ASSOCIATION OF ROMANIAN JEWS

VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST

 

 

MARCU ROZEN

 

THE HOLOCAUST UNDER THE
ANTONESCU GOVERNMENT

HISTORICAL AND STATISTICAL DATA
 ABOUT JEWS IN ROMANIA

1940 - 1944

 

Translated in English by

Alexandra Beris

 

IVth Edition, revised and completed

 

A.R.J.V.H.

Bucharest 2006

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgment

 

This book has been published with the support of the Romanian Ministry of Education & Research and Claims Conference (Rabbi Israel Miller Fund for Shoah Research, Documentation and Education).

 

 

 

 

PREFACE

 

 

Today more than ever, it is necessary to remember the tragic events of the 2nd World War, among which the crimes of the Antonescu Government against the Jews.

Polls undertaken by various TV networks indicate that a rather high percentage of the population is ignorant as to Marshal Antonescu’s historical figure and the predicament of the Jews during his government.  This is compounded by the fact that certain politicians and historians who make their voices heard in the mass media are falsifying the historical truths of the period, and concomitantly inoculating the poisonous ideas of extremism and anti-Semitism among their audience.

We can observe repeatedly how certain individuals auto-proclaim themselves as defenders of the Romanian people against alleged accusations of war crimes.  We, the survivors of those events, would like to point out that we have never held the Romanian people accountable, or associated it with these inhuman actions.  The guilt for those crimes rests solely with the Antonescu regime, the central and local authorities, and certain extremist elements, which took part in this genocide.  So naturally, the question arises:  If the Romanian people does not stand accused, why is it necessary to defend it, and against whom?

We consider that the glorification of historical personalities who devised and implemented the genocide of the Jewish population is extremely dangerous and harmful to the new generations.  A similar negative impact is exerted by numerous books and articles which falsify the historical truth, going so far as to deny certain events which occurred during the 2nd World War. 

This is why we deemed it appropriate to support the publication of this book.

The author, Mr. Marcu Rozen, is known by his other publications, “The demographic involution of the Romanian Jews between 1940 and 2000”, published in 1998 (which also appeared in Hebrew translation in Israel), “The Jews in the district of Dorohoi during the 2nd World War”, published in 2000, and “Sixty Years from the deportation of the Jews in Transnistria”, published in 2001.

Using a rich bibliographical database, as well as his personal experience (as the only survivor from a family of five deported to Transnistria), the author manages to capture the essence of these tragic events, and to present concisely and accessibly a large volume of data pertaining to the complex phenomenon known as the “Holocaust” in Europe, among which the extermination of a large contingent of Jews under the Antonescu Government in Romania.

Behind the dry numbers and tables presented in this work reside numerous human destinies, shattered in the course of the events.  Each and every statement is based on verifiable facts.  During the entire course of the book, the author lets the facts speak for themselves – and should the facts accuse, the truth shall not be disguised.  Documents long since archived are being brought to light, in the name of those condemned to death simply for having been born Jews.

This work, which reopens a painful chapter, is being released so that the Romanian reader may learn the truth about this dark time in history, and may be able to adequately integrate various attempts at falsifying historical facts and propagating extremist and anti-Semitic doctrines.

 

 

The Management of the Association of Romanian Jews,

Victims of the Holocaust

 

 

 

 

The Author’s Testimony as a Survivor of the Transnistria Holocaust

 

Stolen Childhood

 

 

I was born on the 20th of March 1930 in the city of Dorohoi in Northern Moldova.  I  lived in a modest household, together with my parents (Iancu and Malvina Rozen), a younger brother (Sorel Rozen) and a grandmother.  My family, as all other Jewish families, respected the ancestral customs and traditions.  Both Yiddish and Romanian were spoken in the household.

The Dorohoi District, the capital of which was the city of Dorohoi, was part of the Old Kingdom.  As such, a large number of Jews from the city of Dorohoi partook in the War for Independence in 1877, as well as in the great battle for the National Unification of Romania in 1916-1918.  Many of those Jews died fighting for Romania.  My grandfather Meer Perez also fought in the battles of 1916-1918, and later died as a result of an illness he contracted during the course of the war.

Between the two world wars, the city of Dorohoi counted around 5,800 Jews, representing roughly 37% of the city’s total population.  This relatively high Jewish presence conferred a pronounced Jewish character to the city, manifested by the presence of multiple synagogues, an Israeli school, a hospital, a nursing home, a ritual bath and other institutions of the Jewish community.  On the streets of the city, one could hear people speaking Yiddish as well as Romanian.

The relationships between the Jewish and Romanian population were of mutual tolerance and understanding;  violent anti-Semitic manifestations were quite rare.

The beginning of the year 1938, marked by the instatement of the Goga-Cuza government, as well as by the promulgation of the first anti-Semitic laws, brought uneasiness and fear among the Jewish population in the city.

Gradually, as a result of the anti-Jewish campaign of the governments which succeeded in power, the anti-Semitic manifestations grew, as the Romanian population was being incited by extremist political elements to Jew-hatred and persecution.

On July 1, 1940, at the age of ten, I witnessed the first anti-Jewish pogrom in Dorohoi.  Various Romanian military detachments, under the leadership of legionary officers withdrawing from Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the Hertza territory, atrociously murdered 70 Jews from the city of Dorohoi and the surroundings, and wounded and tortured many others.  The many hideous manifestations of this pogrom remained burned in my memory for the rest of my life.

Beginning September 1940 – after the proclamation of the National Legionary Statute – a new wave of anti-Semitic reprisals descended upon the Jews of Dorohoi.  Soon I was expelled from Romanian grammar school, and obliged to complete the 4th grade at the Israeli school in the city.  I cannot forget how one night in the winter of 1940, the director of the Israeli school Meer Herscovici was savagely beaten and tortured by the legionaries, and for many months thereafter struggled between life and death.

The menaces, the terror, and the fear were growing day by day, taking on progressively more diabolical forms.

On June 22, 1941 the war started, leading to a new wave of persecutions.  Thousands of Jews evacuated from other parts of the district (including Darabani, Saveni, Mihaileni, Radauti-Prut and the rural areas), arrived in Dorohoi at this time, such that the Jewish population of the city doubled.  This led to great difficulties regarding shelter and supplies, since the evacuated Jews only took along what they could carry, the rest of their property being left at the disposal of predators.

At the beginning of November 1941, it was announced that the Jewish population of Dorohoi was to be deported to Transnistria.

The deportation started on November the 7th, 1941.   Thousands of Jews cramped in freight cars, each one with the luggage he was able to carry, were forced to leave their homes for a life of vagrancy.

My family, composed of five people – my parents, grandmother, a younger brother and I – left on November 12, 1941.  I was twelve years old at the time.  Thus the inferno started – the road to Holocaust.

The transport in freight train cars, during a cold early winter, was a true nightmare.  Two days into the trip we reached Atachi, on the border of the Dniester, by a totally destroyed bridge.  We were disembarked from the freight cars and transported across the river on a ferryboat.

Beyond the Dniester was the town of Moghilev.  Here we were housed in a camp, from which we were supposed to leave for the far regions of Transnistria. 

The next day, exhausted, hungry and frozen, we started out on foot in a convoy, on a road that for most of us  would prove to be a road of no return.  Shortly, people started dying – the first victims of the deportation.  Three days later we reached the town of Shargorod.  My entire family was exhausted.  Together with other Jews, we hid and didn’t leave any further, as the convoy continued its way towards the river Bug.

Shargorod was a small Ukrainian township, counting about 1,800 local Jews, to which more than 7,000 Jews deported from Basarabia, Bucovina and the Dorohoi District had been added.  Therefore, housing the deportees was a problem.  Many of them, especially the ones from Dorohoi, which arrived among the last, were living in improvised common shelters, lacking heat and elementary hygienic conditions.

Public health measures were entirely inexistent.

The homes were old, most of them made of clay, with small rooms, windows that were permanently closed, and ventilation provided by a single outlet.  There were all in all 337 houses, each one containing two or three small rooms, 842 rooms total, which amounts to 10 or 11 people per room.

The population was malnourished, there was no way of earning a living, and food was procured by exchanging our clothing for it.  As a result, in order not to starve, most of us were left almost naked.

The winter of 1941-1942 was especially hard.  The cold, famine, and plagues, particularly the typhus epidemic, invaded the entire Jewish community in the ghetto, which, deprived of any aid, fell victim to despair.  Death was showing its ugly face, taking on progressively more menacing forms.

A sled pulled by a starving horse was going round the ghetto each morning, loading the cadavers of the ones who had succumbed to suffering and misery.

By February of 1942, hundreds of bodies lay in the cemetery of Shargorod.  They couldn’t be buried because the earth was frozen in its depth, making it impossible to dig a common grave.

We lived in an unheated room (a former summer store), which now served as home to roughly 15 people.  We slept on the ground, on straw we had collected from the marketplace.  Our day clothes were our nightclothes as well, since the rest of our clothing had gradually been given away to Ukrainian peasants in exchange for food.

Hunger, cold and pestilence (especially typhus), started making victims in our room, and also in my family.

The first to die was my grandmother.  I remember how before the war she often showed us children the medal her husband (my grandfather) had gotten in the battle of Marasesti.  Her eldest son (my mother’s brother) had also fought in the First World War as a platoon leader, and had been decorated with the Commemorative War Cross.  Before the war, my grandmother would often hold those medals in her hand, as she told us children the stories.  When she died, there was nothing in her hand but a frozen peel of potato, which she had been too weak to eat.

Only a month after my grandmother’s death, my mother expired as well.  She was just 38.  She was weak and exhausted, since she would always give to us children the scanty food brought home by my father.  In the end, she couldn’t withstand the cold and disease.

Left alone with two children, my father made desperate efforts to find scraps of food so we could survive.  When the first warm sunrays heralded the onset of spring, my father took ill and fell in a deep sleep.  After three days, he passed on, peaceful in his knowledge he had saved us children from that terrible winter.

We were left alone in the room – myself, a 12-year old, and my younger brother who was 6 – since most of our roommates died, and the ones who survived moved to better rooms vacated by the deaths of their inhabitants.

At that time, an aunt of ours, Dora Peretz, herself in a difficult situation with her two children, took us in.  Her husband, Rubin Peretz (my mother’s brother) had stayed behind in the country, being concentrated in a forced labor detachment.

In the summer of 1942, our situation – my little brother’s and mine – had become dramatic.  In order not to starve, we had to go out begging, or collect household leftovers such as potato peels – our food and poison likewise.

At the beginning of September my little brother took ill and could no longer be saved.  He died at the age of only 6, on a cold and gloomy autumn day.

I recall that shortly after the community was notified, a cart pulled by a horse showed up in front of our broken-down home, and asked for the body of my little brother, to take it to the graveyard.

He was the only one deceased that day.  I put his lifeless body on the cart, and started out on foot behind the cart, together with my aunt.  The cart driver occasionally looked at me with pity and kept quiet.  The road to the graveyard traversed a steep hill, muddy and difficult to climb.  Dark clouds covered the sky, and soon a dense cold rain started falling.  We continued walking slowly, without uttering a word.

At the graveyard, there was only one man present, who together with the cart driver took the lifeless body and placed it in a common grave, next to other cadavers brought on previous days.  A few hands of dirt thrown over the body concluded the procedure.  There were no prayers, and no other ceremonials.  The grave remained open for the dead to be delivered in the days to come. 

Thus the last member of my family vanished.  I returned home desperate.  This was the hardest day of my life.

Left alone, I was fortunate enough to be accepted in late fall of 1942 in an orphanage, organized by the Jewish Community of Shargorod with the help of the Jews back in the country.

In this orphanage, roughly 100 children from Basarabia, Bucovina and Dorohoi were gathered, who had been left homeless and without hope.  Here, thanks to the care of hearty and skilful educators, we were returned to life.

In this orphanage I forged the first friendships of my deportation – children with whom I shared the same feelings of suffering and hope.  Sometimes, when I look through a small notebook of memories from the orphanage, I remember the ones I shared my life with for more than a year, making plans for the future.  I don’t know where they are, how many are left alive, and if among them there are still those who remember me.

Here are a few names:  Sidi Picker, Carol Ruhm, Ester Stein, Betti Klein, Betti Gasner, Pepi Grunfeld, Harry Lessner, Mina Leibovici, Tina Fruth, Misu Shapira, Iosif Tesler, Iancu Katz, M. Berthal and many others.

In the fall of 1942, when the front was closing in on Transnistria, the Antonescu government accepted the repatriation of the Jews from Dorohoi.  At the railroad station back home, a large crowd – Jewish as well as non-Jewish – came to welcome the survivors.  There were hugs, and shouts of pain and anguish mixed with joy and hope.

I stopped for a moment as I got off amidst this commotion.  Tears came to my eyes, as I looked at this place from where five of us departed two years back, and where I was now returning by myself.

This is in short the story of my childhood during the difficult years of the 2nd World War.  All the ones my age deported to Transnistria have been robbed by the Antonescu Regime in Romania of the most beautiful time in their life – their childhood.  And of so much more!

 

Two Significant Documents Belonging to the Author:

 

1.    The Postcard written by the author, at the age of 12, to his uncle Carol (Chaim) Peretz in Bucharest, in which he informs the latter about the death of his parents and grandmother, and solicits his support to save him and his younger brother Sorel Rozen.

This postcard was returned to the author by his uncle, after the author’s return from Transnistria.

 

Shargorod 1/6/942

 

Dear Uncle Carol,

 

With great pain I have to let you know that father, mother and grandmother have passed away, and Sorel and I are now on our own.

Please do all you can to get us out of here.

Regards to everyone.  Love,

 

Marcu and Sorel

 

2.    Copy of the petition forwarded by the author’s uncle Carol (Chaim) Peretz to Marshal Ion Antonescu, through the Central of the Romanian Jews.  To this petition his uncle never received a response.

 

 

Marshal Sir,

 

I, the undersigned Chaim Peretz, residing in Bucharest, Calea Dorobantilor, Nr. 49, Second Floor, respectfully dare to submit to Your high magnanimity the following matter:

During the winter of 1941, together with a part of the Jewish population of the city of Dorohoi,  the family of my brother in law Iancu Rozen was evacuated to the Township of Shargorod, District of Moghilev, Transnistria.  The family was composed of husband, wife, mother, and 2 children:  Marcu, age 11 and Sorel, age 4.

The other day I received a postcard, a copy of which I dare enclose, from my nephew Marcu Rozen, an 11 year old child, communicating the sad news that his father, mother and grandmother have died, and that he and his younger brother have been left alone and without support.

The parents and grandparents of these unfortunate children, as well as the children themselves, are all born in the Old Kingdom, in the District of Dorohoi, and the maternal grandfather of the children, Meer H. Peretz, my father, beside being born in this country, also fought in the War of 1916/1918, as proven by the attached documents, and later died as a result of an illness contracted during the war.

I myself am also born in this country from parents born in this country, and took part in the campaign during 1916 – 1918 as a student reserve platoon member, having graduated from the Military School of Botosani, and being decorated with the Commemorative Cross of War, as proven by the attached documents.

In the name of these unfortunate children left without any support, I respectfully call on Your high magnanimity, on Your spirit of fairness and humanity, requesting that you grant my petition for the repatriation of these children orphaned of both parents,

Marcu Rozen, age 11-12, and

Sorel Rozen, age 4-5,

the children of Iancu Rozen, natives of Dorohoi, now evacuated in the Township of Shargorod, House Nr. 143, District of Moghilev, Transnistria, and to dispose they be sent to Bucharest and delivered in my care, who commit to support them, having the ability to do so, as stated by the enclosed certificate of the Community of Jews of Bucharest.

I implore You, Marshal Sir, to save these poor children left alone among strangers, and I assure You of our undying gratitude.

 

Long live the Marshal

To His Honor the Marshal, Leader of the Romanian State   

 

 

 

 

 

 

HISTORICAL AND STATISTICAL DATA

REGARDING THE PREDICAMENT OF THE JEWS

UNDER ANTONESCU GOVERNMENT

1940 – 1944

 

To the reader’s attention

 

The events and data contained in this work refer strictly to the territories under Romanian authority, i.e., under Antonescu government at the respective time.

This work does not refer to the Jews of Northern Transylvania, which territory was under Horthyst occupation at the time.  As such, the responsibility for the crimes committed against these Jews rests exclusively with the Hungarian authorities in Budapest during the respective time frame.

By the same token, this work does not refer to the few Jews (below 1,000 persons) living in the Quadrilater area, since this territory was relinquished to Bulgaria in September 1940.

The events are being presented in chronological order.  The statistical figures cited in this work are based in their majority on official data of the Romanian State, resulting from population censuses and other similar records.

 

Marcu Rozen,

Member in the Romanian Statistics Society

 

 

 

 

I.                 THE JEWS OF ROMANIA IN THE PERIOD PRECEDING THE ANTONESCU GOVERNMENT

 

 

 

 

From a social standpoint, the period  between the two World Wars was characterized by an escalation of the anti-Semitic climate in Romania.

The Iron Guard, the League of Christian National Defense, the ideology of Octavian Goga, the writings and rhetoric of Nae Ionescu, Nichifor Crainic, Vasile Conta and many other politicians, writers and reporters with obvious anti-Semitic viewpoints paved the road for the penetration and application of fascist ideology in our country.

On December 28, 1937 the Government Goga-Cuza assumed power, and became the first government to promote anti-Semitism as state politics.

This government promulgated in January 1938 the Law of citizenship revision – the first manifestation of racial persecution against the Jews.

Following the implementation of this discriminatory and bureaucratic law, from the 800,000 Jews of Romania only 391,191[1] remained legal citizens of Romania.

The governments succeeding in power during the royal dictatorship of King Carol the Second continued to promote an anti-Semitic agenda of varying degrees.

At the end of June 1940, during the government of Gh. Tatarascu, the Soviet Union annexed via ultimatum (based on the secret treaty Molotov-Ribbentrop) the territories of Northern Bucovina and Hertza.  These territories contained, beside Romanian population, roughly 290,000 Jews[2].

The relinquishment without opposition of a part of Romania’s national territory required a scapegoat, on which blame for this action could be placed.  The extremist elements of the time did not hesitate in finding one:  It was the Jewish people.  They were at fault for “selling Basarabia and Bucovina to the Soviet Union”.

Presently, when the secret clauses of the Soviet-German treaty have become public knowledge, when one of the prime culprits involved in the kidnapping of Basarabia and Northern Bucovina has proven to be Hitler himself, there are still those who propagate the idea that the Jews have somehow “called the Soviet Union” to invade the above-mentioned territories. 

