JEWISH CEMETERIES, SYNAGOGUES, AND MASS GRAVE SITES 2015-11-21¢  JEWISH CEMETERIES, SYNAGOGUES, AND

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  • JEWISH CEMETERIES, SYNAGOGUES, AND MASS GRAVE SITES IN UKRAINE

    United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad

    2005

  • UNITED STATES COMMISSION FOR THE PRESERVATION OF AMERICA’S HERITAGE ABROAD

    Warren L. Miller, Chairman McLean, VA

    Members:

    Ned Bandler Bridgewater, CT Chaskel Besser New York, NY Amy S. Epstein Pinellas Park, FL Edgar Gluck Brooklyn, NY Phyllis Kaminsky Potomac, MD Zvi Kestenbaum Brooklyn, NY Daniel Lapin Mercer Island, WA Gary J. Lavine Fayetteville, NY Michael B. Levy Washington, DC Rachmiel Liberman Brookline, MA Laura Raybin Miller Pembroke Pines, FL Vincent Obsitnik McLean, VA

    August B. Pust Euclid, OH

    Menno Ratzker Monsey, NY Harriet Rotter Bingham Farms, MI Lee Seeman Great Neck, NY Steven E. Some Princeton, NJ Irving Stolberg New Haven, CT Ari Storch Potomac, MD Staff: Jeffrey L. Farrow Executive Director Samuel Gruber Research Director Katrina A. Krzysztofiak Program Manager Patricia Hoglund Administrative Officer

    888 17th Street, N.W., Suite 1160

    Washington, DC 20006 Ph: ( 202) 254-3824 Fax: ( 202) 254-3934

    E-mail: uscommission@heritageabroad.gov

  • May 30, 2005

    Message from the Chairman One of the principal missions that United States law assigns the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad is to identify and report on cemeteries, monuments, and historic buildings in Central and Eastern Europe associated with the cultural heritage of U.S. citizens, especially endangered sites. The Congress and the President were prompted to establish the Commission because of the special problem faced by Jewish sites in the region: The communities that had once cared for the properties were annihilated during the Holocaust. The atheistic Communist Party dictatorships that succeeded the Nazis throughout most of the region were insensitive to American Jewish concerns about the preservation of the sites. Properties were converted to other uses or encroached upon by development. Natural deterioration was not counteracted. Vandalism often went unchecked. This report identifies and discusses Jewish cemeteries, synagogue buildings, and Holocaust mass graves located within the borders of present-day Ukraine. Many of these sites are endangered. I hope that the report will encourage preservation efforts and assist American Jews of Ukrainian descent to connect with the last remnants of their heritage in Ukraine. The Commission is also required by U.S. law to seek assurances from the governments of the region regarding the protection and preservation of these cultural heritage properties. I am pleased to note that the Governments of the United States and Ukraine entered into a Commission-negotiated agreement regarding the protection and preservation of places of worship, historic sites, cemeteries, and memorials in 1994. The agreement covers the sites identified in this report.

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS..................................................................................................................i

    EXPLANATORY NOTES ................................................................................................................iii

    MAP OF UKRAINE AND OBLASTS (REGIONS)..............................................................................iv

    I. INTRODUCTION: ......................................................................................................1 I.1 About the Survey..............................................................................................1 I.2 Recent and Current Efforts to Document Jewish Sites............................... 2 I.3 Survey Rationale & Methodology ..................................................................4 II. OVERVIEW: JEWISH HERITAGE IN UKRAINE.............................................13 II.1 Pre-Communist ..............................................................................................13 II.2 First Independent Communist Periods (1917-1939) ...................................16 II.3 Holocaust (1939-1945) ...................................................................................17 II.4 Soviet Era, Post-Holocaust (1945-1990).......................................................17 II.5 Modern Era (1990-2003) ...............................................................................18 III. JEWISH SITES IN UKRAINE ................................................................................21 III.1 A Legacy of Synagogues and Cemeteries.....................................................21 III.2 Synagogues and Other Religious Buildings .................................................27 III.3 Other Jewish Communal and Cultural Sites...............................................29 III.4 Jewish Cemeteries in Ukraine .......................................................................31 III.4 (a) History and Description of Jewish Cemeteries .........................31 III.4 (b) Types of Gravestones and Other Cemetery Features...............34

    IV. PRESERVATION EFFORTS AND ISSUES ..........................................................37 IV.1 The Fate of Jewish Monuments in the Holocaust (1939-1945) ..................37 IV.2 Ukrainian Jewish Sites Under Communism................................................38 IV.3 The Care for Jewish Sites in Independent Ukraine ....................................42

    IV.3 (a) Cemeteries .....................................................................................42 IV.3 (b) Legal and Political Initiatives for Cemetery Preservation............46 IV.3 (c) Cemetery Preservation Challenges..............................................48

    IV.4 Holocaust Execution and Mass Burial Sites................................................53 IV.5 Synagogues......................................................................................................62

    V. AUDIENCE ................................................................................................................68 V.1 The Return Home...........................................................................................68 V.2 Pilgrimage Sites..............................................................................................70

    VI. ISSUES FOR CONSIDERATION ...........................................................................74 APPENDIX I: SITES SURVEYED, LISTED ALPHABETICALLY ................................................79

    APPENDIX II: SYNAGOGUES AND FORMER SYNAGOGUES IN UKRAINE................................87

    APPENDIX III: CEMETERIES AND SELECTED CONDITION INFORMATION .............................97

    APPENDIX IV: MASS GRAVE SITES .......................................................................................133

    APPENDIX V: PARTIAL LIST OF HOLOCAUST M EMORIALS IN UKRAINE...........................143

  • APPENDIX VI: LIST OF USEFUL CONTACT ORGANIZATIONS, INSTITUTIONS AND

    INDIVIDUALS .................................................................................................147

    APPENDIX VII: THE SURVEY FORM ......................................................................................162

    APPENDIX VIII: U.S. - UKRAINE CULTURAL HERITAGE AGREEMENT .................................175

    APPENDIX IX: LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS...............................................................................178

  • i

    Acknowledgements Most of the work on this report and the survey that it reports on was done by the Commission’s Research Director, Samuel D. Gruber. His efforts were supplemented by Executive Director Jeffrey L. Farrow, Program Manager Katrina A. Krzysztofiak, and Administrative Officer Patricia Hoglund, all under the direction of Chairman Warren L. Miller. Many members of the Commission have taken a deep interest in this project and in related issues concerning the state of Jewish sites in Ukraine. Rabbis Zvi Kestenbaum and Chaskel Besser and Irving Stolberg deserve specia l mention. Thanks go to the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, including former Ambassador Steven Karl Pifer, and the Ukraine Desk at the U.S. State Department, especially former Officer Nicholas Greanias. The World Monuments Fund (WMF), which co-sponsored the survey during its first two years of field work provided support that should also be acknowledged. Special thanks go to WMF President Bonnie Burnham and to Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, Chairman of WMF’s Jewish Heritage Council (now Jewish Heritage Program). This report could not have succeeded without critical support at several stages from Ambassador Lauder and from the foundation that bears his name. The Richard and Rachel Goldman Fund also provided much appreciated project support during the first phase of field work. To prepare this survey, visits to Jewish sites throughout the country took place over a period of almost five years, beginning in 1995. The work was conducted by the Jewish Preservation Committee of Ukraine (JPCU) led by Jed Sunden, Yulia Shvartz Zevelev, Dmitry Surovtsev, and Yuliy Lifshits, who all moved the project forward at different times. Eleonora Evgenievna Sokilova served as JPCU Surv