Marla Raucher Osborn <marla.r.osborn@...>
Yaron Wolfsthal asked in the July 14th digest of GG about these 3
Jewish cemeteries, all of which are today located in western Ukraine.
(1) Kopychintsi is the Ternopil Oblast. The correct transliterated spelling
is Kopychyntsi. I visited in 2017 with my husband Jay and German friend
and photographer Christian Herrmann. Using the 1859 cadastral map
from Gesher Galicia, we found the synagogue on the back of the rynek,formerly a bus station, today cut into a handful of shops including a
plumbing supply and cafe . >from there we walked the rynek and some of
the back streets. The area has few prewar surviving buildings, but there
were some, and we were on the hunt for original door frames with
mezuzah traces. None were found. However, in the course of walking,
thanks to a Facebook message >from Taras Vasylyk, we located the
prewar Jewish gmina (community building). Now empty and in very poor
condition, the exterior matched almost perfectly the historic photo Taras
sent me. After, we went in search of the two Jewish cemeteries of
Kopychyntsi. The "old" cemetery is today completely built over by a
school complex; we found zero traces that this site was once a cemetery.
The site is located behind the Mary Church and Shevchenko monument.
The "new" Jewish cemetery is at today's vul. Ivana Mazepy, between vul
Lysenko & vul. Korotkaya, but private houses and gardens now
completely cover the site; there are zero signs that a cemetery was once
existed here. Gone and forgotten. These were the words that came to
mind as we stood in the middle of the street in this quiet residential area
surrounded by tidy gardens and barking dogs. We all felt quite depressed.
(2) Husiatyn is in the Ternopil Oblast. The fortress-style synagogue ruin
is located between Hwy T2002 & vul. Nalivaykoand and is reminiscent of
the synagogue in Zamosc (Poland). The building had been for many
years a museum, but that moved out and for the last handful of years the
building has been vacant. Windows on the ground level were broken and
there was graffiti on all four sides today. The synagogue is an
outstanding and imposing structure in a central spot in the city that can
be seen as one approaches the town, on the other side of the river. By
comparison, there is nothing left of the Jewish cemetery in Husiatyn.
During Soviet times an ugly high-rise apartment building was constructed
over it. Not a single headstone remains except for three modern tombs
for the Friedman family (associated with Ruzhiner dynasty of the Hassidic
movement) located just outside the entrance. It is a strange site, fenced
yet within a few feet of the main door to the building. The apartment
building on the cemetery site is located at vul 5 Ternopilska, covering an
area that stretches almost parallel to vul Ternopilska >from the southeast
to the northwest to a steep slope. Later that day we visited a pig farm in
nearby Chabarivka, where Jewish headstones are visible in the
foundation of the Soviet farm collective building ruin likely originally >from
the Husiatyn cemetery. GPS coordinates for these headstones:
(3) Obertyn is in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast.
I have not yet visited Obertyn but I believe Christian Herrmann has.
If you visit his Vanished World blog, you can see photos >from all of
the above locations.
If you check the website for ESJF - European Jewish Cemeteries
Initiative, you can perhaps find exact GPS coordinates for the
cemeteries (or write them).
Hope this helps.
Marla Raucher Osborn
GG Advisor on Jewish Heritage in Ukraine
Rohatyn Jewish Heritage, CEO