In the country, the anti-Jewish atmosphere became depressing, and sometimes incendiary.  In various places, Jews were beaten and even killed.  Some were thrown off trains, especially on the train-routes of Moldova. 

During the relinquishment of Basarabia and Northern Bucovina, on July 1, 1940, an anti-Jewish pogrom took place in Dorohoi.

This pogrom constituted the first major anti-Jewish manifestation in the course of the entire process of terror, deportation and extermination of the Jews of Romania.

 

 

 

The anti-Jewish pogrom of Dorohoi (July 1, 1940)

 

On July 1, 1940, Romanian military detachments belonging to the 3rd Division of Frontier Troops and the 8th Division of Artillery (which were retreating from Hertza as the Soviets invaded), unleashed a pogrom against the Jewish population of the city of Dorohoi.

Shortly before the onset of brutalities, the lifeless bodies of the Romanian captain Boros and of the Jewish soldier Iancu Solomon had been brought into the city of Dorohoi.  Note is being made that during those days the Jews were part of the Romanian army, some of them being on the active duty roster.

The two above-mentioned Romanian militaries had been shot in Hertza during an encounter with the Soviet army.  They were among the first heroes of the Romanian army to fall in confrontation with the Soviet invaders.

On July 1, 1940, the funeral of the Romanian soldier was scheduled to take place at the Christian-Orthodox cemetery, and that of the Jewish soldier at the Jewish cemetery in Dorohoi.  Customarily, the Romanian authorities would have sent their official representatives to attend the funerals of these heroes.  But it wasn’t to be that way.

For the funeral of the Jewish soldier, only 7 unarmed Jewish militaries were sent over from the 29th Regiment of Infantry stationed in the city.  Also, 20 civilian Jews came over to attend the ceremony, daring to face the anti-Jewish atmosphere in the city.

While the funeral was in progress, subunits of the Romanian army retreating from Hertza invaded the cemetery and opened fire, without warning, on the participants to this solemn burial. 

Apart from one survivor, all civilian Jews were killed, and so were the seven Jewish militaries under the command of sergeant T.R. Bercovici Emil, from the 29th Regiment of Infantry, who had come to pay tribute to the fallen Jewish hero.

The fire spread rapidly throughout the city, as the unleashed killers made numerous victims among the Jewish population.

As stated in Report nr. 462 filed on July 4, 1940, signed by captain Duca Mihail (military prosecutor in the Army Reserves), assistant mayor Ion Pascu and colonel C. Enachescu (medical doctor in the Army Reserves), a total of 50 Jews were shot, among which 11 women, 34 men and 5 children.

Pillaging, tortures and bestial scenes took place during the course of the pogrom.

To their credit, some Romanian officers did save Jewish lives.  Lieutenants Alexandru Atanasiu and Ion Gaia, as well as sergeant Gheorghe Olteanu saved the life of architect Leon Haber, captain Stino prevented the killing of the Jewish soldiers in the barracks of the 29th Regiment of Infantry, and lieutenant Nimereanu (the son of the priest from Trestiana) saved a Jewish family.  The documents report other such cases as well.

We would also like to mention that many Romanians hid Jews in their own homes, thus saving them from the rage of the criminals.

 

 

 

 

 

On July the 4th, 1940, the Gh. Tatarascu government resigned, and the government of Ion Gigurtu assumed leadership of the country.

During the Ion Gigurtu government, the situation of the Romanian Jews worsened due to the promulgation of nazi inspired racial laws.

On August 30, 1940, on the basis of the Vienna Dictate, the Gigurtu government conceded to Hungary the Northern part of Transylvania, containing roughly 160,000 Jewish inhabitants[3].

Following this territorial concession, the political situation in Romania became explosive.

On September the 4th, 1940, under the pressure of extremist pro-German factions, King Carol the Second delegated the formation of a new government to General Ion Antonescu.

After only two days in his new capacity as prime minister, General Antonescu requested the king to abdicate in favor of his son, Mihai. 

 

 

 

 

II.            THE JEWS OF ROMANIA IN THE PERIOD AFTER THE INSTAURATION OF THE ANTONESCU GOVERNMENT AND PRIOR TO THE OUTBREAK OF THE WAR WITH THE SOVIET UNION (September 1940 – June 22, 1941)

 

On September the 4th, 1940, General Ion Antonescu assumed political leadership of Romania.  Ten days later Romania was proclaimed, by royal decree, a National-Legionary State.  General Ion Antonescu was named Leader of the State, endowed with discretionary power, as opposed to the limited prerogatives of the king.

Horia Sima was named leader of the Legionary Movement.

On September 7, 1940, General Ion Antonescu conceded to Bulgaria the Southern part of Dobrogea (the districts of Caliacra and Durostor), a territory known as the Quadrilater, containing roughly 850 Jewish inhabitants.

Please note that the total number of Romanian Jews (roughly 800,000 at the beginning of 1940 – which is considered to be the maximum Jewish population to ever inhabit Romania), shrunk to roughly 350,000 prior to the onset of the war with the Soviet Union, due to the territorial concessions made by Romania in the summer and fall of 1940[4].

On September the 14th, 1940, General Ion Antonescu named the members of his cabinet.

Except the secretaries of the departments of Finance, National Economy, and Agriculture, which were trusted men of the general, all other ministers in the Antonescu government were legionaries.

Among the first measures taken by the national-legionary government of general Ion Antonescu was a closer affiliation with Nazi Germany, expressed as a tightening of political, military and economical bonds with Germany, and adherence of Romania to the tri-party pact Berlin-Rome-Tokyo. 

As far as the Romanian Jews are concerned, the Antonescu government expanded and amplified anti-Jewish legislation and racial terror to the utmost extremes.

As such, during the Antonescu government Jews were entirely barred from military service, tens of thousands of Jews were deployed to forced labor detachments, Jewish students were expelled from all Romanian schools, high schools and universities, Jewish actors were barred from performing in Romanian theaters, Jewish physicians and all Jewish medical personnel were fired from their positions, Jewish lawyers and pharmacists were forbidden to service Christians clients, Jewish authors had their books barred from bookstores and withdrawn from public libraries, etc.

The anti-Jewish measures continued with the confiscation of Jewish shops, businesses and factories, the seizure of Jewish-owned real estate by the Romanian State, the seizure of rural farmland owned by Jews, the interdiction to use radios, phones and cameras, the evacuation of Jews from villages and small towns into the district capitals, and the assessment of taxes and monetary contributions much above the financial means of the people.  These and other measures led to a state of despair and fear for the day to come among the Jewish population[5].

Over the existence of the national-legionary state, the legionaries committed multiple robberies, crimes and brutalities against the Jews and against several eminent personalities of the Romanian culture, such as Nicolae Iorga, Virgil Madgearu, Victor Iamandi, et al. 

The Legionary Rebellion, which took place on January 21-23, 1941, made numerous victims among the military, as well as the civil population.

In Bucharest, the rebels committed criminal acts (pillaging, devastation, arson and murder), against the Romanian inhabitants, but mostly against the Jewish population living in the suburbs of Dudesti and Vacaresti, where veritable pogroms took place.

Gangs of legionaries gathered hundreds of Jews in numerous torture centers, such as the Police Headquarters, legionary headquarters, local police stations, the mill of Straulesti, the Jilava forest, etc.

Dozens of Jews were tortured and massacred in the slaughter house, in the Jilava forest, and even in their own homes.

The well-known writer Virgil Gheorghiu notes in his “Memoirs” (Gramar Publishing House, 1999, pg. 523-524):  “In the huge hall of the slaughter house, where oxen used to hang by hooks to be slashed, naked human corpses were now hanging.  It was a horrible sight, surpassing any cruelty one may imagine…  Some of the corpses had the word “kosher” marked on them.  They were corpses of Jews…

My soul is tainted.  I’m ashamed of myself.  Ashamed to be Romanian, like those criminals from the Iron Guard.”

The tragic summary of the Legionary Rebellion in Bucharest is as follows: 130 Jews murdered, 25 temples and synagogues pillaged, 616 Jewish shops and 547 Jewish homes plundered, devastated or burned[6].

Note is being made that after the Legionary Rebellion was stifled, the Antonescu Government (now without its former legionary members), continued and even augmented the terror and anti-Jewish measures in Romania.

The extremist and anti-Semitic politics promoted by the Romanian authorities is quite well illustrated in the memorable phrase spoken by General Antonescu during the meeting of the Ministers’ Council on April the 8th, 1941:  “That’s the way I grew up:  With hatred against the Turks, Jews, and Hungarians.  This sentiment of hatred against the enemies of our country must be taken to its utmost extremes.  I will assume this responsibility.”[7]

The situation of the Jews became progressively harder.

Some localities in Moldova mandated the Yellow Star to be worn by Jews.  Jews were allowed to circulate and shop only between certain hours of the day, hostages were taken by successive turns and their lives threatened, and other demeaning and discriminatory measures.

The Jews deployed in forced labor detachments were subjected to a particularly harsh and inhuman regimen (insufficient and substandard food, exhausting labor, precarious living conditions, beatings, torture and humiliations).

 

 

 

 

III.        THE JEWS OF ROMANIA IN THE PERIOD AFTER THE OUTBREAK OF THE WAR WITH THE SOVIET UNION AND PRIOR TO THE DEPORTATIONS TO TRANSNISTRIA

(June 22, 1941 – September 1941)

 

On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany unleashes the war against the Soviet Union, to which Romania partakes as a result of General Antonescu’s insistence. 

During the time span preceding the war, as well as after the onset of the war, tens of thousands of Jews were evacuated from rural settlements and smaller towns, and concentrated in the capital cities of Romania’s various districts.  Additionally, some were sent to the concentration camps of Targu Jiu and Craiova.

After the onset of the war, the German and Romanian troops liberated in a relatively short time the territories of Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and Hertza from the Soviet occupation.  Subsequently, based on the pact of Tighina from August 19, 1941, Romania gained control over the Ukrainian territory between the rivers Dniester and Bug, a territory known as Transnistria.

Under these circumstances, the territory under Romanian authority, i.e., under Antonescu Government, now stretches from Arad up to the river Bug, and includes Southern Transylvania, the Old Kingdom, Northern and Southern Bucovina, Basarabia and Transnistria.

Thus, the total number of Jews in the territories under Romanian jurisdiction now reaches the figure of 675,000, among which 540,000 from the former Romanian State, and 135,000 resident Ukrainian Jews from Transnistria[8].

Not included in this figure are the Jews of Northern Transylvania and the Quadrilater.  Instead, included are the local Ukrainian Jews who find themselves under Romanian jurisdiction after the takeover of Transnistria by the Romanian authorities.

Similarly, not included in this figure are the approx. 100,000 Jews from Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza, consisting of:

-        Jews deported by the Soviet authorities to Siberia

-        Jews who withdrew voluntarily or forcedly with the Soviet authorities

-        Jews incorporated in the Soviet army

-        Jews killed in the bombings, or caught and assassinated by German troops of territorial cleansing

-        Basarabian Jews who took refuge in Odessa and were killed during the long siege of this city, etc.

All the above categories of Jews were not taken over by the Romanian authorities after the liberation of these territories from Soviet occupation, and therefore were not subject to the jurisdiction of the Antonescu Government.

The well-known researcher Raul Hilberg claims that the number of Jews deported or evacuated by the Soviets exceeded 100,000 people[9].  W. Filderman and Sabin Manuila support the figure of 100,000, while other researchers estimate a figure close to 100,000.

The following represents an analysis regarding the fate of the 675,000 Jews in the territories under Romanian authority, i.e., under Antonescu Government.  Veridical conclusions are formulated based on the facts presented.

After the onset of the war, the situation of the Jews under Antonescu’s authority worsens even more, due to the institution of new anti-Jewish laws.  The Government establishes that, in order for war expenses to be covered, the Jews have to pay supplementary taxes in currency and produce, which by far exceed the possibilities of the people.

On December the 16th, 1941, the Federation of The Jewish Community Unions is dismantled, being replaced by the Central of the Jews of Romania, whose mission is the faithful enactment of the racial laws established by the government.

In the time span between the onset of the war with the Soviet Union and the onset of the deportations to Transnistria, two major events had a profound impact on the entire Jewish population of Romania:  The pogrom and death train of Iasi, and the mass-extermination of the Jews from Basarabia, Bucovina and the land of Hertza.

 

 

1.   The Pogrom and Death Trains of Iasi

 

Only a week after the onset of the war, between June 29 and July 1, 1941, the city of Iasi became the scene of a premeditated pogrom against the Jewish population, organized by the Romanian and German fascists.

A diversion was enacted, by spreading the rumor that Jews allegedly fired on Romanian and German soldiers and transmitted light signals to Soviet airplanes.  Reports prepared by the police of the city of Iasi itself attest to the unfoundedness of these allegations, clearly showing there wasn’t even a single Romanian or German soldier killed or injured.

The official report forwarded to General Ion Antonescu on July 2, 1941, by the head of the police of Iasi, General Leoveanu Emanoil, states the following:

“No dead or wounded were registered among the Romanian units which have been fired on, and no signs of bullets were identified in the walls and windows of the buildings.

…The Germans didn’t have any dead or wounded either.  It follows therefore that the attack was a simulation carried out with blank cartridges (some of which have been found on site), and with firecracker systems imitating machine gum fire.

I deem the aggressors to be legionaries and robbers, who aimed to produce panic in order to pillage the neighborhood.  They managed to get away in the darkness, and thus could not be discovered.  They organized the attack in a suburb inhabited by well-to-do Jews.”[10]

But let us follow the way the events unfolded.

Instances of shootings, robberies and crimes against the Jews already started, in an isolated manner, on June 27 and 28, 1941.

On Sunday morning, June 29, 1941, the loudspeakers of the local authorities were calling to all Jews to report to the Police Headquarters, allegedly in order to be issued some certificates.  Part of the Jews presented willingly, while others were brought by force.

At the Police Headquarters, the Jews (counting several thousand people), were beaten, tortured, and robbed of their belongings.  Then, gunshots started to be fired at the crowd, making numerous victims in the yard of the Police Headquarters.  The ones who managed to escape were caught, beaten viciously and hauled back, together with other Jews gathered from the city.  Thus, the horrible massacre lasted for hours on end.

Also, Jews were mugged, tortured and killed in various suburbs and public places in Iasi.  These actions were carried out by Romanian and German militaries, seconded by lowlife elements of the local population.

Overnight and the following morning, the Jews who survived the massacre at the Police Headquarters were marched to the railroad station and embarked on two “death trains”.

Cramped together in freight cars, about 100-150 people per car, on their feet and still barely fitting body against body, plagued by the choking heat, thirst, and lack of air, roughly 5,000 people were confined to these railcars for days, traveling on the routes Podu Iloaiei and respectively Calarasi.

The great majority of those embarked on these trains succumbed in unimaginable conditions, many of them drinking their own urine or loosing their minds before they passed on.

Across the European continent, Jews have been exterminated by diverse means: gas-chambers, shooting, starvation, etc.  But the confinement of Jews to hermetically sealed freight cars with planks hammered in place over the windows, causing them to die by asphyxiation and dehydration, was unique to Romania.

In contrast to the criminals of Iasi, we have to mention the name of Viorica Agarici, who managed to convince the guards in the railroad station of Roman to open the train doors, and gave water to the dying Jews.

As pointed out by the Great Rabbi of Geneva Dr. Alexandru Safran, this woman – same as many other Romanian saviors – represented the “Romanian soul during those times of hardship for the Jews.”

Ironically, among the survivors of the death train from Podu Iloaiei, was a Romanian citizen by name of Marcu Traian, a Christian whom the criminals threw by mistake on this train.  After establishing his identity on the basis of his wedding certificate (nr. 47-1940), the gendarmes allowed him to return home.

Also a survivor of the death train Iasi-Podu Iloaiei was Iancu Tucherman, currently residing in Bucharest.  This witness describes the events in his railcar as follows:

 “We were cramped in freight cars meant for cattle, about 100-150 people per car.  I was put on a freight car with another 137 persons.

In my car, as well as many other railcars, the floor was covered by a layer of manure, on top of which lye powder had been sprinkled.

Noting that the small air-outlets of the railcar were open to the inside, a railroad employee, wearing the customary uniform and red beret, procured a ladder and rope-slings and closed these tiny windows from the outside, thereby reducing the possibility for air to enter the railcar.

Then the train was set in motion.  The manure and lye started giving off plenty of heat.  All of us locked in the railcar started taking off our garments, to the point of even remaining naked after a while.  It was then we realized something tragic was going to happen to us.  The train continued on its way, making numerous maneuvers and halts on side-lines.  It was midsummer, and the heat in the railcar was becoming unbearable.  Without air and water, the first victim succumbed after half an hour.  The situation became downright infernal.

Many started drinking their own urine to appease their thirst, some went berserk and threw themselves blindly over others, in agony and delirium, searching the railcar from one end to the other for a drop of water or an air-outlet.  It was hard to tell who was a cadaver and who was still alive.

At 14.00 hours, after 9 hours of torture which seemed like an eternity, the train stopped in the rail station Podu Iloaiei.  The doors of the railcars were opened.  From my railcar, only 8 survivors descended.  The rest of 129 had died suffocated and dehydrated.

Note is being that the train to Calarasi reached its destination after almost 7 days, therefore making many more victims.

The survivors of these death trains were placed in the concentration camps of Podu Iloaiei and Calarasi, being able to return home only 6 months later.

The total number of victims killed in the pogrom of Iasi and the death trains was – as established by judiciary investigation – almost 8,000 souls[11].

 

 

2.   The mass assassinations of Jews in Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza during the first months after the outbreak of the war (June 22 – September 1941)

 

After the onset of the war, the Romanian and German armies managed to liberate Basarabia, Bucovina and the land of Hertza from the Soviet occupation in a relatively short time.

Subsequently, subunits of the Romanian army together with indigenous population incited by the new Romanian authorities in the region, unleashed a generalized massacre, murdering tens of thousands of men, women, children and elders with equal contempt, for the sole fault of being born Jews.

Most were driven like cattle from one place to another, shot, robbed and subjected to unimaginable torture.

In Balti, a part of the Jews were made to dig their own graves, then ordered to lie on the ground face-down, after which each of them received a bullet in the head.  In the county of Tataresti from the sector Cetatea Alba, 451 Jews were executed by order of sub-lieutenant Heinrich Frolich, with the contribution of gendarme captain Vetu Gh. Ioan – who took possession of all valuables belonging to the deceased.  On the night of August the 4th to August the 5th, 1941, 210 Jews from the district of Storojinetz were shot to death.  They were part of a convoy of 300, under the command of caporal Sofian Ignat.  On the 6th of August, at 18.00 hours, gendarmes from the 23rd Police Company shot 200 Jews, which they threw into the Dniester.  Numerous such circumstances are documented by the official reports of the time[12].

