Jewish Heritage Europe

Ukraine: Dozens of matzevot rescued from under L’viv street; had been used as paving

Volunteers rescue Jewish headstones used for paving in Lviv. Photo © Marla Raucher Osborn

Volunteers from the L’viv Volunteer Center (LVC) of the Hesed Arieh All-Ukrainian Jewish Charitable Foundation have been working this week to remove dozens of Jewish headstones that were found to be paving Barvinok street in downtown L’viv.

“The whole street is made from matzevot,” Sasha Nazar, the director of the LVC told JHE. He was notified about the discovery last week, after city workers began opening the street to carry out repairs.

Nazar estimated that there could be 100 stones there, and maybe more.

“This is the biggest discovery of matzevot [used as paving] I can remember,” he said.

Nazar said that matzevot had been removed from the street in the past — in 2010, when about a dozen stones were removed, and in 2017 when several others were rescued. But there has been nothing previous to match the scale of this most recent discovery.

The stones will be transported to the Yanovskoye Jewish cemetery, to join the matzevot rescued previously.

Photos show intact headstones as well as fragments lying horizonatally and neatly arranged, one next to the other; they had been hidden beneath the surface asphalt. Some are face up and some face down. Most appear to date from the first part of the 20th century.

Volunteers led by Sasha Nazar recover a headstone used as paving in Lviv. Photo © Marla Raucher Osborn

JHE friend Marla Raucher Osborn, who is among the volunteers working to remove the stones and who has allowed us to post some of her photos,  says, “This stretch of vul Barvinok appears to be completely paved with Jewish headstones. 75 years ago, there were Gestapo residences on this street and Jewish labor was requisitioned to pave the roads with headstones stolen from the Jewish cemeteries.”

Jewish headstones are believed to have been used also in Soviet times to pave other streets and squares in L’viv, as well as other construction — as they were in other places, such as in Vilnius, Lithuania, where the vast Uzupis Jewish cemetery was razed in the 1960s and and used as a quarry. Efforts have been going on in Vilnius to recover these abused matzevot.

Matzevot used as paving in Lviv. Photo © Marla Raucher Osborn

Nazar said that the LVC had requested help from the city to remove and transport the heavy stones. The city provided two workman,  he said, but the only worked for a couple of hours.

Ukraine’s Channel 5 Tv station ran a brief report about the action:



Click here to see more of Marla Raucher Osborn’s photos (on Facebook)

Click here to see photos of the operation on the Lviv Volunteer Center Facebook page

Read some of our earlier posts about rescuing Jewish headstones used for construction and paving

6 comments on “Ukraine: Dozens of matzevot rescued from under L’viv street; had been used as paving

  1. Which Street is this in Lvov , and where are the stones being kept for now ? I hope to visit at the end of this month (30-7-2018 )

  2. בקרתי ב17-18-19 בחודש יוני 2018בלבוב. איש לא יכול להגיע לבית הקברות היהודי לשעבר בינובסקה. נכון שהמצבות
    נעקרו מהקברים של יהודים על ידי השכנים המקומיים. נכון שהמקומיים סובלים מחוסר תעסוקה. איש לא מסוגל להחזיר את חלקי המצבות למקום ממנו נעקרו. היו היו וחיו יהודים בלבוב ובססיבה היום יש לנו מדינה

  3. האם גם ישנו בית קברות יהודי בקוטי
    שליד ויזניץ?והאם אפשר להגיע לשם?


  4. More local news coverage of the work this last week on vul Barvinok here in Lviv by Sasha Nazar and his crew of the Lviv Volunteer Center extracting Jewish headstones from below the asphalt. The recovered headstones, all dating from the interwar period and early 20th century, were laid there 75 years ago when the Nazis used forced Jewish labor to pave the road to their private residences and radio station (today, the kindergarten on this street). All of the recovered headstones will be moved to the Yanivskyi Jewish cemetery sometime next week.

    Rohatyn Jewish Heritage is proud to have worked with the LVC, a civic arm of All-Ukrainian Jewish Charitable Foundation “Hesed-Arieh”. In July, we again join the LVC, this time clearing garbage and cutting vegetation at Jewish sites of heritage (cemeteries, mass graves, synagogues) in Stryi, Drohobych, and Boryslav.

    #RoadsOfMemory #VolunteerCommunityFSU #LvivVolunteerCenter
    #HesedArieh #JewishGravestonesLviv
    #Новини #UAЛьвів

  5. Bless you for your heroic efforts memorializing Jewish people.
    May their memory be a blessing.

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