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Cemetery Yuzhnoe-1, Gomel

Gomel is a Belarusian city known since the 12th century. As of early 2020, more than 0.5 million people live in it. There are more than 20 cemeteries in the city, of which only two are active.

Cemetery Yuzhnoye 1, located on Ilyicha Street, belongs to completely closed cemeteries. Burials and subburials are not allowed here, but visits to graves, restoration and replacement of monuments of deceased relatives are not prohibited.

The cemetery has been in operation since the 1930s and was closed in the 1970s. There was a Jewish site in the cemetery. In the 1970s, the cemetery in the village of Osovtsy became an alternative to the Yuzhnoye 1 cemetery. There the Jewish community also received a burial place.

The Jewish section of the Yuzhnoye 1 cemetery has been cataloged. The electronic catalog contains over 220 graves. Six of these have no surnames.

There are also no dates on three. These burials are signed: Iba Abelev, Khaya Khaimovna, Tsypa Moiseevna.

Partially anthroponymical data and the date of burial have been preserved on one grave. This is the burial place of Ruvim Elievich in 1970.

On two graves, there are names, patronymics and full dates: Fayfel Mordukhovich (1902-1965) and Feyga Girshevna (1883-1960).

The earliest burials date back to the 1930s. These are the graves of:

  • Kakuzin Israel Eselevich (1857—1932)
  • Tsimmerman Bella Samuilovna (1903—1937)
  • Frumina Bella Moiseevna (1904—1939)

Late burials date back to the late 1970s and early 1980s, when, according to official figures, the cemetery was closed. Therefore, in the catalog there is a grave of Chernyak Asya Petrovna (1892-1977) and Lvovich Yankel Moiseevich (1895-1980).

Most of the surviving gravestones are standard Soviet-era gravestones. There are also pyramids with a five-pointed star. Some graves bear inscriptions not only in Russian, but also in Hebrew.

Several burials stand out from the total:

  • Burial with a rounded slab, on which the inscription is painted unevenly: “Pergamenshchik (Kutser) Sima Bentsianovna 1909-1945 from brother Zyama, children and relatives”.
  • The graves of Shapiro Riva Mordukhovna (1876-1955) and Krok Maria Lvovna (1909-1951). Despite the different surnames, patronymics and dates of burial, the tombstones of both women are almost identical. They depict a bas-relief of a female figure in a toga bending over a shield with a Christian cross. In addition, the Christian cross is depicted at the foot of the slab.

There is no information on why graves with Christian symbols appeared in the Jewish cemetery during the Soviet era.