In those terrible days, convoys of homeless Jews were wandering the roads of Basarabia.  Everywhere, one could see terrifying scenes, corpses of children, women and elders, plundered homes, devastated synagogues.

O convoy of 300 men from Edinetz, among which Rabbi Iehosua Frenkel, was being marched to Hotin, flanked by soldiers bearing guns and horsewhips.  When they reached their destination, the Rabbi’s beard was lit on fire, after which he was subjected to unimaginable torture and humiliation, dying on the same day like a martyr.

Regarding the instigation of the population to pogroms against the Jews, we reproduce a fragment from the report found in the Archives of the Military High Command, prepared by lieutenant colonel Al. Ionescu, chief of the Second Bureau:

“In reference to the execution of your telephone order received on 07/8/1941, I have the honor of submitting the attached plan.  We have implemented this plan beginning July the 9th.  The mission of these teams is to create an atmosphere unfavorable to the Judaic element in villages, so that the population itself strives to remove this element, using the means most suitable to their circumstances.  Upon arrival of the Romanian troops, this atmosphere should be already present and should lead to action.”[13]

In this context, in Banila (on the banks of the river Siret), mayor Muscaliuc organized and led gangs of killers who committed numerous crimes against the Jews.  The Romanian priest Stefanovici refused to enter the church for liturgy.  He said to his parishioners:  “I’m ashamed to step inside the church, while my co-believers lend themselves to crimes.  Ashamed.”

Gangs of Romanians and Ukrainians organized crimes and robberies in the village of Milie next to Vijitza, in Stanestii de Jos from the district of Storojinetz, in the townships of Sadagura, Siret and Seletin, in Lipscani and Briceva, and many other localities in Basarabia and Bucovina.  Thousands of Jews were savagely murdered with shovels and axes, cut apart with saws, or killed in other barbarous ways.

In Hertza – according to the testimony of witness Dr. Liviu Beris, currently residing in Bucharest – after the arrival of Romanian troops on the morning of July 5, 1941, the roughly 1,800 Jews left in the city are rounded up brutally in four synagogues and two dungeons.  The homes of the Jews are plundered and young Jewish girls are raped by the militaries.  The city takes on a pathetic aspect of doom and disaster, with furniture and other objects tossed out in the streets, with broken doors and windows.

The newly appointed administration prepares lists of suspects, who are picked up from their places of detention and marched in a convoy to be executed.

In these convoys there were elders, children, and women holding babies in their arms.

About 100 Jews were taken to the Kislinger mill (next to the little river running through town), and other 32 were taken to Chirulescu’s garden.  The Jews were made to dig their own graves, and then executed by shooting.  All Jews from the villages around Hertza were assassinated.”

Within a short time of the onset of the war, a large number of Jews from Basarabia were dispatched by the Romanian troops beyond the Dniester.  The German troops however sent these Jews back, since they were hindering the movement of the German army in its ongoing offensive.  In this peregrination, thousands of Jews were shot or perished due to exhaustion.

The instructions given by Mihai Antonescu (ad-interim president of the government) during the Council of Ministers’ session from July 8, 1941, regarding the attitude of the army towards the Jewish population of Basarabia and Bucovina, are frighteningly clear:

“It is indifferent to me whether history will regard us as barbarians…  Let’s take advantage of this historic moment and cleanse the Romanian soil…  If necessary, fire the machine-guns…  I formally assume responsibility and declare that there is no law…  For two-three weeks I won’t make any law for Basarabia and Bucovina…  So therefore, without forms, with total liberty.”[14]

After the initial terror waned,  the Jews still alive across Basarabia, Bucovina and the land of Hertza were gathered and confined to transit camps and ghettos.

The largest transit camps were organized in Secureni, Edinetz, Vertujeni and Marculesti, and the largest ghettoes in Chisinau and Cernauti.

In these camps and ghettoes numerous Jews died as a result of misery, disease and starvation, and thousands of Jews were taken to various work sites and then shot.

According to a statistical calculation by the well-known historian Dinu C. Giurescu, between the onset of the war and the date of September 1, 1941, a total of 19,419 Jews disappeared in this region.[15] 

The balance performed by the author indicates a figure of roughly 55,000 Jews who disappeared during this time period.[16]

At the beginning of September 1941, the Antonescu government takes the decision to deport beyond the Dniester all surviving Jews from Basarabia, Bucovina and the land of Hertza, as well as those from Southern Bucovina and the district of Dorohoi.

In contrast to the chaotic deportation of July 1941, the deportations in the fall of 1941, beginning with the month of September, proceeded systematically across the various deportation centers (transit camps and ghettos), itineraries and crossing points of the Dniester, and involved almost the entire Jewish population from the northeastern territories of Romania.

 

 

 

 

IV.        THE DEPORTATION OF THE ROMANIAN JEWS TO TRANSNISTRIA

 

For the Antonescu government, the deportation of the Jews from Basarabia, Bucovina and the district of Dorohoi had the sole purpose of ethnic cleansing by forced expulsion of the Jewish element from these territories. 

During the session of the Ministers’ Council from July 8, 1941[17], Mihai Antonescu declared among others:

“… … I am in favor of the forced migration of the entire Jewish element from Basarabia and Bucovina, which must be tossed over the border.

… … I don’t know how many more centuries could go by before the Romanian people encountered once again such total liberty of action, with the possibility of ethnic purification and national revision…”

The mass-deportation of the Jews from Basarabia, Bucovina and the district of Dorohoi took place in the period September – November 1941.  In 1942, another roughly 4,000 Jews were deported from the ghetto of Cernauti, another group of 450 Jews from Dorohoi, and several thousand from the Old Kingdom.

 

 

1.              The Deportation of the Jews from Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza

 

Based on the order received from the Grand Praetor’s service, the Gendarme Inspectorate of Basarabia elaborated instructions regarding the deportation of the Jews from Basarabia.

According to these instructions, approved by the Grand Praetor, “the evacuation of the 22,150 Jews from the camps of Vertujeni-Soroca would begin on the 12th of September, 1941, at 8 o’clock precisely, in order for them to be transported across the Dniester into the Ukraine.”

The deportation proceeded on two itineraries:  One to the north through Cremenea, Gura Camenca, Soroca, Cosauti, and the second one through Telemeuti, Vascauti, Cusmirca, Mateuti, Rezina.

At the beginning of October, the deportation continued with the Jews from the camps of Edinetz and Secureni.  Part of the convoys from these camps crossed the Dniester at Atachi.

The camp at Marculesti was transformed into a gathering point for some of the convoys arriving from Bucovina and from other camps, which were intended to cross the Dniester at Rezina.

We have to mention that the Jews deported from this region were marched on foot, during harsh weather conditions (rain, cold and sometimes snow).  Many were only dressed in light clothes, and were deprived of any supplies whatsoever, during a trip lasting at least 6-8 days.

During this journey, the Jews were robbed of their belongings, beaten, driven like cattle, and the ones unable to keep up with the  were shot.

Investigation report nr. 2 of the Committee instituted per Marshal Antonescu’s order shows literally that lieutenant Rosca Augustin, entrusted with the evacuation of the Jews, reported that “by order of the High Command, the Jews who couldn’t keep up with the , be it out of weakness or disease, should be executed.”  In view of this, a hole was to be dug every 10 kilometers, capable of holding roughly 100 persons, where the ones lagging behind the s were to be assembled and shot.  Lieutenant Rosca A.  declared before the committee that he carried out his orders to the letter, which resulted in the shooting of roughly 500 Jews from the convoys evacuated on the route Secureni – Cosauti.[18]

Incredible scenes took place during this deportation journey.  Some of the gendarmes sold to the local peasants the corpses of the victims who had been shot, for the clothes they had on them.  After undressing the corpses, the peasants would throw them on the side of the roads.  All across, the region offered such infernal views.

Witness Dr. Liviu Beris describes the deportation of the Jews from the transit camp of Edinetz into Transnistria as follows:

“That autumn we continued on, we were marched towards the Dniester.  Then the rains started, and the mud barely allowed one to walk.  Some were lagging behind, and the ones lagging behind a lot were shot.  These eyes looking at you now saw how those people were being shot.

The most horrible scene was that of an old man who stopped to empty his bladder, was shot and then immediately stripped of his clothes by some peasants waiting on the side of the road.  It was a scene which unfortunately repeated itself, and which often keeps me awake at night.

After reaching the county of Corbu, not far away from the Dniester’s shores, we camped out on a hill overnight – wet to the bone, beaten up and exhausted as we were, in the deepest misery.  Overnight the frost settled in, and we all knew we couldn’t afford to fall asleep, or else we’ll freeze to death.  I didn’t fall asleep, but in the morning, I can still see the boots of the gendarmes kicking at the ones who could no longer stand up, I can still see the terrified eyes of those around me and the rifle butts crashing down.  They were left on that hill inert, passed into a land of shadows, very many, I cannot tell you their names, but there were many.”

During the month of October, the Jews in the large ghettos of Cernauti and Chisinau were also deported.

In Cernauti, the number of the Jews was about 50,000.

Due to the efforts of Traian Popovici (the mayor of the city) and his collaborators, on the date of October the 15th, Marshal Antonescu’s approval was obtained for 20,000 Jews to be exempted from the deportation, due to the fact they were needed for the economical activity of the city.

This is how the ex-mayor describes the deportation of the balance of over 30,000 Jews who were forced to become homeless wanderers:

“Heart wrenching scenes took place on the embarkation ramp and upon departure of the trains.  The separation of members of the same family, children leaving and parents staying behind or vice-versa, the separation of brothers and sisters, or even spouses, filled the air with wailing and touched even the coldest hearts.

It was a separation forever – the departure of some for suffering and death, while others stayed behind in slavery and pain.

The dispossession of the deportees of all their residual belongings at the gathering points, the confiscation and destruction of their documents so that their trail would be lost, their transport across the Dniester in ferryboats, the marches on foot through wind, rain, mud and snow, barefoot and starving, are pages of Dantesque tragedy and apocalyptic savagery.  In one of the transports, out of 60 infants, only one survived.  Exhausted, the ones lagging behind were abandoned to die on the side of the roads, prey to destiny, vultures and dogs.”[19]

In Chisinau, the fate of the Jews was likewise unforgiving.

At the census of 1930, the city counted 41,405 Jews, representing 36% of the total population.  According to certain authors, the number of Jews in Chisinau around the time of the war had reached over 50,000 inhabitants.

After the onset of the war, the city was bombed by German airplanes, making numerous victims, among which many Jews.

Because of the bombardments and the ensuing chaos, many Jews ran away in horse carts or on foot, heading towards the Dniester.

A large part of these were killed in the frontline fire, or caught by the German and Romanian troops and shot by special territory-cleansing units.

The Romanian army entered Chisinau on July 16, 141.  The Jews remaining in town were robbed of their belongings, and part of them were assassinated.

As events started winding down, some of the former fugitives returned to Chisinau, such that the total number of Jews in the city now exceeded 11,000.

On July 24, 1941, by order of governor Voiculescu, the ghetto of Chisinau was founded.

For more than 2 months, prior to their deportation, the Jews in the ghetto of Chisinau were subject to terror, assassination and robbery.

Hundreds of men and women were sent to various work sites (Visterniceni, Ghidighici, etc), where most were shot by Romanian and German militaries after the completion of their labor. 

In the ghetto, many Jews succumbed to the inhuman living conditions, dying of disease or starvation.

Although Jews were brought in from neighboring localities as well, the total population decreased due to the large number of victims.

The deportation of the Jews from the Chisinau ghetto started on October the 8th, 1941, with most of the convoys crossing the Dniester at Rezina.

After an interruption of several days, the deportations resumed on October 14, and concluded on October 30, 1941.

All in all, roughly 10,000 Jews were deported from the ghetto of Chisinau, many of which met their death before crossing the Dniester.

On November the 14th, 1941, colonel Dumitrescu sent to the governor of Basarabia two lists of Jews, counting 44 and respectively 16 persons, which were to be exempted from deportation.  These included ex-members of the local Parliament which proclaimed the Unification with Romania in 1918, invalids and ex-combatants in the first World War, as well as Jews married to Christian spouses.

The petition was rejected, with the mention that in Basarabia the Jewish problem would be solved by deporting all Jews.

When deportations concluded, there were 16,794 Jews in Cernauti, 60 in Storojinetz and 227 in Basarabia who escaped deportation[20].

In July 1942, another roughly 4,000 Jews were deported from Cernauti.

All in all, 113,000 Jews were deported from Basarabia, Bucovina and Hertza into Transnistria.[21]

 

2.              The deportation of the Jews from Southern Bucovina

 

As deportations proceeded in Basarabia, Bucovina and the land of Hertza, the Antonescu government decided to start deporting the Jews of Southern Bucovina as well (the former districts of Suceava, Campulung and Radauti), beginning October the 9th, 1941.

It must be noted that the population in these districts was never under Russian or Soviet occupation.

The deportation started in the district of Suceava.  As mentioned in the directives of the city hall, the Jewish population from the counties of Itcani and Burdujeni, as well as from the city of Suceava (the first deportation lot), “will be present on the military ramp of the railway station Burdujeni on the day of October 9, 1941, 16.00 hours.  Each Jewish inhabitant may take with him warm garments, clothing and footwear, as well as food for as many days as possible, not to exceed the amount that each one can carry on himself.”

In this ordinance, it is also shown that prior to departure, the head of each family was supposed to put together an inventory of the goods he was leaving in the city of Suceava.

The house keys and this inventory were supposed to be placed in an envelope and handed over to a commission in the railway station Burdujeni.

As indicated by Dr. Meier Tech, the president of the community of Jews from Suceava, the deportees were put in dirty cattle cars, which were crowded beyond capacity.

Per order of colonel Zamfirescu, elders and people too sick for transport were brought to the railway station as well, wrapped in sheets and without any luggage.

Chief physician Dr. Bona kicked all Jewish patients out of the local hospital, even the ones in critical condition.  For instance, Isac Mayer, who had had his leg amputated, died one hour after the train’s departure, and 70 year-old Dr. Bernard Wagner (colleague of Dr. Bona), gravely ill at the time, died upon arrival in Moghilev.

On October the 10th, the second convoy leaves from Suceava and Gura Humorului, and the deportation continues until October the 13th, when the last trains carrying deportees from the districts of Radauti and Campulung leave for Transnistria.

After several days of travel, each deportee train reached the town of Atachi, on the banks of the Dniester, where chaos and despair ruled.

Here, many Jews were robbed of their belongings by the ones designated to coordinate the crossing of the Dniester.

Witness Friedrich Antschel, currently residing in Bucharest, describes his family’s deportation from Suceava:

“On October 9, 1941, the Jewish population of Suceava was notified, by drumbeat, of the order regarding evacuation and deportation.

I was deported with my family – father, mother and sister – on October the 11th, 1941, respectively with the 3rd transport.  We were shoved in dirty cattle cars, crowded in the utmost.

Among other deportees, Isac Tenenhaus was brought, who was suffering from typhoid fever and died right after we reached Moghilev.

On October the 13th we arrived in Atachi, where we found thousands of people without food and shelter.  The same day, a convoy from Edinetz (Basarabia) passed by – barefoot people, beaten up and starved.  After a thorough search by the gendarmes, our valuables were robbed and our group was escorted under tight guard across the Dniester, using rafts for transport.”

To fully describe the situation in Atachi, we quote below an extract from the letter of Mr. Isidor Pressmer, president of the Jewish community in Radauti, written on October the 22nd, 1941 and addressed to Dr. W. Filderman, president of the Federation of Jewish Community Unions in Romania:

“You are of course informed… that we have all been brought here to be transported over the Dniester and sent somewhere in the Ukraine, aimlessly and without a destination.

The majority of the ones crossing the Dniester are left homeless, under the open sky, in rain, cold and mud.  A small contingent of people is still here in Atachi.  Hundreds of persons have already died here, many more are on the point of dying, and others have committed suicide.

One thing is for certain.  If we are not promptly saved, none of these unfortunates will survive.  In our estimate, there are roughly 25,000 souls which are currently either in route for the Ukraine, or at Moghilev, or still here at Atachi.”

The statistical data available indicate that 23,800 Jews were deported from Southern Bucovina.  Only 179 were left behind, deemed to be indispensable for the economy of the region.[22]

 

 

3.              The deportation of the Jews from the district of Dorohoi

 

On November the 5th, 1941, the authorities inform the Jewish population of the city of Dorohoi that they will be evacuated to Transnistria.

At this time, the city of Dorohoi also included the entire Jewish population previously evacuated from other localities of the district (Darabani, Mihaileni, Radauti-Prut, etc.), such that the total Jewish population of the city prior to evacuation counted roughly 12,000 people.

The deportation started on November 7, 1941, and took place under the same conditions as in Southern Bucovina.

The first to be deported were the Jews of Darabani, who, having been evacuated from their little town back in June, were dressed lightly, in summer clothes, and had only limited luggage.

On November the 8th, the Jews from Saveni and Mihaileni were deported under similar conditions.

The deportation of the Jews native to the city of Dorohoi took place on the days of November 12 and 13, 1941.

Although the district of Dorohoi belonged to the Old Kingdom, it was assigned to the jurisdiction of Bucovina according to an arbitrary administrative decision, wherefrom stemmed the calamities which struck the Jewish population of this district.

Among the Jews deported from the district of Dorohoi, there were many war veterans, invalids, war widows and orphans.  Also among the deportees were the wives and children of Jews concentrated in forced labor detachments in other parts of the country.

Due to the intervention of the Community of Jew in Bucharest and the personal intervention of Dr. W. Filderman, the government dispatches an order to stop the deportation.

According to declarations of several public functionaries of the time, this order was initially hidden by the authorities of the district of Dorohoi, and registered only after departure of the deportee train that day, to take effect starting November 14, 1941.

Among the anti-Semitic personalities of the district of Dorohoi who insisted that the Jews be deported and petitioned the authorities in Bucharest in this sense, are colonel Barcan (prefect of the city), engineer Jean Pascu (the mayor of the city), pharmacist Gheorghe Timus (president of the triage commission), Dr. Felix Nadejde (surgeon general of the district), counselor Adam and others.

At the railway station, prior to boarding the train, the deportees were searched and part of their belongings were confiscated.

