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Jewish cemetery of Zvenyhorodka

The Jewish cemetery in Zvenyhorodka, a small town in the Cherkasy region, is one of the oldest kirkuts in the region. According to some information, it was founded at the beginning of the 18th century. Despite the ancient history, even today a number of intact matzevahs have been preserved in the cemetery, from which, although with difficulty, it is still possible to determine the names of those who rest under them.

The first mentions of the Zvenyhorodka Jewish cemetery appeared on maps of the Russian Empire in the 1860s. It is also listed on maps of the USSR from 1941. The cemetery itself is located in the southern part of the city, on the banks of the small and quiet Hnylyi Tikych river.

Today there is an old part of the Jewish cemetery, and a new one, organized after the Second World War. The old cemetery was severely destroyed during the occupation of Zvenyhorodka by the Germans; some of the tombstones were used as building materials when laying roads for the advancement of Wehrmacht troops.

Also, many of the matzevahs that survived the war were stolen by local residents for construction or destroyed by vandals. Interestingly, in the old part of the cemetery you can still find individual stone tombstones in the form of trees with chopped branches. It is worth noting that there are many unmarked graves in the cemetery, mainly the graves of Jews who died during World War II in the ghettos and labor camps organized in Zvenyhorodka and its environs.

The length of the perimeter of the Jewish cemetery in Zvenyhorodka is approximately 800 meters. The cemetery is partially enclosed by a fence made of concrete slabs. The old part of the cemetery is located in the forest, and therefore many of the matzevahs are partially or completely buried in the ground or destroyed by tree roots. The part of the cemetery where post-war burials are located is quite neglected, but later areas have been cleared and maintained.

According to some reports, there are about 500 graves in total at both plots today. Also in the cemetery there is a small building intended for performing funeral rites - Beit Takhar.

In the 1960s, the local Jewish community financed the construction of a house for the cemetery guard and its maintenance. In addition, the main part of the cemetery fence was built during the same period.