Friday, January 18, 2008

Jewish Cemetery of Belz

The above five (5) photographs were taken by Jola Dziubinska, Warsaw, Poland, in July of 2007. Jola has given us permission to add these pictures to this blog. More of her pictures can be seen at her web site, which is
The above photograph was taken by Samuel Gruber in 2000. One of the few surviving gravestones of the cleared and fenced cemetery.
The above photograph was taken by Mostogrorskie.
The above photograph was taken by Samuel Gruber in 2000. It shows the detail of the fence and gate that are enclosing the cemetery.

BELZ: US Commission No. UA13170101 Alternate name: Beltz (German) and Belz (Polish). The town is located at 50º23 24º10, 62km from Lvov, 25km from Sokal' and 20km from Chervonograd. Cemetery: the W outskirts, near the entrance to town from Rava-Russkaya. Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with no Jews (although there is a report that there might be 2 Jewish people living in the town).

The oldest stone is from 1708. There are about 100 to 500 gravestones at this cemetery.

The cemetery has a fence with a gate, but without a lock. There is no sign or marker for this cemetery.

Town: Mayor of town-Sapuga Vadim Mikhaylovich of Town Soviet [ph: (257) 46210].
Regional: Regional Soviet of Chairman-Naumchuk S.S. [ph: (257) 46210]. Soviet of Lvovskaya Oblast - Chairman-Goryn. Jewish Community of Lvovskaya Oblast.
Historical Museum, Lvov.

The earliest known Jewish community was 16th century. 1931 Jewish population was 2600. Family Rokeah, tsadiks, lived here. Rabbi Shalom Rokeah, 1779-1855, founded the Hasidic dynasty and is buried here. The last known Jewish burial was in 1940. No other towns or villages used this unlandmarked Hasidic cemetery. The isolated, urban, flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a new fence and unlocking gate. The approximate size of cemetery before WWII was 1.40 and is now 1.30 hectares. 101-500 stones, few in their original location, date from 1708 to 20th century. Some tombstones have traces of painting on their surfaces. The cemetery has special sections for women, rabbis and Cohanim but no known mass graves. The municipality owns the property used for Jewish cemetery only. Adjacent properties are agricultural and residential. The cemetery boundaries are smaller now than 1939 because of agriculture. Frequently, organized Jewish group tours or pilgrimage groups and local residents visit. No vandalism is reported in last ten years. There has been re-erection of stones and cleaning of stones by Jewish individuals abroad with constant care in last 5 years. Now, there is occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals. Within the limits of the cemetery are no structures. Moderate threat: uncontrolled access, pollution and vegetation (seasonal). Slight threat: weather erosion (seasonal), vandalism and existing nearby development. No threat: proposed nearby development. Documentation: look to Add. [sic] Commission Documentation is unknown to surveyor. Aberman S.E. on visited site on 03/10/95 and interviewed unnamed sources. He completed on 03/10/95. The above is from JewishGen at