The railcars were locked and guarded by gendarmes for the entire duration of the journey.  The deportees had to empty their bladder and bowels inside the railcars.

Since part of the elders froze to death underway, future transports were equipped with shovels and hatchets for burying the dead.

In the railway station in Cernauti, a young Jewish man who broke the door of the train car and tried to descend to get some water was shot by the gendarmes.

Upon their arrival in Atachi, by the Dniester, the Jews were disembarked from the trains and allowed to take with them only the items they could carry in their hands.  The rest of their belongings left on the trains were pillaged.

The Dniester was crossed by ferry, since the bridge had been destroyed by the war.

Beyond the Dniester was the town of Moghilev.  Some deportees stayed in Moghilev; the most, however, were marched on foot, in convoys, to various localities of Transnistria.

The Jewish men previously deployed in forced labor detachments found their houses empty upon their return to Dorohoi in December 1941.  Their wives and children had been deported to Transnistria.

They solicited, in a petition addressed to Marshal Antonescu and to the government, to have their families brought back to Dorohoi.

The resolution on this petition reflects the politics of ethnic purification exercised by the Romanian authorities:  “The Jews should follow their evacuated families”, in other words, they should be deported to Transnistria.

The Central of the Jews in Romania put together a dossier, containing the names of those deployed in forced labor detachments while their families were deported to Transnistria.

This dossier contained 818 men, who during the deportation of their families had been working in various detachments such as Braila dam constructions, Lipcani embankment and bridge, Zvoristea, Craiova, Bucharest, Serpenitza, Battalion 7 Edinitza, and Confections Iasi.

Next year, on June 14, 1942, a new lot of 450 people was deported from Dorohoi – largely Jewish men from forced labor detachments whose families had been deported in November 1941.  The fate of these last deportees was exceptionally tragic.

Their train pulled in Serebria (near Moghilev) on the day of June 20, 1942, but they were not allowed to descend from the train.  However, it was granted for their families from Moghilev to join them on their continuing journey towards the river Bug, the convoy thus growing to 950 people.

On the 3rd of July, the convoy reached Oleanitza, Tulcin district, from where they were sent to the stone quarries of Ladijin, on the banks of the Bug.

In August of 1942, at the request of the German organization Todt, colonel Loghin, prefect of the Tulcin district, sent 3,000 Jews across the Bug, among which the Jews from Dorohoi.  These Jews were assigned to the concentration camp of Tarasivka, used for various exhausting labor chores, and gradually killed by the criminals.

On December the 10th, 1943, the last survivors from this group were shot by the Germans and thrown into a common grave.  Out of the 450 Jews deported in June 1942, only about 50 Jews from Dorohoi survived, managing to flee from the camp.

Altogether, there were roughly 10,000 Jews deported to Transnistria from the district of Dorohoi (not including the land of Hertza).[23]

It must be pointed out that during the deportations in the fall of 1941, according to the secrete note nr. 8597 from October the 5th, 1941, sent by the chief of the Military Cabinet to the governors of Bucovina and Basarabia, all Jews were obliged to deposit in the National Bank the foreign currency they owned, as well as their gold, jewelry, valuable metals and money in domestic currency.

They received in exchange, at an utterly unfavorable rate, German occupation marks (Kassenscheine), a powerless coin which was generally refused by the local population in Transnistria.

 

 

4.              The deportation in 1942 of certain categories of Jews from the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania

 

In 1942, the Antonescu government decides that Jews suspected of having left-wing political convictions were to be deported to Transnistria.

As such, 407 Jews were deported from the Tirgu Jiu camp, 85 from various penitentiaries, and 554 who had retained their freedom up to this point, but were suspected of sympathizing or being connected to left-wing parties or organizations.  Also, 578 Jews who in 1940 requested to be repatriated to Basarabia are being deported at this time.  On September the 22nd, 1942, this last group reached Mostovoi, Berezovka district.  Here, the majority were handed over to the Germans, and shot by the SS troops in this locality.  Only 16 deportees escaped and returned to Romania at the end of 1943.

During the same timeframe, hundreds of Jews are being deported in multiple convoys, allegedly for being absent from mandatory labor assignments. Jews accused of various delinquent acts share the same fate.

Also, 1,500 Jews from the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania were deployed to  Transnistria for forced labor, in the well-known Battalion 120 Balta, which functioned for almost two years.

Altogether, roughly 4,000 Jews were deported from the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania into Transnistria.[24]  The deportation of the Jews from the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania was curtailed due to the resolute intervention of the Queen-Mother, Elena.

According to the report of SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Richter, the physician Victor Gomoiu, after witnessing how the deportation of the Jews from Bucharest into Transnistria was being carried out, reported his experience to Queen-Mother Elena.

The Queen-Mother relayed to King Mihai she considers the hardship inflicted on these people a national shame which she cannot tolerate any further, and as such requests him to intervene.

Without delay, the king called his ad-interim prime minister Mihai Antonescu, who summoned a Meeting of the Counsel of Ministers as a result.

An important role was also played by Bishop N. Balan of Sibiu, who in the presence of Chief Rabbi Al. Safran, telephoned Mihai Antonescu and asked him to stop the deportations to Transnistria.

The role played by this great servant of church and justice is even more important, as he directly appealed to Marshal Antonescu to prevent the deportations of Jews from the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania into the German concentration camps in Poland.

On October 15, 1942, the Counsel of Ministers announces their decision to cease deportations to Transnistria, pending the creation of an institution for the organization of this action.  Thereafter, deportations to Transnistria still occurred, however sporadic and  insignificant as far as numbers are concerned.

 

 

5.              The total number of Romanian Jews deported to Transnistria

 

In Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza, the total number of Jews before the deportation, as shown by the census undertaken by the Romanian authorities at the end of August and beginning of September 1941 (i.e., after the massacres committed during the liberation of these territories), was roughly 126,434 souls.  If we add to this number the roughly 24,000 Jews living in Southern Bucovina, and the roughly 12,000 Jews from the district of Dorohoi (Hertza excluded), it follows that prior to the massive deportations in the fall of 1941, the total number of Jews was 162,434 souls.

According to an ulterior census of the Jewish population in May 1942, there were 19,576 Jews remaining in this region at this time (227 in Basarabia, 16,854 in Northern Bucovina, 179 in Southern Bucovina and 2,316 in the district of Dorohoi).

It follows that the total number of Jews deported to Transnistria in the fall of 1941 was of 142,858 persons.

To this figure, one must add the Jews deported in 1942 – respectively 4,000 from Cernauti (deported between June 7 and June 28, 1942), 450 from the district of Dorohoi (deported on June the 14th, 1942), and 3,968 from the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania.

Hence, the total number of Jews deported to Transnistria comes to 151,276 persons.[25]

This figure includes the ones who were shot or died underway.

There are several takes regarding the total number of Jews deported to Transnistria:

According to a report released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 1943, the total number of the ones deported to Transnistria was supposed to be 110,033 souls.  This figure, as pointed out by researcher M. Carp, is incomplete, not including all Jews deported in the fall of 1941 and in 1942.

Conversely, an article published by the newspaper “Bukarester Tagsblatt” (nr. 4700 from August 1942) indicates that 185,000 Jews were deported to Transnistria, a figure adopted by certain Jewish researchers as well.

I consider this figure to be exaggerated, merely representing the subjective impression of a reporter and uncorrelated with the number of Jews living prior to the deportation in the areas affected by massive evacuations of Jewish population.

It can therefore be considered that the real figure, supported by statistical data, is of roughly 150,000 Jews deported from Romania to Transnistria.

 

 

 

 

V.             TRANSNISTRIA – A PLACE OF SUFFERANCE AND DEATH

 

 

On August 19, 1941, a pact is signed at Tighina between Germany and Romania, by which the territory between the Dniester and Bug is entrusted to Romanian authority.  As a result, on October the 17th, 1941, the Romanian government officially proclaims the province of “Transnistria”, with capital city Odessa.

This territory, stretching from Nikolaev to the Black Sea along the river Bug, passing through Voznesensk, Konstantinovka, Govoron and Bar, up to Moghilev on the Dniester, had a surface area of 41.4 square kilometers (comparable to the surface area of Oltenia and Banat together), and a population of 2.2 million people, in their majority Ukrainians and Russians.[26]

Note is being made that before the war, there were 200,000 Romanians and 300,000 Jews living in Transnistria.  (Transnistria of 1941 must not be confused with today’s Transnistria, an integral part of the Republic of Moldova, formed by a narrow strip of land along the Dniester, from Tiraspol to Rabnitza).

From an administrative standpoint, Transnistria included 13 districts:

To the north, the districts of Moghilev, Tulcin and Iugastru.

In the center, the districts of Balta, Golta, Ananiev, Dubasari, Rabnitza.

To the south, the districts of Berezovka, Tiraspol, Ovidiopol, Oceakov and Odessa.

In view of ethnic purification of Romania, the Antonescu government designates Transnistria as the place where the Romanian Jews were to be deported.

According to a deliberate and well-organized program, this region was transformed into an immense concentration camp for the extermination of tens of thousands Jews.

Prof. Gh. Alexianu, who was named governor of Transnistria, carried out these politics to the letter.

The Jews deported from Romania were placed in fairly compact groups in the districts of Moghilev, Balta, Tulcin and Golta, being forced to live in ghettos, work colonies and concentration camps.

The largest ghettos were constituted in the localities of Moghilev, Lucinetz, Copaigorod, Murafa, Shargorod, Djurin (Moghilev district), Obodovca and Bershad (Balta district), Nesterovka (Tulcin district), and others.

The authorities didn’t provide even the most basic survival conditions.  The majority of deportees were afflicted by hunger, cold and disease, being cramped in common housing with the local Jews, in homes which couldn’t accommodate all deportees.  Tiny rooms would serve as shelter to 8-10 people.  Others would live in synagogues, various depots, barracks, pig stalls and other improvised housing.

In order to procure food, the majority sold their last belongings to the Ukrainians.  Many became beggars, while others subsisted on potato peels and other household leftovers.

The winter of 1941-1942 was especially harsh.  Extremely low temperatures, inhuman living conditions, starvation and diseases made thousands and thousands of victims, primarily elders and children.  The dead were collected and thrown into common graves, without their heirs ever knowing their burial place.

Due to the misery reigning in the ghettos, a devastating typhus epidemic broke out.  Many Jewish doctors, among others, died while trying to contain this epidemic.

Most families paid a heavy casualty tribute, and many were extinguished altogether.

Ruth Glasberg lives currently in the USA, in the city of Miami, Florida.

In November 1941, at the age of 11, she was deported by the Romanian authorities from Cernauti to Transnistria, along with her parents and older brother.

After they were transported by train, in cattle cars, to the transit camp Marculesti in Basarabia, they had to endure a torturous journey on foot for two weeks, during an early winter, to the ghetto of Bershad in the district Balta, close to the river Bug.

Many sick or exhausted people, who couldn’t keep pace with the convoy, were shot underway by the gendarmes accompanying the transport.

Below is a summary of this witness’ description of the ordeal she endured in this ghetto:

“Bershad was the largest and most ill-famed among the ghettos and concentration camps of Transnistria, the number of which exceeded one hundred.  In a short time, it earned the reputation of having the toughest conditions, the largest number of victims, and the most sadistic administrator, Florin Ghinararu. 

My family was obliged to occupy the rear room of a partially demolished house.

Even the most vivid imagination would have difficulty visualizing the inhuman conditions we found ourselves in.

There were twenty people cramped in a tiny room of a house which was half-destroyed, with roof portions missing, without doors or windows.

Our sole comfort was a so-called fireplace called “trinicika”, improvised from two bricks laying on the ground, approximately half a meter apart, in between which we would light a fire.

Apart from the terrible frost and the exhaustion caused by two weeks of marching on foot, we were plagued by famine.

Slowly, silently, one after the other, the ones around us were dying.

Days in a row, their lifeless bodies would remain with us, until the buriers arrived to pick them up.

The inhuman conditions we lived in were favorable to the outbreak of diseases.  Typhus was invading us at a frightening rate, becoming the number one killer, followed by starvation, dysentery, frostbite and periodic executions.

My father was an easy prey.  He died in silence, unnoticed, like a candle whose flame is extinguished, with his gentle expression forever frozen on his face.

Initially, as the mortality rate increased, the buriers were dropping by once every few days.  As time went by, however, it could take weeks before they showed up.  A part of the room became an improvised morgue, with cadavers from the entire house piled up next to the wall.

Waiting for the buriers became an obsession for the living.

Nobody accompanied the dead to their grave, nobody knew what happened to them once they left us.

Few among us had the physical strength to walk on foot behind the sled to the edge of town.

Nearly two weeks after my father’s death, my elder brother, who for days hadn’t uttered a word or shown any movement, passed into the beyond.

Day by day, mortality was rising in the house.  In our room, from the initial total of twenty, only four people survived at one month’s interval.

With an iron will, I struggled to stay awake for two weeks in a row to keep my mother alive.

In the fourteenth night of vigil, my will gave in and I fell asleep.

Wincing, I woke up and shook her, shouting:  Mother!  Mother!

Silence.  She had chosen to die the moment I stopped calling her and let her die in peace.

She used that moment to leave this insane world.

I felt a stab in the chest, as I realized I had become no one’s child.  There was no one left to love me unconditionally, there was no one left to care about me.  A sort of emptiness invaded my soul.

The 27th of January 1942 – At the age of eleven, I was alone in the world.”[27]

In ghettos, many Jews were shot by the gendarmes.

On March the 20th, 1942, six Jews heading towards Moghilev to search for their families were shot in the cemetery of Shargorod, by order of praetor Dindelegan.

In the ghetto of Bershad, the shooting of Jews on various grounds invented by the gendarmes was a current practice, and there are numerous such examples.

From the ghettos, a large number of Jews capable of physical labor were sent to various construction sites and subjected to a harsh regime of torturous labor, with entirely inadequate sustenance and living conditions.

The ones deployed to German work camps beyond the Bug were for the most part shot by the Germans after completing their work assignment.

In Transnistria, extermination camps were organized by the Antonescu government, the most notable being the ones at Peciora, Scazinetz, Vapniarca, Bogdanovka, Domanovka, Akmecetka, besides many others.

Among others, numerous Jews from the ghetto of Moghilev were deported to the camp of Peciora, also called “the death camp”.  This camp, located on the very banks of the Bug, was surrounded by three rows of barbwire and kept under tight guard.  Oftentimes, German trucks would cross the Bug to pick up prisoners from the camp and transport them to extermination sites.  The conditions in this camp were among the most barbarous.  As shown by M. Katz, ex president of the Jewish Committee of Moghilev, “the prisoners of this camp, deprived of the possibility of procuring sustenance, were feeding on human corpses.”

Numerous mothers, in order to save their children from starvation, would secretly cook cadaver meat in a sort of broth and feed it to their little ones, telling them this was beef.

The number of dead in this camp reached 80%, while the balance of 20% escaped by running away to various ghettos in other localities.

Bety Petrescu-Schechter from Dorohoi, (currently residing in Bucharest), was evacuated from Moghilev in October 1942, along with her mother, younger brother and other Jews from Dorohoi, to the camp of Peciora.

Below is the testimony of this surviving witness:

“There was no organization whatsoever in the camp.  The territory was surrounded by barbwire, and sentinels guarded it day and night, so that no one would escape from this hell.

There was nothing to sleep on, everyone tried to retrieve something they could lie on.  Some would sleep on cadavers that were waiting to be taken out the next day.

There was no way of procuring sustenance.  People were ragged, dirty and starved to death.  To keep alive, many would feed on the meat of cadavers lying around.

At nighttime, one could hear the desperate screams of inmates suffering horrible pains from starvation or other diseases ravaging the camp.

Sometimes Ukrainian peasants came by, and taking pity on us, threw over the fence various vegetable leftovers, which to us were veritable delicacies.

The situation was desperate and hopeless, each one of us awaiting his end.”

The camp at Peciora was among the few places in Europe where some of the Jews, desperate due to the famine they were subjected to, were forced to become cannibals.

The camp at Scazinetz was founded in the spring of 1942, and destined for Jews evacuated from the town of Moghilev.  During the months of May and June 1942, nearly 400 Jews from the town of Moghilev were brought to this camp.

The misery reigning here, unforgiving famine and diseases of all kinds, particularly scabies and dysentery, made hundreds of victims.

Some of the Jews were shot for trying to jump the barbwire fence surrounding the camp.

In the fall of 1942, the camp of Scazinetz was dismantled and the surviving Jews were marched on foot towards the Bug, to the villages of Voroshilovka, Tivrin and Crasna, where more than half of them died of hunger and disease.

The camp at Vapniarca was created for the imprisonment of those suspected of having connections with the socialists or communists, or those having left-wing ideological convictions.

Even though initially, in August of 1942, the camp had just 100 inmates, by the middle of September 1942 the number of inmates had risen to 1135,  and later it reached the figure of 1500.

The camp exhibited an utter lack of hygiene, the inmates were plagued by hunger and thirst, the sick were denied care, and some of the inmates were subjected to torture.

By order of the commander of the camp, colonel I. Murgescu, the inmates were fed almost exclusively bean feedstuff, which caused them to develop lathyrism[28].

In April 1942, a total of 427 Jews from this camp were sent to the districts of Balta and Golta to be used for labor.

After the camp at Vapniarca was dismantled, the remaining Jews were placed in the camps of Grosulovo and Slivina.

In the district of Golta, the well-known camps of Bogdanovka, Domanovka and Akmecetka were organized, containing for the most part native Ukrainian Jews and Basarabian Jews.

By order of Modest Isopescu, prefect of the Golta district, tens of thousands of Jews were massacred in these camps between December 1941 and February 1942 by Romanian gendarmes and Ukrainian police officers of German ethnicity, enrolled in the SS troops.

The sick and the invalid were put in stables which were set on fire; the rest of the inmates were massacred in groups of three to four hundred, using explosive cartridges to accomplish the task.  The cadavers of those shot were burned, an operation which lasted almost two months and was executed by a group of roughly 200 other Jews.

Esther Golbelman, a native of Chisinau, is among the 120 survivors from a total of roughly 60,000 Jews deported to Bogdanovka by the Antonescu regime.

After exhausting peregrinations through various camps in Transnistria, she arrived at Bogdanovka, along with her mother, an older brother and a twin brother, at the end of November 1941.

