ZHURAVNO: US Commission No. UA13120101
Alternate names: Zheravne (German), Zurawno (Polish), Zuravna (Hebrew) and Zhuravno (others). The town is located at 49º15 24º17, 75 km from L'vov and 20 km from Zhidachiv. The cemetery is located at central part of town, near the church on Shevchenko St. Present town population is 5,001-25,000 with fewer than 10 Jews.
ABERMAN S.E. visited the site for this survey on 20/10/95. Koltyuk Nelya Ivanovna was interviewed on 20/10/95. This survey was complete by Aberman S.E. of apt. 2, 4, Novakovskogo St. L'vov [Phone: (0322) 24687] on 25/10/95.
UPDATE: "I was looking at the information about the Jewish cemetery in Zhuravo Ukraine. I believe it contains incorrect or misleading information of some historical significance.
"According to the report 'The cemetery was vandalized during World War II and not during the last 10 years.' I was in Zhuravno myself in August 1995, two months before the person who submitted the report to you, and can tell you that more than a dozen people to whom I talked (they had all gathered around to see what the foreigner (me) was up to in their town) told me that the cemetery was dismantled in 1989 so that the headstones could be used to lay the foundation for the new schoolhouse. Since this story reflected very badly on the town's current residents, it struck me as very credible. Why would they make up something that reflected badly on themselves? It would have been easier for them to say 'The Nazis did it.' Instead, they engaged in a lively debate among themselves, before my very eyes, about whether the dismantling of the cemetery and the razing of the synagogue (also in 1989) had been justified under the circumstances or immoral. Evidently, the catalyst for both of these events was the death of the town's last Jewish resident, Jakov Laufer, in 1989. Laufer had been the chairman of the town kolkhoz (collective farm) for many years after the war and therefore was a controversial figure to say the least. His widow was still living when I visited in August 1995. She was a Russian gentile whom he met during the war when both of them were in the Red Army. She was a wealth of information. I emphasize, however, that the information about the destruction of the cemetery and the synagogue in 1989 came from the townspeople themselves; she simply confirmed and elaborated what they had told me.
"In addition, the report submitted to you states that there is no mass grave at the cemetery and that is technically true. The mass grave is located somewhere on the other side of the Dniester River from the town, where the old people and the children of the Jewish community were shot by the Nazis. The general area where they were shot is a few hundred yards from the town (and the Jewish cemetery). My great-grandmother, Blima Spinner, was one of the people shot that day, as recounted by a survivor from Zhuravna who made it to New York after the war. In August 1995, the old citizens offered accounts of the massacre of the children and old people that were so similar to what my grandmother had been told by a Jewish survivor 50 years before. I wonder if you can vouch for the credibility of the source of your information for the Zhuravna cemetery. I am concerned that the information was submitted by someone trying to 'whitewash' the real events.
Source: Theodore C. Jonas, Baker Botts LLP, The Warner, 1299 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 1300, Washington, DC 20004, Phone - 202-639-7969, Fax - 202-585-1081. [November 2001] [Note from webmaster: We appreciate this report and will pass on the information to the US Commission.]