You are here: Home Eastern Europe Ukraine BALTA: Podolia
BALTA: Podolia PDF Print E-mail

Alternate names: Balta, Балта [Ukr, Rus], Balte [Yid], Bałta [Pol]. 47°56' N, 29°37' E, 75 miles NNE of Chişinău (Kishinev). In SE Podolia gubernia, on border with Kherson gubernia. Capital of the Moldovan ASSR, 1924-29. Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), I, pp. 96-97: "Bałta". JewishGen Ukraine SIG. This small city in Odessa Oblast of SW Ukraine is the administrative center of the Baltsky Raion (district). The town was founded in the 16th century and had a 2005 population of about  20,000. In 1924-1929 it was the capital of the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic as part of Ukrainian SSR and the Soviet Union. Balta became a district center of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1940. [August 2009]

Also may be buried at Olgopol.

Balta was created on the Turkish side of the Turkish/Polish border in the 1500s. In the mid-18th century, Prince Lubomirski granted Magdeburg rights to town portion on the Polish side of the border. That  later was incorporated into Turkish Balta into the new Russian town of Balta. At the beginning of the 16th century, Balta was on the border between Poland and Turkey. The Jews living in both sectors of the city (Józefgrod quarter on the Polish side)  and refugees from other districts were massacred by the* Haidamacks in 1768. Russia took the city in 1791. The Odessa-Kiev railroad was built in 1866. Jewish population: 1863-8,413, 1897-13,234 (57% of the total), 1926-9,116 (39.6%), and 1939-4,711 out of 17,945. The Jews delt in grain, agricultural products, tobacco, soap, tanning, flour, and distilling. A pogrom in 1882 damaged 1,200+ Jewish houses and shops, but attempted Jewish *self-defense was prevented by the police. Eventually the center of the Zionist movement in Podolia, Volhynia, and Bessarabia, pogroms repeated in 1905. Events of the WWI era made many Jews flee to Odessa. In 1924 two Yiddish schools had 530 students. During WWII, Balta was part of the Romanian-occupied zone called *Transnistria. On August 8, 1941, 140 Jews were executed. About remaining 1,500 Jew were forced into a ghetto with deported Jews from Bessarabia and Bukovina. Some later were executed. About 1,795 Jews (including 175 from Bukovina) survived on March 29, 1944. About 1,400 Jews were listed in the 1959 census, but most of the Jews left in the 1990s. Small Jewish communities that  existed near Balta including Bogopol, Krivoye Ozero, and Golovanevsk. Yuly Aikhenvald (1872 - 1928), a Jewish Russian literary critic was born here. Sholom Schwartzbard (aka Shulem Shmil Isaakovich Shvartsburd (1886, Izmail - 1938), a Bessarabian Jewish anarchist and Yiddish poet, lived here. Zellig (Shabbethai) Harris (1909 - 1992), a Jewish American linguist, born here. [August 2009]

Jewish information. Ukraine SIG page for Balta. [August 2009]
Burial list:

Cemetery photo [August 2009]

BALTA I:       US Commission No. UA15130101
Alternate names: Balta (Yiddish), Yuzefgrod (German) and Elansk (Russian). Balta is located in Odesskaya at 47º56 29º37, 200 km from Odessa and 107 km from Uman. Cemetery: Yaroslavskaya. Present town population is 5,001-25,000 with 101-1,000 Jews.

  • Town: Town Executive Committee of Pirozhok Vitaliy Eugenyevich. Balta town Department of Culture of Duvidzon Yakov Aleksandrovich.
  • Regional: Regional Executive Committee. Odessa Oblast Department of Culture of Brodavko Roman Isaakovich Podderskaya Natal'ya Anatol'yevna of (0482) 225345, (0482) 223837. Regional Executive Committee of Balta-Chernolutzkiy Vasiuliy Petrovich of (04866) 21036. Cultural Archives of Odessa of Masherova Dina Mihaylovna.
  • Others: Jewish Religious community of Chechlnitzky Shimon. Jewish Community of Milshteyn Feliks Ilich.