Presented below are fragments from the testimony of this survivor:

“What was Bogdanovka?  Under Soviet rule, it was a “model” sovhoz which was raising pigs.  Now, the pigs were gone, and the empty barracks, without doors or windows, were awaiting the Jews.  It was cold – an early winter brought frost and blizzard.  Underway, we were stepping over human bodies who had succumbed to cold and exhaustion.  At Bogdanovka, removal from the barracks of those who had died overnight was a daily routine.  Again the ground was paved with cadavers.  The Ukrainians could barely wait for the bodies of the dead to be thrown out of the yard of the sovhoz.  They darted upon them like vultures, to strip them of their clothes.  The more desirable clothing items were taken by Romanian soldiers, the rags were left for the Ukrainians.

…On the morning of December 21, 1941, a harsh winter day, we heard the sound of shooting.  In our barrack, no one knew where they came from.  Who was shooting, at whom..

About an hour later, our buildings were surrounded by Ukrainian policemen and Romanian soldiers.  Up on the hill, several Romanian and German officers were watching us, carrying on a heated debate about the orders to be given.

From every barrack, people were being chased out in the open.  The plaza adjacent to the lower buildings of the sovhoz appeared dark with people.

From up the hill – where the pigsties housing tens of thousands of Jews were located – smoke was rising.  Nobody knew anything.

On December 22 we remained locked in our barracks.  The killers were busy with the Jews up on the hill, in the pigsties.  About 2,000 people were killed each day: women, men, elders.  They no longer bothered to shoot the children, they were throwing them alive into the ditch, over the fire.  The adults were being killed by shooting.  Ukrainian policemen and Romanian gendarmes stood at the edge of the ditch, taking turns at shooting.  Groups of eight officers would relieve the previous eight, exhausted from all that shooting…

Teams of Jews would strip the dead and push them into the ditch behind the little forest, next to the banks of the Bug.  Their bodies would drop into the fire lit at the bottom of the ditch.  Previously, the Romanian soldiers had ordered the Jews to gather dry sticks, logs and tree trunks.  They sprinkled gasoline over this layer and set it on fire.  The bodies of the Jews killed up there, on the edge of the ditch, were thrown into those flames.  Therefore the smoke!

Up there, at Bogdanovka, Jews were killed until the 25th of December.  It was Christmas day.  The Romanian soldiers went on a drinking spree.  The Ukrainians were firing their rifles at random, a few bullets here and there, for the sole purpose of scaring the surviving kikes…

The killers’ “vacation” lasted until January 7 or 8, 1942.  In the interim, many of those in the barracks died of famine, cold and exhaustion.

On January the 18th or maybe the 20th, 1942, an order came in from the Romanian Command to stop the killings.

In the ditch next to the Bug the cadavers of the killed Jews were still smoldering…  One hundred twenty of us were left alive…

After the war, a trial took place at Domanovka, where a few dozen Ukrainian policemen, in their majority of German origin, were tried as war criminals.

I traveled to Domanovka to witness the trial.  I recognized the greater part of those who had been the killers of Bogdanovka.  Absent, of course, from the bench of the accused were the Romanian officers and gendarmes, and the German officers.”

………………………………………………………………………………………

 

Those tried at Domanovka for war crimes were sentenced to death by the Soviet Tribunal.  The sentence was executed.

A few years ago, before immigrating to Israel, I returned once more to Bogdanovka.  I felt the need to revisit the places where my loved ones had been killed.

I went into shock.  The ditch was still there.  From beneath the bushes, along the abrupt banks, bones were sticking out from the earth – the bones of those who had been killed.  White, clean, washed by rains and snow, dried by wind and sun.  I cried bitterly.

The soil of Bogdanovka is soaked with blood, the blood of our Jewish brothers.  A few of us are still alive…  Shortly, the veil of oblivion will envelop these martyrs, assassinated for the sole “fault” of being born Jewish…  And maybe tomorrow, in this insane world, women will bear and raise children who may become ferocious assassins or innocent victims.

It all depends on the demon or angel in our souls.

But also on the education we receive…”[29]

 

 

 

There have been instances where Romanian officers and soldiers helped Jews deported to Transnistria, saving their lives.

This is the case of lieutenant Ioan D. Popescu, quaestor of the city of Tiraspol, who on the evening of August the 18th received the order to machinegun roughly 4,300 Jews, gathered in barracks.

At the risk of loosing his life, the lieutenant refused to execute this diabolical order, and the life of these innocent was thus saved.[30]

Major Orasanu of the gendarme legion Moghilev, hearing about the desperate predicament of the Jews in the camp at Capusterna (living in cattle stables and pigsties of a former colhoz), traveled in person to that location and ordered the camp to be dismantled, and the Jews to be housed in the homes of local Ukrainian peasants, thus saving the 347 Jews who were still alive at that time.

After numerous insistent interventions, especially from the Queen-Mother Elena and other Romanian personalities, the Antonescu government agreed to send humanitarian aids to the Jews deported to Transnistria.

As such, under the direct leadership of Dr. Alexandru Safran, the Great Rabbi of Romania, along with other personalities (Jews and non-Jews), an important relief action was organized to assist the deportees.

Collective and individual monetary aids, food supplies, medication, clothing items and footwear, etc., were shipped to Transnistria despite all obstacles and difficulties.

These items eased the suffering of the deported Jews and oftentimes saved human lives.

In Transnistria, thousands of orphans were left homeless, starving and doomed to perdition.

The aid sent from inside the country made it possible to organize orphanages, where a large part of these orphans were gathered and thus saved.

Monetary aid was sent by the Jews left inside the country through various Christian local inhabitants, citizens of great integrity, who risked their life and liberty to help the Jews through their ordeal in Transnistria.

This was the case of lieutenant junior Vlad Beiu and adjutant Petru Muraru.  The latter, upon his return to Dorohoi, was denounced, tried and convicted.

Also from the district of Dorohoi, we must mention the lawyer Panait Panaitescu, who, using his role as an officer in army reserves, brought money and food to the Jews in Moghilev, being seconded in his entire activity by the grammar-school teacher Nae Nemteanu.

Colonel Alex. Marino went of his own initiative to the ghetto of Moghilev, where he distributed to Jews known and unknown to him large sums of money from his own pocket, and such cases have been numerous.

In the latter half of 1943, as the Antonescu government realized the war was lost, it started negotiations with the Central of the Jews of Romania and other Jewish leaders, regarding the repatriation of certain categories of deportees.

As a result of these difficult negotiations, the surviving Jews of Dorohoi (over 6,000 persons), roughly 1,850 orphaned children and several thousand Jews from the Old Kingdom – altogether 10,000 to 12,000 people – were repatriated at the end of 1943 and beginning of 1944.

The balance of over 50,000 survivors remaining in Transnistria were liberated by the Soviet troops after March 20, 1944, and arrived home over the following months, traveling in the harsh conditions of the front.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How many Romanian Jews (form the former Unified Romania) disappeared in Transnistria?

 

 

According to a report prepared by the Ministry of Internal Affairs based on the registry of the General Gendarmerie Inspectorate for the respective districts and localities, at the beginning of September 1943 there were 50,741 surviving Jews in Transnistria (among which 13,980 Jews from Basarabia and 36,761 from Bucovina).[31]

Colonel Radulescu’s population census shows 61,000 survivors.  Dr. W. Filderman, on the other hand, indicates roughly 70,000 surviving Jews, and the report of I. Stanculescu 75,000.[32]

One can therefore presume there were roughly 60,000 – 70,000 surviving Jews by the end of the year 1943.

It follows that, from the total of 150,000 deported Jews, roughly 80,000 – 90,000 were exterminated in Transnistria.

This number includes the Jews who were killed or died during the journey, which rises to at least 5,000 victims.

The extermination percentage of the deported Jews was 54-60%.

The highest extermination degree was registered among Basarabian Jews (roughly 90%), followed by that of Dorohoian Jews (almost 50%).  The extermination percentage of Bucovinian Jews was between 35 and 40%.

 

 

 

 

 

VI.        THE FATE OF THE NATIVE UKRAINIAN JEWS

 

 

As Transnistria changed over to Romanian administration (according to the pact of Tighina from August 19, 1941), the Romanian authorities took over a large number of local Ukrainian Jews.  Prior to the war, there were roughly 300,000 native Ukrainian Jews living in this region, from which 153,194 in Odessa (according to the Soviet population census of 1926).  After the onset of the war, more than half of these withdrew along with the Soviet authorities (including the Jews enrolled in the Soviet army), others disappeared during the long siege of the city, or were killed by German troops of territorial cleansing (Einsatzgruppe D).  From the available data, it follows that the Romanian authorities took over roughly 135,000 local Ukrainian Jews.[33]

Odessa fell on October 16, 1941, after a prolonged siege.

The exact number of Jews from Odessa taken over by the Romanian authorities is unknown.  This number is estimated to be around 80,000 souls.  Among these, there was a significant number of Jewish refugees from Basarabia.

On October the 22nd, 1941, 17.45 hours, there was an explosion in the building containing the ex-Headquarters of the NKVD, which now served as Headquarters for the Romanian Military Command in Odessa.  Due to the highly violent explosion, the building collapsed, killing Romanian and German militaries and civil population.

The published data show that a general lost his life in this explosion, along with 16 officers, 35 soldiers and 9 junior officers and clerks – altogether 61 persons.

It is presumable that such a massive explosive charge, with delayed detonation, could only have been installed by highly skilled Soviet technicians.

The Romanian authorities reacted quite violently, unleashing reprisals against the local population and primarily against the Jews.  These reprisals were carried out without ever determining the perpetrators of the explosion.

As a result, thousands of Jews are hung in public places or shot without discernment and without trial.

In Bucharest, the gravest order of the entire governing period of Marshal Ion Antonescu (registered as nr. 563/October 24, 1941), is being issued and sent out:

“To the attention of General Macici:

As retaliation, Marshal Antonescu orders:

1.   The execution of all Basarabian Jewish refugees in Odessa.

2.   All individuals not executed as yet falling under the provisions of order 302858/3161 from 10/23/1941, along with others that can be added, shall be placed in a mined building, which shall be detonated ulteriorly.  This shall be done on the day our victims are buried.

3.   This order shall be destroyed after it has been read.”

Regarding the gruesome events in Odessa, the Romanian mayor of the city, Gherman Pantea, installed by the Antonescu government, wrote to Marshal Ion Antonescu a letter, from which we quote the following extracts:

“I woke up this morning (October 23 – author’s note) with a horrible scene before my eyes, specifically:  On all main roads and at each corner there 4-5 bodies hanging, and the terrified populace was running all over town.  Outraged, I asked who committed this atrocity, this shameful act, from which we will never be exonerated in the eyes of the civilized world.  The ones in charge told me they knew nothing.  On the other hand, a communiqué was posted on the walls in Odessa, without the signature of the Military Command, disposing that all Jews shall leave the city on the day of October 23 and head in convoys to Dalnic.  The terrified Jews left their homes and belongings and headed towards Dalnic by the thousands, while the population remaining in the city set out to pillage their homes.

…………………………………………………………………………………….

 

I left for Dalnic to return the Jews to the city.  Odessa currently counts roughly 50,000 Jews remaining in the city.  Catching up with the convoys of thousands of people, I stopped them and talked to them in Russian, telling them there has been an error and that the Marshal has ordered your return to your homes.

Heart-breaking scenes took place at this point.

They rushed toward us, kissing our hands and shouting:  “Long live Marshal Antonescu, our savior!”

It was a fair act, since the population had nothing to do with the catastrophe on October 22.  The advanced convoys of evacuees were, however, detained by the military organs.  I was told these people will be executed, as a means of retaliation, in conformity with your order.”[34]

The events taking place in the city and at the Dalnic barrier, as described by documents of the time, are presented by Mr. Cristian Troncota in his well-known book “Glory and tragedies”:

“That same morning (October 23 – author’s note) gallows appear on the streets and public squares of Odessa, while others are shot at random, such that on the same morning about 5,000 people were executed in Odessa.  Around noontime, the executions stop, but the gendarmes and the police start rounding up tens of thousands of people, which are locked up in the main prison of Odessa.

On October 24, 1941, The 2nd Division of the 10th Machine Gun Battalion receives the order of escorting these unfortunates to a place where they had no idea what awaited them, namely to the edge of the city, at the Dalnic barrier, where there were four depots, each approximately 25-30 meters long and 10-15 meters wide.

The detainees – children, women, elders and sick people of all ages – are brought out of jail, lined up in formation and driven like cattle to the slaughter house, toward those depots…  The transport lasted until October the 24th, 1941, 14.00 hours.

During the transport, many of those in the line-up were falling down due to exhaustion, and were being shot by the gendarmes on the spot, such that the way from the prison to the execution spot, approximately 3 kilometers long, was paved with cadavers of the sick, women and children…

The first lot brought to the execution spot was formed of 50 people, tied up tightly elbow to elbow with ropes.  They were put in an anti-tank trench and forced to face the earth which formed the wall of the trench.  Lieutenant-colonel Deleanu Nicolae personally gave the order to open fire, directing the soldiers to each fire one well-aimed shot, so as to save time and ammunition.

Realizing that this procedure doesn’t satisfy the desired goal, it was decided to move on to mass execution.  Thus, the men and a few women who refused to leave their husbands were put in the first three depots, and the other women and children in the forth depot.  Altogether, according to the testimony of eye witnesses, more than 5,000 people were put in the four depots.

In view of their mass execution, wholes were made in the walls of the depots, through which the machine guns were inserted.  On the command of lieutenant-colonel Niculescu M. Coca, the weapons were fired point-blank.  Heart-wrenching screams covered the sound of the machine guns, creating a terrible noise.  However, the bullets failed to penetrate to the last man.

Thus, it became apparent that this procedure likewise failed to satisfy the criminal wish to terminate this macabre operation as fast as possible.  Since it was the month of October  and  the dusk descended at about 17.00 hours, an even more horrifying procedure was resorted to, specifically extermination by burning, a means which was hoped to obliterate any  trace of these savage horrors.

In order to accomplish this, the wholes made by the soldiers were plugged up, as were the exits from the depots.  Straw was stuffed in the attics and on the roofs of the depots, and gasoline was sprinkled on the walls and roofs and pumped inside the depots be means of a hose.

After which, on command, the depots were set on fire..

Huge tongues of fire rose toward the sky, the dead and the living melded together in the consuming flames, turning all to ashes, but not to the point of covering the traces of the crime.

Through the roofs one could still see people, much like living torches, trying to escape the terrible fire which had engulfed them.

The gendarmes, however, at the order of lieutenant-colonel Niculescu M. Coca, were shooting the ones who desperately tried to save themselves by this last means of escape.

In the descending dusk, the spectacle of naked burning people, trying to save themselves with the last bits of their strengths, constituted a mortifying and hallucinatory scene, surpassing any fantasy of the most imaginative writers in this world.

……………………………………………………………………………………..

In this way, the extermination of those locked in the first two depots was accomplished by nightfall.  The operation was supposed to continue the next day for the two remaining depots, including the one containing the women and children.

That entire night and a large part of the next morning, the women, children and elders locked in those last depots struggled between the horrible agony of their looming death, and the weak hope that the thousands victims sacrificed the previous day could somehow have appeased the blood thirst of the merciless and cruel executants of the reprisal order.

Vain hopes, since the crimes appeared not to have diminished the zeal of the infamous perpetrators.  As such, the same process was repeated all over again the next day.

Moreover, in order for the reprisals to make a lasting impression on the population of Odessa, at 17.35 hours, October 24, 1941, the depot containing the men was blown up, after the ones inside had been machine-gunned.”[35]

On October 27, 1941, at 21.00 hours, the Commander of the 4th Romanian Army in Odessa transmits the following telegraphic message:  “We report that the ciphered order nr. 563 from October 24, 1941 has been executed.”

On November the 13th, 1941, during the meeting of the Ministers’ Council with the governors of Basarabia, Bucovina and Transnistria, Marshal Antonescu pointed out among others:

“I ordered 200 Jews to be shot for each one of our dead, and 100 Jews for each one of our wounded.  Has this been carried out?”

To which Professor Gh. Alexianu, the governor of Transnistria, replied:

“They were shot and hung on the streets of Odessa.”[36]

As pointed out by researchers, at least 25,000 native Ukrainian Jews and Jewish refugees from Basarabia were killed during the reprisals in Odessa.

Retired Colonel Ovidiu Anca states the following during a videotaped interview given in September 2003, at the venerable age of 95:

“In the years 1941-1942, I was performing active duty on the Eastern Front, with the degree of Major.  After the explosion in the building of the Romanian Military Command in Odessa, I personally delivered from the post office the reprisal order from Bucharest, which was deciphered by the decoder before me and General Trestioreanu.  What particularly impressed me – and I shall never forget this fact – was that, at the end, the order established a figure of 22,500 (which were to be executed – author’s note), specifying that these must be Jews from Odessa.”[37]

Gheorghe Alexianu, the governor of Transnistria, declared at his trial that, “according to information received from the persons I talked to, there were 15,000 – 20,000 people executed.”

We must point out that the Romanian authorities turned over to the Germans 3,000 Jews in exchange for their 15 dead.  These were shot and buried in an antitank trench outside Odessa.

In the meeting of the Ministers’ Council on December 16, 1941, Marshal Antonescu gives the following directive to Professor Gh. Alexianu, governor of Transnistria:

“Stick them in catacombs, stick them in the Black Sea, but get them out of Odessa.  I don’t want to know anything.  A hundred can die, a thousand can die, all of them can die…

Bottom line, get me all the kikes out of Odessa.”[38]

Governor Gh. Alexianu carried out to the letter this order received from Marshal Ion Antonescu.  In fact, he had implemented deportations even prior to this order.

During the months of October and November 1941, thousands of Jews from the city and district of Odessa were deported on foot to the Golta district, and placed in the concentration camps at Bogdanovka, Domanovka and Akmecetka.

In the beginning of 1942, per order of Gh. Alexianu, governor of Transnistria, other tens of thousands of Jews from Odessa, who had been spared by the reprisals, were deported to the district of Berezovka.  The deportation proceeded aboard trains during the months of January and February.

