Jewish Cemetery in Uman

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Massacre in Uman

The Masscre of Uman was the 1768 massacre of the Jews and Poles of Uman, together with the Jews from other places who had sought refuge there, by the Haidamacks (Haidamaka).

Uman was a well-fortified city that garrisoned a major part of Polish troops that were in control of Ukraine. In early June of 1768 the leader of the rebels Maksym Zalizniak marched on Uman after he razed a number of Jewish cities. As Zalizniak openly encouraged the slaughter of Jews and Poles, the city was filled with refugees. A large camp filled with Polish nobility and their private militia, regular soldiers and Jewish refugees was stationed outside the city walls. After three days of the siege the city fell to Zalizniak in spite of a courageous defense in which the Jews played an active role. The tragic point occurred during the peace negotiation on the third day of the siege that concluded in a combat and subsequent takeover of the city. It is unclear whether the resulting fight was initiated by Ukrainian or Polish side as the accounts of the event differ. The Jews then gathered in the synagogues, where they were led by Leib Shargorodski and Moses Menaker in an attempt to defend themselves, but they were destroyed by cannon fire. Most of the remaining Jews in the city were subsequently killed.

Most historians give an estimate of number of Poles and Jews who were killed in the "massacre of Uman" is estimated to be between 12,000 and 20,000 (it includes Polish army units and private militia). The anniversary of the commencement of the massacre, Tammuz 5, henceforth known as the "Evil Decree of Uman," was observed as a fast and by a special prayer.

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov settled in Uman, and before his death there, he said, "the souls of the martyrs (slaughtered by Gonta) await me". Even after his death in 1811, the Hasidim of Breslov continue to come to Uman in large numbers to prostrate themselves at his grave.

Restoration Work

The big picture is: We are expanding the whole Tzion area to offer enclosed areas for women, including restrooms. We are expanding the Kohanim section We are utilizing the "Kipin on Kipin" method that halachicly neutralizes a cemetery's impurity, allowing entry for Kohanim. We need immediate public support to correct the disgraceful condition of part of the Jewish Cemetery in the area.

  • To service the many women that come to visit the Tzion, a modern restroom facility was constructed that is both conveniently acessible totally mindful of the sanctity of the area
  • These shocking pictures depicting open graves and discarded bones are proof of the intolerable situation in the graveyard next to Rabbi Nachman's Tzion that demand immediate attention
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