The earliest known Jewish community was 1700. 1939 Jewish population (census) was 9116. Effecting the Jewish community was 1768-1772 pogrom. The unlandmarked Hasidic Jewish cemetery was established in the 18th century with last known Jewish burial in 20th century. Used only by this community, the isolated urban hillside has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no wall, fence, or gate. No stones are visible or they date from the 19th century. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. The municipality and private individual(s) own the site. The cemetery property is now used for private houses. Adjacent properties are residential. The cemetery boundaries are smaller now than 1939 because of housing development. Rarely, local residents visit. The cemetery was vandalized prior to World War II and no maintenance now. Within the limits of the cemetery are no structures. Very serious threat: uncontrolled access, existing and proposed nearby development.
Oks Vladimir Moiseevich of 270065, Odessa, Varnenskaya St., 17D, apt. 52 [ph: (0482) 665950] visited site on 10/8/94 and interviewed Kurits B.A. of Balta on 8/10/94. He completed survey on 10/08/1994. Other documentation was inaccessible.
BALTA II:       US Commission No. UA15130102
See Balta I for town information. Cemetery: Tkachenko St.
The earliest known Jewish community was 1700. 1939 Jewish population (census) was 9116. Effecting community were 1768-1772, 1882, 1905, and 1920 pogroms and 1941-1944 ghetto. The unlandmarked Hasidic Jewish cemetery was established in the 17th century with last known Jewish burial in early 20th century. The isolated, urban, flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no wall, fence, or gate. No stones are visible. Location of any removed stones is unknown. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. The municipality and private individual(s) own the site used for agriculture (crops or animal grazing) and private houses. Adjacent properties are residential. The cemetery boundaries are smaller now than 1939 because of housing development. Rarely, local residents visit. The cemetery was vandalized prior to World War II. There is maintenance or structures. Very serious threat: uncontrolled access, vandalism, existing and proposed nearby development. Moderate threat: weather erosion, pollution and vegetation.
Oks Vladimir Moiseevich of 270065, Odessa, Varnenskaya St., 17D, apt. 52 [ph: (0482) 665950] visited site on 10/8/94 and interviewed Kurits B.A. of Balta on 10/8/94. He completed survey on 10/08/1994. Other documentation exists but was not used because it is not reliable.
BALTA III:       US Commission No. UA15130103
See Balta I for town information. Cemetery: north. The last known Hasidic Jewish burial was 1995. No other towns or villages used this unlandmarked cemetery. The isolated urban hillside has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a continuous fence with a non-locking gate. 501 to 5000 stones exist, most in original location and 25%-50% toppled or broken. Location of any removed stones is unknown. The cemetery has no special sections. The 19th-20th centuries tombstones have iron decorations or lettering, portraits on stones and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains marked mass graves. The municipality owns the property used for Jewish cemetery use and mass burial site. Adjacent properties are residential. The cemetery boundaries are unchanged since 1939. The cemetery is visited occasionally by organized individual tours, private Jewish or non-Jewish visitors and local residents. No vandalism is reported in last ten years. Jewish individuals within country patched broken stones and cleared vegetation in 1988. The regular caretaker is paid regularly by Jewish survivors. Within the limits of the cemetery are no structures. Vegetation overgrowth is a seasonal problem preventing access. Slight threat: pollution and vegetation.
Oks Vladimir Moiseevich of 270065, Odessa, Varnenskaya St., 17D, apt. 52 [ph: (0482) 665950] visited site on 8/10/94 and interviewed Kurits B.A. of Balta on 8/10/94. Shwartz Yulia Nikolayevna of 253152, Kiev, Buchmy St., 5/1, Apt. 8 [ph: (044) 5503228] completed survey on 04/01/1995. Other documentation was inaccessible.

BALTA IV:       US Commission No. UA15130104
See Balta I for town information. Cemetery: south, 1700m from center. The Hasidic Jewish cemetery was established in 1824 with last known Jewish burial 1995. No other towns or villages used this unlandmarked 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 continuous fence with a non-locking gate. 501 to 5000 stones, most in original location and 25%-50% toppled or broken date from 1824 to 20th century. Location of removed stones is unknown. The cemetery has no special sections. Some tombstones have iron decorations or lettering, portraits on stones and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. The municipality owns the property used for Jewish cemetery only. Adjacent properties are commercial or industrial and residential. The cemetery boundaries are unchanged since 1939. The cemetery is visited occasionally by organized individual tours, private Jewish or non-Jewish visitors and local residents. The cemetery was vandalized occasionally in the last 10 years. Jewish individuals within country and Jewish groups within country patched broken stones, cleaned stones, cleared vegetation, and fixed wall in 1978. Now, there is occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals. Within the limits of the cemetery are no structures. Vegetation overgrowth is a seasonal problem preventing access. Moderate threat: uncontrolled access and pollution. Slight threat: vegetation and vandalism.
Oks Vladimir Moiseevich of 270065, Odessa, Varnenskaya St., 17D, apt. 52 [ph: (0482) 665950] visited site on 8/10/94 and interviewed Kurits B.A. of Balta on 8/10/94 and 5. Yulia Shwartz of 253152, Kiev, Buchmy St., 5/1, Apt. 8 [ph: (044) 5503228] completed survey on 04/01/1996. Other documentation was inaccessible.

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 August 2009 13:37
 
Web site created by Open Sky Web Design based on a template by Red Evolution