Regarding the deportation of the Jews from Odessa during the months of January and February 1942, the mayor of the city, Gherman Pantea, wrote to the governor of Transnistria, Gh. Alexianu, on January the 20th, 1942, a letter stating among others:

“I have already reported to you, verbally and in writing, that this evacuation is unjust and inhuman, and done now, in the heart of winter, it becomes downright barbarous.  Moreover, on December 3, 1941, I reported to you in writing that the Jewish population of Odessa doesn’t pose any risk whatsoever to the safety of Odessa.  To the contrary, they have gone to work, toiling for the rebuilding of the city, and no one is thinking of plots or mutiny.”[39]

Many of the Jews deported from Odessa, cramped in cattle cars, through the windows of which the wind blew fiercely, exhausted and sick, died on their feet and the dead continued to stand thus, frozen, since there was nowhere to fall.  Upon their arrival at Berezovka a few days later, the gendarmes forced the survivors to unload the corpses from the train.  The sick and frozen were separated from the rest and taken to a place from where none would return.  The surviving Jews started out on foot, in convoys, driven by the gendarmes towards various camps.  On this “journey of death” (passing through Mostovoi and Lidovici), the fields were sprinkled with the corpses of those collapsing as their strength failed them, or those shot by the gendarmes for not being able to keep up with the convoy.  After reaching their destination and being placed in concentration camps, most died from starvation, frost, or disease, or were simply picked up and killed by Ukrainian policemen of German ethnicity, enrolled in the SS troops.

A meaningful note of the Military Cabinet nr. B2, from May 12, 1942, reads as follows:  “The High Command reports that in the timeframe March 10 – April 24, 1942, a number of 4047 Jewish inmates from various concentration camps in the Berezovka district have been shot by the German policemen.  After the execution, the German policemen have set the corpses on fire.  The High Command requests to be informed if the German policemen should be allowed such initiatives in a territory under Romanian administration.”

Marshal Antonescu issues the following resolution to this note:  “It is not in the attributions of the High Command to concern itself with this matter.”  As shown, tens of thousands of native Ukrainian Jews were killed in the camps of Bogdanovka, Domanovka and Akmecetka in the Golta district.

It must be pointed out that in the districts of Golta and Berezovka, the Romanian authorities concentrated the majority of native Ukrainian Jews who survived the events in Odessa and other districts.  Most found their death by shooting, burning alive, starvation, frost and diseases.  The Saraga report, prepared in 1943, shows that as of that date there were only 13,000 local Jewish survivors.  Radu Lecca, commissary for the Jewish matters, claims that as of November 20, 1943, there were roughly 20,000 native Ukrainian Jewish survivors.[40]  If we are to believe this last figure, it follows that from the roughly 135,000 native Ukrainian Jews, roughly 115,000 were exterminated under Romanian authority.

 

 

 

 

VII.    TRAGIC BALANCE FOR THE JEWS UNDER ANTONESCU GOVERNMENT

 

 

 

 

The number of Jews exterminated in the territories under Romanian authority during the Second World War is reflected by the following synthetic table:

 

 

 

Jews exterminated (persons)

A. ROMANIAN JEWS - TOTAL

155,000

     - Pogrom of Dorohoi

70

     - Legionary Rebellion

130

     - Pogrom and Death Trains of Iasi (June 29 – July 6,

  1941)

8,000

- Mass Assassinations of the Jews from Basarabia,

  Northern Bucovina and the Hertza territory (June

  22 – September 1, 1941)

55,000

      - Transnistria (Sept. 1941 – March 1944)

80,000

      - Other victims

11,800[41]

B. NATIVE UKRAINIAN JEWS – TOTAL

115,000

C. JEWS EXTERMINATED – TOTAL

270,000

 

 

Altogether, in the territories under Antonescu government roughly 270,000 Jews were exterminated (155,000 Romanian Jews from the former Unified Romania and 115,000 native Ukrainian Jews).

The largest number of victims was registered in Transnistria.  From the total of 270,000 exterminated Jews, roughly 200,000 disappeared in the territory between the Dniester and the Bug, respectively over 80,000 Romanian Jews (from the former Unified Romania) and roughly 115,000 local Ukrainian Jews.

Roughly 55,000 Jews were killed in Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza in the first months after the outbreak of the war, and another roughly 5,000 died during the death-journey to Transnistria.

The balance of over 100,000 Jews were killed in the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania, respectively in the pogrom and death trains of Iasi, the pogroms of Dorohoi and Bucharest, and other places of sad remembrance.

From the global figure of 675,000 Jews in the territories under Antonescu government, the total degree of extermination was 40%.

 

 

VII.    CONCLUSIONS

 

 

During the Second World War, one can define two separate regions for the Jews in the territories under Antonescu government:

Region 1.  The Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania, a territory also known as the “survival zone”, where Jews were subjected to harsh and inhuman persecution, but where the Antonescu government did not apply a generalized program of deportation and extermination.

However, it must be pointed out that the anti-Jewish pogrom in Bucharest occurred in this region, unleashed by the legionaries on the days of January 21-23, 1941.  Also in this region occurred the pogrom and the death trains of Iasi in the period June 29 – July 6, 1941 (causing roughly 8,000 victims), the deportation of roughly 4,000 Jews into Transnistria, the deployment of tens of thousands of Jews to forced labor units, and the implementation of numerous anti-Semite laws and measures, which drove the Jewish population to despair and the uncertainty of their survival in the days to come.

The most lethal danger which threatened the Jews in this region was their possible deportation to the German death camps of Poland.

As part of their extermination plan of the Jewish population of Europe, the German authorities made great pressures on the Antonescu government, going as far as to establish the train routes and schedules, as well as the number of Romanian Jews that had to be transported every two days by these trains.

In order to address the danger of mass deportation of the Jews in this area, attenuate the racial persecution and assist the deportees from Transnistria, a clandestine council was constituted under the leadership of Dr. Alexandru Safran, Chief Rabbi of Romania, with the participation of W. Filderman, M. Benvenisti, F. Froimescu, A. Schwefelberg and other Jewish leaders.

This council periodically came together to determine how the decisions of the government could be counteracted – either directly, but mostly by means of various personalities of Romanian public life.[42]

Interventions before the government or before Marshal Antonescu himself of certain personalities such as the Queen-Mother Elena, Bishop N. Balan of Sibiu, Iuliu Maniu, Ion Mihalache, Dr. Nicolae Lupu and Ghita Pop – reputable members of the Peasants’ National Party, Constantin I.C. Bratianu – leader of the Liberal National Party, Patriarch Nicodim, Andrea Casullo – the papal envoy to Bucharest, Traian Popovici – the mayor of Cernauti and others, contributed in large measure to the discontinuation of deportations and the attenuation of racial persecution.

A special credit in this regard goes to Dr. W. Filderman, who as the former president of the Federation of Jewish Community Unions in Romania, and as a well-known political figure, stood up courageously and tactfully to the leaders of the Antonescu Regime, achieving positive results on numerous occasions.

In the summer of 1942, Filderman forwarded to Iuliu Maniu a detailed memorandum containing the main arguments against the deportation, from the standpoint of Romanian national well-being, rather than a favor to be granted to the Jews.

Maniu and Antonescu met on September 11, 1942.  During this meeting, Maniu presented to Antonescu “arguments” in favor of canceling the deportation plan, which, of course, must have influenced the Marshal to some degree.[43]

The deciding role, however, was of course played by the failure of Hitler’s “Blitzkrieg” and his ulterior defeat at Stalingrad, which caused Marshal Antonescu to categorically decline Germany’s request of deporting the Jews from the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania to the Nazi extermination camps in Poland.

As a matter of fact, following the defeat at Stalingrad, the attitude of the Antonescu government towards the Jews changes, i.e. the intensity of persecution diminishes, to the point of even planning to repatriate certain categories of Jews deported to Transnistria.

In consequence, in this region more than 300,000 Jews survived – a decidedly positive fact, considering that many neighboring countries, with the exception of Bulgaria, applied the provisions of the “final solution” of the Nazi government in Berlin in the most radical manner.

This region also ensured the salvation of certain Jewish refugees from Northern Transylvania.  From here, a limited number of Jews were able to immigrate to Israel.

The extermination percent in this region was only 3.5%.

 

Region 2.  The Northeastern territories of Romania, respectively the district of Dorohoi, Northern and Southern Bucovina, Basarabia and Transnistria.

In this region, designated by some authors as “the death zone”, the Antonescu government applied a deliberate and generalized program of mass deportation and extermination of the Jews.

Under the pretext of punishing the Jews from Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and Hertza for the “inappropriate behavior” of certain Jews during the withdrawal of the Romanian troops and during the time of the Soviet occupation, the Antonescu government unleashed a veritable campaign of mass extermination of the Jews during the first months following the outbreak of the war, and deported the survivors of this campaign almost in their entirety to Transnistria.

As pointed out by the well-known historian Dinu C. Giurescu, the responsibility for these inappropriate acts and behaviors is “borne by individual parties”.[44]  It cannot be generalized under any circumstances to the entire collective of almost 200,000 Jews taken over by the Romanian authorities after the liberation of Basarabia and Northern Bucovina.  It mustn’t be forgotten that tens of thousands Jews were deported by the Soviet authorities to Siberia.

As a matter of fact, many of the anti-Romanian acts mentioned above were committed not by Jews, but rather by persons of Russian, Ukrainian and even Romanian ethnicity. 

The deportations to Transnistria extended to encompass the Jews in Southern Bucovina and the district of Dorohoi, which had never been under Soviet occupation.

The real cause behind the deportations was ethnic purification, i.e. the elimination of the Jewish element from these territories, and any other justification is pure aberration, given credence just by the naïve.

As a result, in this region, the degree of extermination reached 63.2% for the Romanian Jews in Basarabia, Bucovina and the district of Dorohoi, and 85.2% for the native Ukrainian Jews in Transnistria.

In absolute numbers, it represents more than a quarter million Jews exterminated.

This is the region where the Antonescu Holocaust preeminently took place.

Certain commentators present almost exclusively the situation of the Jews in the “survival zone”, seeking to avoid or intentionally omitting the events in the “death zone”.  The Antonescu government and the Romanian authorities of the time are being presented as saviors, to the point that rehabilitation is being sought for certain personages condemned of crime and genocide.

As far as we know, there is no legislation in the world to provide for absolution of crimes against humanity, even though the respective persons may have ulteriorly contributed to saving human lives.

 

 

The extermination of the Jews in certain territories and localities of Romania, in the general process of the Holocaust, presents certain peculiarities.

In the majority of countries occupied by or allied with the Nazis, the newly installed local authorities collaborated to identify the Jews and have them deported by train to the German extermination camps in Poland.

The gassing and burning of the corpses in these camps, however, were exclusively executed by German Nazis.

From Romania under Antonescu government, not one train departed for the Nazi extermination camps.

In exchange, the Romanian authorities planned, organized and implemented, on their own initiative, their own program of territorial cleansing, i.e. of extermination of the Jews. 

In the meeting of the Ministers’ Council on September 5, 1941, Marshal Antonescu declares clearly and unequivocally:  “Do not think I’m unaware of the consequences.  Do not think that, when I decided to cleanse the life of the Romanian nation of all Jews, I didn’t realize I am producing a great economic crisis.  But I told myself this is a war I’m fighting.  And therefore, as during any war, there will be damages to the nation.

………………………………………………………………………………………

 

If we miss this historic moment of the present, we have missed it forever.”[45]

 

In consequence, the Romanian authorities proceeded to the mass deportation and extermination of the Jews, especially in the Northeastern parts of Romania, employing barbarous methods (some unique in Europe) for their physical elimination.

During the implementation of this program, in order not to miss “this historic moment”, all methods of extermination were resorted to: mass executions by shooting; pillaging and deportation followed by starvation, frost and disease; hanging; burning alive; dynamiting; dehydration and asphyxiation in death trains; drowning in the Dniester and Bug, etc.

The gas chambers were absent, but the ordeal and brutal death of the victims in Transnistria and other places shown in this work were just as barbarous and inhuman as the ones in the Nazi extermination camps.

As indicated, the implementation of this politics in the territories under Antonescu government led to the extermination of at least 270,000 Romanian Jews and native Ukrainian Jews.

The extermination of Jews in the territories under Romanian authority was not an isolated occurrence.  It took place in the conditions of terror, deportation to concentration camps and obliteration of the Jews almost all across Europe, carried out by the leaders of Nazi Germany.

From this standpoint, we can affirm that the genocide of the Romanian Jews is an integral part of the European Holocaust.

In Europe, Jews were not killed in the countries fighting against fascist Germany, respectively Great Britain, the unoccupied territory of the Soviet Union, the neutral countries (Switzerland, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Ireland and Turkey), as well as Spain and Portugal, which, although countries with fascist regime, did not adopt Hitler’s politics of racial extermination.

In Finland, which was allied with Germany and fought against the Soviet Union, the leader of the country, Gustav Emil Mannerheim, did not permit the extermination of one single Jew.

In the rest of European countries, allied with or occupied by fascist Germany, the Jews paid a heavy tribute of blood.[46]

In Romania, “the historic moment that should not be missed”, so fervently advocated by Marshal Ion Antonescu, was created by temporary victories on the front and expectations of winning the war, and had as final goal the purging of the Jews from the country.

But the change of the situation on the front, due to failure of Hitler’s “Blitzkrieg” and the ulterior defeat at Stalingrad and reversal of the power balance in favor of the allies, rendered the Antonescu government unable to carry out its plan of “cleansing and ethnic purification.”

Beginning with the year 1943, the leaders of Romania are increasingly confronted with the dark specter of defeat and, implicitly, with the moment they would be held accountable for their acts.

The political discourse of the Marshal changes radically.  During the meeting of the Ministers’ Council on April 20, 1943, Marshal Antonescu declares:  “I am fighting to win this war, but it’s possible the democracies will prevail.  And then, should I put the next generations of our nation in harm’s way, because by this disposition of mine the Jews were removed from the country?”[47]

As a result, beginning with the year 1943, the deportations to Transnistria were curtailed almost entirely, any plans of deporting the Jews from the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania to the extermination camps in Poland were abandoned, and the racial persecution decreased in intensity.

Currently, during meetings of Romanian and foreign specialists in this field, contradictory discussions continue to take place regarding the existence of a Holocaust in Romania, as well as the extent of this phenomenon.

There are those who accredit the idea that there was no Holocaust in Romania, but rather that Romania participated in the Holocaust in Basarabia, Bucovina and Transnistria, which point of view is erroneous.

The Antonescu government did not participate in the Holocaust in Basarabia, Bucovina and Transnistria, but rather organized and concretely implemented the Holocaust, since these territories were under Romanian administration at the time.

In Basarabia, Bucovina and Transnistria the governors, prefects, praetors, commanders of gendarme legions and other responsible parties represented the Romanian authority, having the right to rule over Jew’s lives and being therefore responsible for the crimes committed on these territories.

No one denies the fact that some of the crimes in these territories were committed by German SS police units, but this has been done in collaboration or with tacit accord of the Romanian authorities.

The Romanian people have a right to know the truth and draw the inherent conclusions.

We once more affirm that the Romanian people is not guilty and cannot be held responsible for these events.  The moral and juridical responsibility rests with the authorities of the Antonescu government at the time, as well as certain criminal and extremist elements that participated in this genocide.

The road to the truth and the assumption of responsibility is long and difficult.  But walking it to the end ensures the certainty that such reprehensible events will never again occur on Romanian soil.

 

 

 

 

 

MEMORABLE CALENDARISTIC DATA DURING THE RACIAL PERSECUTION  AND THE GENOCIDE IN THE TERRITORIES UNDER ROMANIAN AUTHORITY

 

 

 

December 28, 1937 – February 10, 1938 – The Goga-Cuza government, the first government to transform anti-Semitism in national politics.

This government promulgates on January 1938 the Law of citizenship revisal, the first manifestation of racial persecution, which would continue to increase in the times to come, especially in the years of the Second World War, during the Antonescu government.

November 24, 1939 – July 4, 1940 – The Gh. Tatarascu Government, during which the territorial concession of Basarabia, Bucovina and the land of Hertza to the Soviet Union takes place, as well as the anti-Jewish pogrom in the city of Dorohoi (causing 70 dead).  Concomitantly, the first criminal anti-Jewish acts occur in the country (Jews being thrown off trains and Jews being killed in various localities).

July 4, 1940 – September 4, 1940 – The Ion Gigurtu government.  On August the 30th, 1940, based on the Dictate of Vienna, the Gigurtu government concedes Northern Transylvania to Hungary.  During the Gigurtu government, the situation of the Romanian Jews worsens, due to promulgation of racial laws of Nazi inspiration.

September 4, 1940 – General Ion Antonescu takes over political power in Romania.

September 6, 1940 – King Carol the Second is obliged to abdicate in favor of his son, Mihai.

September 7, 1940 – General Ion Antonescu concedes to Bulgaria the territory of Southern Dobrogea, also known as the “Quadrilater”.

September 14, 1940 – Romania is proclaimed, by royal decree, a National Legionary State.  By this royal decree, the Legionary Movement is recognized as the only movement in the new state, and General Ion Antonescu is named Leader of the Legionary State and Chief of the Legionary Regime.  Horia Sima is named leader of the Legionary Movement.

September 14, 1940 – January 21, 1941 – The period of the Legionary Government.  Numerous anti-Jewish laws are adopted, and cases of Jews abused or murdered by the legionaries occur throughout the country.  Concomitantly, the legionaries assassinate various important Romanian personalities.

January 21 – 23, 1941 – The Legionary Rebellion takes place, aiming a total takeover of power by the legionaries.  This results in massacres, pillaging and destruction.

For the Jewish population of Bucharest, the rebellion yields a balance of 130 Jews murdered, 25 temples and synagogues desecrated or set on fire, 616 Jewish shops and 547 Jewish homes pillaged and devastated, and some set on fire.

The rebellion is stifled by the army, the legionary movement is banned from leadership of the country and outlawed, and the power is seized exclusively by General Ion Antonescu.

January 28, 1941 – A new government is formed, presided over by General Ion Antonescu, formed exclusively of militaries and technicians, which would continue and escalate the racial persecution against the Jews by promulgating anti-Jewish laws.

June 22, 1941 – Fascist Germany unleashes the war against the Soviet Union, in which Romania is involved as well.

In the period preceding and following the outbreak of the war, tens of thousands of Jews are evacuated from rural areas and smaller towns, and concentrated in the district capital cities.  Some are evacuated to the concentration camps in Tirgu Jiu and Craiova.

June 22, 1941 – September 1941 – The period of terror and mass assassination of the Jewish population in Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza (roughly 55,000 dead).

June 29 – July 6, 1941 – The pogrom and death trains of Iasi (roughly 8,000 dead).

July 8, 1941 – Mihai Antonescu, ad-interim president of the Ministers’ Council, presents to the Government his plan of “ethnic purification, by forced migration of the entire Jewish element from Basarabia and Bucovina, which must be thrown over the border.”

August 19, 1941 – The pact of Tighina is signed between Romania and Germany, by which the territory between the Dniester and Bug (also known as Transnistria) is entrusted to Romanian authority.

