials of the deceased. — online burials catalog.

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