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Ukraine - Town To Stop Using Jewish Headstones As Pavement

Published on: March 3, 2013 08:30 AM
By: Jerusalem Post
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Ukraine - The municipality of Lviv, Ukraine, recently announced its decision to stop using Jewish headstones as paving materials.

The announcement follows a protest by members of the town’s Jewish community, who claim that hundreds of the old tombstones are still used as materials for construction projects.

In the years following World War II, the Soviet Red Army used the tombstones to build the town’s roads, sidewalks and the central Krakivsky Market, as well as for rebuilding structures that had been destroyed in the fighting.

The market was built on the site of a Jewish cemetery that had been devastated during the German occupation.

Authorities in Lviv have promised Jewish community leaders that the gravestones will be transferred to the only local cemetery that was not destroyed during the war, the town’s two main synagogues having been destroyed in the Nazi bombardment.


Some fragments of Jewish headstones were also found in villages outside of Lviv, and local residents said that they were waiting for the municipality or the Jewish community to return them to their original locations. Lviv authorities said that they will collect the headstones from around the city, if they can find the necessary financing.

For the past twenty-five years, Sheikhet Meilakh, 59 – the head of a social-religious non-governmental organization in Lviv and Ukraine’s representative on the Union of Councils for Jews in the former Soviet Union – has been the driving force behind the preservation of western Ukraine’s decaying Jewish cultural heritage.

Speaking to the Jewish news channel JN1 about the tombstones, Meilakh said, “You could see writing in Hebrew.

Every epitaph tells us the life story of the person it was written for. Every day, there is a desecration of cemeteries happening here. The market blasphemes everybody. Many people have approached us, and we have many letters supporting the request to remove this market.”

Meilakh received a $32,000 grant from the US government in 2010 for an archaeological investigation of the site of the Golden Rose synagogue, the oldest synagogue in Ukraine, which was destroyed by the Nazis in 1941. However, due to a legal dispute with a developer who wants to build a hotel on the site, the dig has not yet taken place.

In 2011, he uncovered 200 mass graves in Lviv and, thanks to large donations, was able to preserve more than 180 cemeteries and grave sites in Ukraine in recent years.

Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post

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Read Comments (10)  —  Post Yours »


 Mar 03, 2013 at 08:44 AM frimeyid Says:

Meilech Shoichet is a tzadik. Thanks to his work many kevorim have been identified and saves from destruction.


 Mar 03, 2013 at 09:01 AM PaulinSaudi Says:

There did what? That is insane!


 Mar 03, 2013 at 10:21 AM Russko Says:

How nice of the notorious Ukraine cannibalism.


 Mar 03, 2013 at 10:26 AM Kzler Says:

My mother's family comes from Lemberg,Lwow or Lviv. In June 1941 upon invasion by the Nazis the local Ukrainian population eargerly awaited the arrival of the Wehrmacht and the SS . The Nazis watched while the local Ukrainians murdered thousand of Jews. The atrocities they committed exceeded the ones by the Germans. They burned, raped and kill children. Some Ukrainian war criminals entered this country "they were the perfect anti-communist". I met some at work they were antisemities, they are and they will hate Jews. May the blood of all inoccent Jews they killed descend on them and punish them,. BTW they are highly "religious".


 Mar 03, 2013 at 10:33 AM Buchwalter Says:

Indeed they joined the SS Einsatzgruppen, and manned Treblinka and Majdanek. A cursed , criminal nation shame fat boy was not dropped in the Ukraine


 Mar 03, 2013 at 10:51 AM Kzler Says:

Presently there is small Jewish community in Lviv and not safe. I am sure they are represented when voting for a new "holy father".


 Mar 03, 2013 at 10:58 AM Kzler Says:

I met some in Buchenwald and there they attacked Jews. However , their nefarious work did not last because non-Jewish political prisoners of all stripes, communist, socialist, seven day adventist and free masons stopped them


 Mar 03, 2013 at 04:10 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #5  
Buchwalter Says:

Indeed they joined the SS Einsatzgruppen, and manned Treblinka and Majdanek. A cursed , criminal nation shame fat boy was not dropped in the Ukraine

Yes, my friend, Ukrainians are as beastly a people as Poles. Yimach shmam v'zichram.


 Mar 04, 2013 at 09:44 AM Kzler Says:

Reply to #8  
ShmuelG Says:

Yes, my friend, Ukrainians are as beastly a people as Poles. Yimach shmam v'zichram.

Yes you my friend the Poles had General Anders Army in which Menachem Begin A'H served and I met in 1946 in Italy a Jewish Colonel who served in Anders Army


 Mar 04, 2013 at 01:19 PM Anon Says:

Wow, in the same week Mississippi formally ratified the Constitutional Amendment that ended slavery and the Ukraine stopped desecrating Jewish headstones. It gives new meaning to being behind the times.


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