September 12 – November 10, 1941 – The deportation to Transnistria of the surviving Jews from Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza proceeds according to a well-defined plan, featuring specific deportation centers (transit camps or ghettos), itineraries, crossing points of the Dniester and final destination districts in Transnistria.

October 9 – 13, 1941 – The deportation of the Jews from Southern Bucovina to Transnistria.

October 16, 1941 – The fall of Odessa, after a prolonged siege.

October 22, 1941 – The Building of the Romanian Military Command in Odessa (established in the ex-headquarters of the NKVD) is blown up.  As a result of this act, 61 persons were killed (a general, 16 officers, 35 soldiers, and 9 junior officers and clerks).

October 23 – 26, 1941 – The gruesome assassinations in Odessa, during which, as retaliation, tens as thousands of native Ukrainian Jews and Jewish refugees from Basarabia were exterminated.

November 1941 – The concentration of the native Ukrainian Jews from southern and central Transnistria and of part of the Basarabian Jews in concentration camps in the Golta district (Bogdanovka, Domanovka and Akmecetka), as well as in other camps and ghettos.

November 7 – 13, 1941 – The deportation of the Jews from the district of Dorohoi to Transnistria.

November 17, 1941 – The completion of the deportation program of the Jews from Basarabia, Bucovina and the district of Dorohoi into Transnistria, in the fall of 1941 (roughly 142,000 Jews deported).

December 16, 1941 – The Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania is dissolved, and replaced with the Central of the Jews of Romania.

The winter of 1941-1942 – During this harsh winter, tens of thousands of Jews in the ghettos and concentration camps of Transnistria die of hunger, cold, disease and insalubrity.  A horrible typhus epidemic breaks out, claiming thousands of human lives.

December 21, 1941 – January 20, 1942 – The massacre of the Jews in the concentration camp of Bogdanovka, Golta district (in their majority native Ukrainian Jews and Basarabian Jews).

January – February 1942 – The deportation of the surviving Jews of Odessa to the concentration camps and ghettos in the Berezovka district and other districts in Transnistria.

February 1942 – The massacre of the Jews in the concentration camps of Domanovka and Akmecetka, Golta district (in their majority native Ukrainian and Basarabian Jews).

February 27, 1942 – The sinking of the vessel Struma (769 dead).

June 7 – 28, 1942 – The deportation to Transnistria of a new lot of roughly 4,000 Jews from Cernauti.

June 14, 1942 – The deportation to Transnistria of a new lot of 450 Jews from the district of Dorohoi.

The year 1942 – The deportation to Transnistria of roughly 4,000 Jews from the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania.

October 15, 1942 – The Ministers’ Council communicates its decision to stop all deportation of Jews, pending the creation of an institution for the organization of this action.

November 19, 1942 – The Soviet offensive at Stalingrad surrounds and destroys the Fourth German Army, changing the course of the war.  This leads to a significant change in Marshal Antonescu’s attitude towards the fate of the Romanian Jews.

January 1, 1943 – The Assistance Committee of the Central of the Jews sends its first delegation to Transnistria, in view of organizing an assistance program for the surviving Jewish deportees.

December 20 – 26, 1943 – The repatriation of the surviving Jews deported from the district of Dorohoi, and of certain categories of deportees from the Old Kingdom.

March 9, 1944 – The repatriation of 1,846 orphans from Transnistria.

March 29, 1944 – The Soviet troops reach the Dniester, liberating the entire northern part of Transnistria, including roughly 50,000 Jews deported from Basarabia and Bucovina, which were surviving in the region as of that date.

August 3, 1944 – The sinking of the vessel Mefkure (416 Jews dead).

August 23, 1944 – The end of the racial persecution and of the Holocaust unleashed against the Jews in the territories under Romanian authority (exterminated: 155,000 Romanian Jews and 115,000 native Ukrainian Jews from Transnistria).

 

 

 

 

 

STATISTCAL DATA AND CALCULATIONS REGARDING THE JEWS OF ROMANIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

 

 

 

The statistical data used in this work are based in their great majority upon official data of the Romanian state, resulting from population censuses and other special registries:

-        The general Romanian Population Census from December 29, 1930.

-        The population census from April 6, 1941.

-        The inventory of Basarabia and Northern Bucovina from August-September 1941.

-        The census of inhabitants of Jewish origin from May 1942.

-        The registry of the surviving Jews in Transnistria executed by the General Inspectorate of the Gendarmerie in September 1943.

-        Other special registries.

 

 

 

1.   The number of Romanian Jews in the years 1930 and 1940

 

SPECIFICATION

1930

1940

UNIFIED ROMANIA – TOTAL

756,930

800,000

1. Romania (minus the conceded territories)

329,841

350,000

2. Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and Hertza (USSR)

277,949

290,000

3. Northern Transylvania (Hungary)

148,294

159,000

4. Quadrilater (Bulgaria)

846

1,000

 

 

Note:  The data for the year 1930 represent the persons of Mosaic religion registered by the General Romanian Population Census from December 29, 1930.

The data for the year 1940 were calculated considering the natural growth and the migration of Jewish population from and to other countries.

As indicated in a Memorandum prepared by the Central Institute for Statistics (Studies Office) signed by Anton Golopentia, during the time period 1930-1940 the natural growth of the Jewish population was of 6,786 souls.  It must be pointed out, however, that the variation in Jewish population due to territorial migration cannot be known precisely, due to the absence of data regarding Jews entering the country clandestinely.   In conclusion, as shown in the report, it can be estimated that the growth of the Jewish population in Romania in the time period 1930-1940 did not exceed 50,000.

According to the table above, the Jewish population grew in the time period 1930-1940 by 43,070 persons.

 

2.   The number of Jews in the territories under Antonescu government after the outbreak of the war

 

 

 

 

SPECIFICATION

 

 

Jews

after the

outbreak

of the war

– persons –

 

JEWS – TOTAL (1 + 2)

675,000

1.   ROMANIAN JEWS (minus Northern Transylvania  and

                                                      the Quadrilater)

540,000

        a)  In the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania

312,000

        b)  In Basarabia, Bucovina and the district of Dorohoi

228,000

                 among which: - in Basarabia, Northern Bucovina

                                                   and the land of Hertza

192,000

                                         - in Southern Bucovina and the

                                                   district of Dorohoi

  36,000

   2.  NATIVE UKRAINIAN JEWS FROM TRANSNISTRIA

135,000

 

Note: The data from the table above refer to Jews in the territories under Romanian authority after the liberation of Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza, and institution of the Romanian administration in Transnistria.

The 160,000 Jews from Northern Transylvania and the Quadrilater were not included, nor were the roughly 100,000 Jews from Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza who withdrew voluntarily or forcibly with the Soviet authorities (including those deported to Siberia, killed during bombardments or by the German territorial cleansing units, those enrolled in the Soviet army, killed during the siege on Odessa, etc.)

Included were 135,000 native Ukrainian Jews, which were taken over by the Romanian authorities after institution of the Romanian administration in Transnistria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.   The number of Jews in Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza exterminated during the period between the onset of the war and the deportations to Transnistria

- Statistical calculation -

 

 

 

Specification

 

Jews – Total

(persons)

 

1. Taken over by the Antonescu government

192,000

2. Registered by the inventory fro January 9, 1941

                     prior to the deportation

 

126,434

3. Basarabian Jewish refugees in Odessa taken over

                 by the Romanian authorities

 

      10,000*

4. Jews from Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and

      the land of Hertza exterminated during the

      period June 22, 1941 – September 1, 1941

 

      55,566

 

* A large part of these refugees were killed during the reprisals in Odessa.

 

 

 

4.   The number of Jews in Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza prior to the deportation

 

 

Specification

Persons

JEWS - TOTAL

126,434

Northern Bucovina

-        Cernauti

-        Storojinetz

53,809

49,497

4.312

 Basarabia

a)   – in cities

b)  – in camps and ghettos

            - Secureni and Edinetz (Hotin)

            - Marculesti (Soroca)

            - Tg. Vartajeni (Soroca)

            - Chisinau ghetto

72,625

6,883

65,742

20,909

10,737

24,000

10,096

 

 

From the Jewish World Congress – Section Romania – The Jewish population in numbers – Statistical Memento – 1945, page 37-38 (based on the inventory of Basarabia and Northern Bucovina in August-September 1941).

The data was also verified against other sources, revealing similar values.

 

 

 

5.   The number of Romanian Jews deported to Transnistria

- Statistical calculation -

 

 

 

Specification

 

 

JEWS

- TOTAL -

1. Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza

 

- Registered by December 1, 1941

126,434

      - Registered by May 20, 1942

17,081

              - Deported (in 1941) – The balance

109,353

              - Deported from Cernauti 7-28 June 1942

4,000

                                                            Total Deported

113,353

2. Southern Bucovina

 

       - Before the deportation

24,000

       - Registered by May 20, 1942

179

                                     Total Deported (the balance)

23,821

3. District of Dorohoi (without the land of Hertza)

 

       - Before the deportation

12,000

       - Registered by May 20, 1942

2,316

               - Deported (in 1941) – The balance

9,684

               - Deported on June 14, 1942

450

                                                              Total Deported

10,134

4. The Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania

 

Total Deported

3,968

TOTAL DEPORTED FROM ROMANIA

151,276

 

 

 

6.   The number of Jews from the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania deported to Transnistria

 

 

 

Specification

Deportees

Total

- persons -

DEPORTED JEWS – TOTAL

3,968

   From which:

 

      1. Suspected of having left-wing political idea

1,046

                 a)  From the concentration camp Tirgu Jiu

       407

                 b)  From penitentiaries

     85

                 c)  At large

    554

       2. Those who requested to be repatriated to Basarabia

       578

       3. Accused of being absent from labor of national benefit*

   594

       4. Convicted for various delinquencies and others

   250

       5.  From the work battalion 120 Balta (which functioned for

                                                   almost two years in Transnistria)

    1,500

 

 

* Note:  This was the situation as of October 12, 1942.  The deportations continued even after this date.

 

 

 

 

 

7.  The number of Romanian Jews deported and exterminated in Transnistria

 

 

 

 

SPECIFICATION

 

Jews Total

- persons -

 

 

%

JEWS DEPORTED TO TRANSNISTRIA – TOTAL

150,000

100

JEWS SURVIVNG – TOTAL

60-70,000

40-46

JEWS EXTERMINATED IN TRANSNISTRIA – TOTAL

80-90,000

54-60

 

 

Note:  The total number of Jews deported and exterminated in Transnistria includes those who were killed or died underway, at least 5,000 victims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.  Native Ukrainian Jews taken over by the Antonescu government

  as of  November 1941 –

 

 

 

SPECIFICATION

JEWS
TOTAL
- persons -

Native Ukrainian Jews from Transnistria

 taken over by the Romanian authorities

135,198

      1.  Killed during the reprisals in Odessa (October 23-26, 1941)

20,000

      2.  Survivors by the end of November 1941 in Odessa

30,000

      3.  Ukrainian Jews in the North and South of Transnistria 

                                                         in November 1941 – total

85,198

                a) In the North and West of Transnistria - total

15,198

                              - Moghilev

3,733

                              - Shargorod

2,000

                              - Rabnitza

1,467

                              - Tulcin

118

                              - Spicov

27

                              - Peciora concentration camp

3,005

                              - Rogozna concentration camp

848

                              - Balta and other localities

4,000

                b) Deported to the districts Golta and Berezovka

                             (from other areas of Transnistria)

70,000*

 

 

* Gathered in  the concentration camps Bogdanovka, Domanovka and Akmecetka, as well as other concentration camps and ghettos in the Golta and Berezovka districts, including the ones dead underway.

 

Note:  The data has been established based on M. Carp’s “Black Book”, vol. 3, page 207 – Diogene press, 1996.

 

 

 

9.   The number of native Ukrainian Jews under Antonescu government, exterminated during the Second World War

 

 

SPECIFICATION

 

 

Jews Total

- persons -

 

 

%

Native Ukrainian Jews - Total

135,000

100

Surviving by the end of the war

20,000

14,8

Exterminated

115,000

85.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* According to Radu Lecca, commissary for the Jewish problems

 

10.                     The total number of Jews from the territories under Antonescu government, exterminated during the Second World War

 

 

 

SPECIFICATION

 

 

JEWS

EXTERMINATED

 

A. ROMANIAN JEWS

155,000

     - The pogrom in Dorohoi

         70

     - The legionary rebellion

        130

     - The pogrom and death trains of Iasi (June 29 – July 6, 1941)

     8,000

     - Exterminated between June 22 and September 1, 1941 in

          Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza.

   55,000

     - Transnistria (September 1941 – March 1941)

    80,000

     - Other victims

    11,800*

B. NATIVE UKRAINIAN JEWS

  115,000

TOTAL JEWS EXTERMINATED

  270,000

 

 

* Includes the Jews killed or dead during the journey to Transnistria, the Basarabian Jewish refugees in Odessa killed during the reprisals, as well as other war-victims.

 

 

 

 

11.                     The degree of extermination and survival of the Jews in the territories under Antonescu government during the Second World War

 

 

 

SPECIFICATION

Jews at the onset

of the war

- persons -

Jews

exterminated

- persons -

Degree of

extermination

%

Degree of

survival

%

1. ROMANIAN JEWS

            TOTAL

540,000

155,000

28.7

71.3

a) From the Old Kingdom

                and

    Southern Transylvania

312,000

  11,000

  3.5

96.5

b) From Basarabia,

   Bucovina and the

  district of Dorohoi

228,000

144,000

63,2

36.8

2. NATIVE UKRAINIAN

         JEWS – TOTAL

135,000

115,000

 85.2

14.8

TOTAL (1+2)

675,000

270,000

40.0

60.0

 

 

 

 

12.  The demographic balance of the Jews under Antonescu government

Romanian Jews (from the former Unified Romania)

 

 

SPECIFICATION

Jews – Total

1. Jews in Unified Romania, according

    to the population census from 1930 (minus

    Northern Transylvania and the Quadrilater)

607,970

2. Jews in Unified Romania (minus

    Northern Transylvania and the Quadrilater)

640,000

3. Jews that withdrew with the Soviet authorities

    after the outbreak of the war, were deported to

    Siberia, killed in bombardments or by the

    German troops of territorial cleansing,

    refugees killed during the siege on Odessa, etc.

100,000

4. Jews surviving under Antonescu government

540,000

5. Jews surviving by the end of the war, among which:

   - From the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania

                  (minus the district of Dorohoi)

   - From Basarabia (repatriated from Transnistria)

   - From Northern and Southern Bucovina

       (repatriated from Transnistria + un-deported)

   - From the district of Dorohoi

        (repatriated from Transnistria + un-deported)

385,000

 

310,000

  14,000

 

  53,000

 

    8,000

6. Exterminated (the balance)

155,000

 

 

Note:  Adding the 115,000 native Ukrainian Jews of Transnistria, killed during the period of the Romanian occupation, the total number of Jews exterminated under Antonescu government comes up to 270,000 people.

 

Specifications regarding certain statistical data in table 12:

The number of Romanian Jews surviving in Transnistria was determined by the General Inspectorate of the Gendarmerie by means of a district- and locality-based registry on September 1, 1943.  According to this registry, only 13,980 of the Jews evacuated from Basarabia and only 36,761 Jews evacuated from Bucovina (Northern and Southern) survived by this date.  To the number of surviving deportees from Bucovina, one must add the figure of more than 16,000 un-deported Jews (in their majority from Cernauti).  In sum, therefore, there were roughly 53,000 survivors from Bucovina (Northern and Southern).

In the district of Dorohoi, more than 6,000 Jews were repatriated from Transnistria, which, added to the roughly 2,000 un-deported Jews, yields a total survivor number of roughly 8,000 Jews.

 

 

13.  The European Jews exterminated during the Holocaust

 

 

 

 

COUNTRY

 

Jewish

population

prior to

the war

- persons -

 

 

Jews

exterminated

during the

Holocaust

- persons -

 

 

Percent

of

extermination

%

EUROPE

9,211,000*

5,933,000

64.4

1. Poland

3,300,000

2,800,000

84.8

2. Soviet Union**

3,025,000

1,475,000

48.8

3. Hungary

564,000

335,000

59.4

    from which: Northern Transylvania

160,000

135,000

84.4

4. Romania (under Antonescu government)

675,000

270,000

40.0

          - Romanian Jews

54,000

155,000

28.7

          - Native Ukrainian Jews

135,000

115,000

85.2

5. Czechoslovakia

315,000

260,000

82.5

6. Germany

210,000

170,000

81.0

7. Lithuania

150,000

135,000

90.0

8. France

300,000

90,000

30.0

9. Holland

150,000

90,000

60.0

10. Latonia

95,000

85,000

89.5

11. Greece

75,000

60,000

80.0

12. Yugoslavia

75,000

55,000

73.3

13. Belgium***

90,000

40,000

44.4

14. Austria

60,000

40,000

66.7

15. Italy***

57,000

15,000

26.3

16. Bulgaria

50,000

7,000

14.0

17. Other countries****

20,000

6,000

30.0

Note:  Excepting the data for Romania, Hungary and the Soviet Union, the figures above were extracted or calculated from Jacob Lestchinsky’s work “Bilance de l’extermination”.

For Romania, the table includes only Jews from the territories under Antonescu government – including Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza after their liberation from Soviet occupation, as well as Transnistria after this territory was taken over by Romanian administration. 

Northern Transylvania was included with Hungary, since in this temporarily occupied territory the Jews were deported to extermination camps by the Hungarian state.

 

Specifications regarding certain statistical data in table 13:

* Including the Jews of Great Britain and of the neutral countries (which were not affected by the Holocaust), the Jewish population of Europe exceeded 9.5 millions inhabitants.

** The Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latonia, Estonia) were not included as part of the Soviet Union, nor were Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and Transnistria.  The specified Jewish population of the Soviet Union prior to the war includes population from both the unoccupied region and the region occupied by the Germans.  Considering the fact that the Jewish population in the occupied region was roughly two million inhabitants, the losses for the areas of the Soviet Union under German occupation represent a ration of 73.8%.

*** Including the refugees.

**** Denmark, Estonia, Luxemburg, Norway and Danzig.

 

 

GENERAL DEMOGRAPHIC BALANCE OF THE JEWISH POPULATION FROM THE FORMER UNIFIED ROMANIA AND TRANSNISTRIA

 

 

A. ROMANIAN JEWS FROM THE FORMER UNIFIED ROMANIA

IN THE  YEAR 1940 – TOTAL

from which:

800,000

1. ROMANIAN JEWS SURVIVING

410,000

2. ROMANIAN JEWS EXTERMINATED UNDER THE HORTHYST

    GOVERNMENT IN NORTHERN TRANSYLVANIA

135,000

3. ROMANIAN JEWS FROM BASARABIA AND NORTHERN 

    BUCOVINA WHO WITHDREW OR WERE KILLED PRIOR TO

    THE ARRIVAL OF THE ROMANIAN TROOPS

100,000

4. ROMANIAN JEWS EXTERMINATED

    UNDER ANTONESCU GOVERNMENT

155,000

B. NATIVE UKRAINIAN JEWS FROM TRANSNISTRIA TAKEN

OVER BY THE ANTONESCU GOVERNMENT

from which:

135,000

1. Survivors

  20,000

2. Exterminated by the Antonescu government

115,000

   JEWS EXTERMINATED UNDER ANTONESCU GOVERNMENT

TOTAL

from which:

270,000

     - Romanian Jews (point A4)

155,000

     - Native Ukrainian Jews (point B4)

115,000

 

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS REGARDING THE METHODOLOGICAL CONTENT OF THE STATISTICAL INDICATORS PRESENTED IN THE BALANCE

 

 

I.  REGARDING THE ROMANIAN JEWS FROM THE FORMER UNIFIED ROMANIA

 

A. The figure of 80,000 persons representing the Romanian Jews (from the former Unified Romania) in the year 1940, was established on the basis of the population census from the year 1930 (756,930), to which the figure of roughly 43,000 persons was added, representing natural growth and immigration from the neighboring countries invaded by the German army.  The memorandum prepared by the Central Institute for Statistics (Studies Office), signed by the well-known Anton Golopentia, shows that the growth in Romanian Jewish population in the interval 1930-1940 did not exceed 50,000 (The General Population Census of Romania from 1941, page 241-253).  

1.  The figure of 410,000 Jews surviving from the former Unified Romania includes roughly 51,000 Basarabian and Bucovinian Jews who survived Transnistria (according to the registry of the General Inspectorate of the Gendarmerie on September 1, 1943) plus 16,000 un-deported Jews from this region, 6,000 surviving Jews and 2,000 un-deported Jews from the district of Dorohoi, 310,000 Jews from the Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania, as well as 25,000 surviving Jews from Northern Transylvania.

This figure is confirmed by the registry of the Jewish World Congress of 1947, which establishes the number of 428,312 Jewish inhabitants living on Romanian territory as of that year.[48]

Also, it is being confirmed by the number of the Jews who immigrated from Romania and the Republic of Moldova (roughly 350,000 to Israel and roughly 70,000 to Western Europe), to which one must add the roughly 20,000 Jews surviving in these two countries by the end of the year 2000.

2. The figure of 135,000 Jews disappeared under the horthyst government in Northern Transylvania (deported to the mass extermination camps in Poland and Germany) was established by researchers who studied this issue (F.C.E.R. Archive – The map of Northern Transylvania).

3. The figure of 100,000 Romanian Jews from Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza, who withdrew, were killed or disappeared before the arrival of the Romanian troops, includes:

-        Jews deported to Siberia by the Soviet authorities;

-        Jews enrolled in the Soviet army;

-        Jews who withdrew voluntarily or forcibly with the Soviet authorities (many of which, being overtaken by advancing German troops, were either killed in bombardments on the front line, or shot by special German territory-cleansing units);

-        Basarabian Jewish refugees in Odessa who died during the long siege of this city:

-        Jews killed during bombardments in Chisinau and other localities, etc.

All these categories of Jews never came to live under Antonescu jurisdiction and as such, cannot be counted as having been exterminated under Romanian authority.

This figure has been determined based on estimates of well-known researchers in this field.

In this regard, Raul Hilberg points out in his famous work “The extermination of the Jews in Europe”, vol. I, page 676, that the number of Jews deported or evacuated from Northern Bucovina and Basarabia during the last weeks of Soviet occupation exceeded 100,000.

Radu Ioanid, in his work “The Jews under Antonescu regime”, page 398, shows that “according to various estimates, roughly 100,000 Jews from Basarabia and Bucovina withdrew with the Soviet authorities or were deported by them.”

A report of OSS estimates that “100,000 to 130,000 Jews fled from the troops entering Basarabia and Bucovina.” (American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, JAFFIS OSS).

Dr. Sabin Manuila and Dr. Filderman, in a study published in 1957, also indicate the figure of 100,000 Jews from Basarabia and Northern Bucovina withdrawing voluntary or forcibly with the Soviet authorities.  Many other documents indicate a number close to the above regarding the large number of Jews from Basarabia and Northern Bucovina deported by the Soviet authorities or withdrawing along with these, prior to the arrival of the Romanian troops.

 Solely in the city of Chisinau, which counted roughly 50,000 Jews prior to the war, roughly 40,000 from this number disappeared prior to the entry of Romanian troops.  From the city of Cernauti, roughly 10,000 Jews were deported to Siberia (Jean Ancel, Contributions to Romania’s history, vol. I, part II, page 230), and such examples abound.  This leads us to conclude that the figure of 100,000 Jews withdrawing, killed or disappeared before the arrival of Romanian troops represents a valid estimate.

4. The figure of roughly 155,000 Romanian Jews exterminated under Antonescu government is derived by subtracting from the total number of Jews living in the former Unified Romanian as of 1940 (800,000 persons) the number of survivors (410,000) plus the number of those exterminated under horthyst authority (135,000), and the 100,000 that withdrew with the Soviet authorities (800,000 – 645,000 = 155,000).

It must be pointed out that the figure of 155,000 Romanian Jews exterminated under Antonescu government established by the above calculation corresponds with the figure established using the direct method previously presented in this work, a fact which confirms the authenticity of this figure. 

 

 

II.  REGARDING THE NATIVE UKRAINIAN JEWS FROM TRANSNISTRIA

 

The situation of the native Ukrainian Jews from Transnistria under Antonescu authority during the Second World War appears as follows:

 

 

 

1. Number of Jews taken over by the Antonescu authorities

TOTAL (a + b + c)

from which:

 

135,000

            a) killed during the reprisals in Odessa

  20,000

            b) deported to the concentration camps and ghettos

                 in the Golta and Berezovka districts.

100,000*

            c) remaining in the North and West of Transnistria

  15,000

2. Surviving by the end of the war

  20,000

3. Exterminated (135,000 – 20,000)

115,000

 

* Includes the roughly 30,000 Jews from Odessa deported during January-February 1942, as well as those shot or dead underway.

 

 

The number of Jews killed during the reprisals in Odessa was of roughly 25,000, among which roughly 20,000 native Ukrainian Jews and roughly 5,000 Jewish refugees from Basarabia.

Roughly 150,000 Jews were deported by the Romanian authorities to the districts of Golta and Berezovka, among which roughly 100,000 native Ukrainian Jews and roughly 50,000 Basarabian and Bucovinian Jews.

The native Ukrainian Jews remaining under Romanian authority in various localities in the North and West of Transnistria (15,000 Jews), are mentioned by M. Carp in the Black Book, vol.3, page 207, Diogene Press, 1996.

The rest of roughly 165,000 Ukrainian Jews, (representing the balance to the limit of 300,000 Jews living in Transnistria prior to the war) withdrew with the Soviet Authorities (including those enrolled in the Red Army), disappeared during the long siege on Odessa, or were killed by special German territory-cleansing troops (Einsatzgruppe D) or during bombardments, before the Romanian authorities gained control of the region.

It follows that the total number of Jews exterminated in the territories under Antonescu authority, established by demographic statistical balance, adds up to roughly 270,000 victims, from which roughly 155,000 Romanian Jews and roughly 115,000 native Ukrainian Jews.

This being said, we must admit that no one counted the victims and no one can therefore establish their exact number.

However, we can affirm with certainty that in the territories under Antonescu government, more than a quarter million people were exterminated, for the sole fault of being born Jews.

 

 

 

 

THE LIST OF GHETTOS AND CONCENTRATION CAMPS

IN TRANSNISTRIA

 

 

 

1.      Alexandrovka                                                                 34.  Chianovka                                                   

2.      Ananiev                                                                          35.  Clocotma

3.      Akmeceka                                                                      36.  Crivoje-Ozero

4.      Arva                                                                               37.  Dubasari

5.      Balanovka                                                                      38.  Djurin

6.      Balta                                                                              39.  Dimidovka

7.      Balki                                                                              40.  Derebcin

8.      Bar                                                                                 41.  Domanovka

9.      Bogdanovka                                                                  42.  Frunza

10.  Budi                                                                               43.  Golta

11.  Bondarovka                                                                   44.  Gorai                                                                 

12.  Bucov                                                                            45.  Grabivtz

13.  Birzula                                                                           46.  Grosolovo

14.  Britovka                                                                         47.  Hrinovka

15.  Brailov                                                                           48.  Halcintzi

16.  Bershad                                                                          49.  Ivascautza

17.  Briceni                                                                           50.  Israilovka

18.  Cetvarinovka                                                                 51.  Iampol

19.  Cicelnic                                                                         52.  Iaroga

20.  Cernevtz                                                                        53.  Iarishev

21.  Cazaciovka                                                                    54.  Kolosovka        

22.  Capustiani                                                                     55.  Kopaigorod

23.  Capusterna                                                                     56.  Ladija (stone quarries)

24.  Carlovka                                                                        57.  Lohova

25.  Cariskov                                                                        58.  Lozova

26.  Codima                                                                          59.  Lucinetz

27.  Cuzmintz                                                                       60.  Lucinik

28.  Comotcautzi                                                                  61.  Malo-Kiriuka

29.  Cucavka                                                                        62.  Manikovka

30.  Crijopol                                                                         63.  Marinovka

31.  Chirnasovka                                                                  64.  Murafa

32.  Crasnoje                                                                        65.  Mishcovka

33.  Ciorna                                                                           66.  Moghilev

 

 

67.   Moloknia                                                                              93.  Slidi

68.   Mostovoi                                                                              94.  Tatarovka                      

69.  Nikolaevka                                                                            95.  Tulcin

70.  Nimratz                                                                                 96.  Tivrin

71.  Nesterovka                                                                            97.  Tiraspol

72.  Obodovka                                                                             98.  Tridubi

73.  Odessa                                                                                  99.  Trihat

74.  Ozarinetz                                                                            100.  Tzibulovka

75.  Olgopol                                                                               101.  Trostinetz

76.  Olianitza                                                                             102.  Tropava

77.  Ostia                                                                                   103.  Vazdovka

78.  Pavlovka                                                                             104.  Vapniarka

79.  Pasiuka                                                                               105.  Vitovka

80.  Popivitz                                                                              106.  Vorosilovka

81.  Pankovka                                                                            107.  Vigoda

82.  Peciora                                                                                108.  Vinduieni

83.  Rabnitza                                                                              109.  Vinozi

84.  Raschstadt                                                                           110.  Vladislavka

85.  Savrani                                                                                111.  Verhovka

86.  Sumilova                                                                             112.  Vaslinovo

87.  Shargorod                                                                            113.  Vendiceni

88.  Suha-Balka                                                                          114.  Varvarovka

89.  Stanislovcek                                                                        115.  Zabokirit

90.  Stefanka                                                                              116.  Zatisia

91.  Slivina                                                                                 117.  Zemrinca

92.  Scazinetz                                                                          

 

 

 

LIST OF THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS BEYOND THE BUG

 

1.      Bratlav                                                                                  10.  Narajevka

2.      Bogokov                                                                               11.  Nimierov

3.      Berezovka                                                                             12.  Nikolaev

4.      Ciucov                                                                                   13.  Ordovka

5.      Corievka                                                                                14.  Seminka

6.      Gaisin                                                                                    15.  Talalaievka

7.      Ivangorod                                                                              16.  Taplic

8.      Mateevka                                                                               17.  Zarodnitza                                                                           

9.      Mihailovka

 

* The list of the ghettos and concentration camps in Transnistria was reproduced from the work of writer Sonia Palty – “Jews, cross the Dniester!” – pages 223-224, Libra Press, Bucharest, 2002.

 

 

 

ROMANIAN CITIZENS AWARDED BY THE STATE OF ISRAEL THE DISTINCTION AND MEDAL “THE JUST OF THE PEOPLES”

 

In 1953, the Israeli parliament (Kneset) voted in a special law by which the Institute Yad Vashem was entitled to institute a memorial for “The Just of the Peoples”, individuals who risked their lives to save Jews.

In Romania, a few dozen people have earned this honorific title so far:

 

Agarici Viorica                                                                Pelungi Stefan

Antal Rozalia                                                                   Peter Gheorghe

Anutoiu T. Anghel                                                           Pocorni Egon

Baias Maria                                                                      Pocorni Nicolina

Baias Vasile                                                                     Pop Aristina

Beceanu Dumitru                                                             Pop Maria

Catana Maria                                                                    Pop Nicolae

Cociuba Traian and his son                                              Pop Valer

Cojoc Gheorghe                                                                Popvici Traian

Craciun Ana                                                                      Profir Gheorghe

Craciun Pavel                                                                    Puti Alexa

Demusca Letitiana                                                            Puti Maria

Dumitru Adrian                                                                 Puti Tudor

The Queen-Mother Elena                                        Simionescu Constantin

Farcas Rozalia                                                                  Sion Micea Petru

Farcas Stefan                                                                     Stoenescu Ioana

Florescu Constanta                                                            Stoenescu Pascu

Ghitescu Alexandru                                                 Strauss-Tiron Gabriela

Grosz Bandi                                                                       Stroe Magda

Grosz Rozalia                                                                    Strul Elizabetha

Hij Metzia                                                                          Suta Ioan

Hij Simion                                                                         Szakadati Ianos

Manoliu Florian                                                                 Sorban Raul

Marculescu Emilian                                                           Toth Jozsef

Moldovan Valeriu                                                              Tubak Maria

Motora Sabin                                                                      Vass Gavril

Muranyi Rozalia                                                                 Zaharia Iosif

Onisor Ioana

Pantea Nona

 

 

Lya Benjamin – Memorial of the Jewish martyrs from Romania – page 69, Hasefer Press, Bucharest, 2003.

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

 

 

Ancel Jean – Transnistria – Vol. 1-3, Atlas Press, Bucharest, 1998

Ancel Jean – Contributions to Romanian History – The Jewish Problem 1933-1944, vol. 1 – Hasefer Press, 2001 and vol. 2 – Hasefer Press, 2003

Benjamin, Lya – Persecution and Resistance in the History of the Romanian Jews, 1940-1944, Studies – Hasefer Press, Bucharest, 2001.

Bines Carol – From the history of immigrations to Israel 1882-1995, Hasefer Press, Bucharest 1998.

Carmelly Felicia – Shattered!  50 Years of Silence, History and Voices of the Tragedy in Romania and Transnistria.  Ontario, Canada, 1996.

Carp Matias – The Black Book – The Ordeal of the Romanian Jews vol. 1-3 – Diogene Press, 1996.

Giurescu C. Dinu – The Romanian Jews 1939-1944 – Historical Magazine, Nr. 11 (368), November 1997

Glasberg Ruth-Gold – A time of dry tears – Hasefer Press, Bucharest, 2003

Hillberg Raul – The extermination of the Jews in Europe – vol. I-II – Hasefer Press, Bucharest, 1997

Ilisei Ilie – Popescu D. Ioan – The Files of Sufferance – Musatinii Editorial Group, The Future Bucovina, 1999.

Ioanid Radu – The Jews under Antonescu Regime – Hasefer Press, Bucharest, 1997.

Korber Bercovici Miriam – Ghetto Journal – Criterion Press, Bucharest, 1995.

Litani Dora – Transnistria – Tel Aviv, 1981.

Mezincescu Edward – Marshal Antonescu and the catastrophe in Romania – Artemis Press, Bucharest, 1993.

Palty, Sonia – Jews, cross the Dniester! – 4th Edition, Libra Press, Bucharest, 2002.

Pelin Mihai – The massacres committed by the Romanian militaries in Odessa – the  “Ora” newspaper nr. 223 from July 27, 1993 and nr. 224 from July 30, 1993.

Pelin Mihai – Legend and Truth – Edart Press – Bucharest, 1994.

Regenstreif Dan – Les juifs de Roumanie, a l’approche du XXI siècle.  Une communauté très éprouvée en voie de disparition – Les Nouveaux Cahiers – Paris, 1998.

Regenstreif Dan – Roumanie, antisémitisme sans juifs – Information Juive – Paris, 2000.

Rozen Marcu – The demographic involution of the Jews in Romania in the period 1940-2000, Bucharest, 1998.

Rozen Marcu – The Jews in the district of Dorohoi during the Second World War – Matrix Rom Press, Bucharest, 2000.

Rozen Marcu – Sixty years from the deportation of the Romanian Jews to Transnistria – Matrix Rom Press, 2001.

Rozen Marcu – The Holocaust under Antonescu’s Government – Historical and Statistical Data about Jews in Romania 1940-1944 – A.R.J.V.H., Bucharest, 2004.

Schechtman Iosif – Transnistria – article published in the Magazine of the Mosaic Cult nr. 766 – September 1993.

Stoenescu Alex Mihai – The army, the marshal and the Jews – RAO International Publishing Company, 1998.

Stoian Mihai – The last trap.  From Struma to Mefkure – Hasefer Press, Bucharest, 1995.

Safran Alexandru – A cinder snatched from the flames – Memoirs – Hasefer Press, Bucharest, 1996.

Safran Alexandru – Speech in the Romanian Senate – The Jewish Reality nr. 1 (801), April 1-15, 195.

Safran Alexandru – Speech in the Coral Temple – The Jewish Reality nr. 1 (801), April 1-15, 1995.

Troncota Cristian – Glory and Tragedies – Nemira Press, 2003.

Udler Rubin – In the hell of Transnistria – The Jewish Reality nr. 5 (805), May 1995.

Zahacinschi Nicolae – The Mihaileni of the past – Litera Press, 1982.

***  Antonescu between law abidance and war-crime – investigation published in the  

       Magazine “22” nr. 209 and 210 from February 1994.

***  The martyrdom of the Romanian Jews 1940 – 1944 – Documents and 

       Testimonies – Study Center for the History of the Romanian Jews – Volume   

       prepared by Lya Benjamin, Scientific coordinator Sergiu Stancu – Hasefer Press, 

       Bucharest, 1993.

***  The Jews of Romania between the years 1940-1944 vol. II, The Jewish problem

       in the stenograms of the Ministers’ Council – FCER – Study Center for the 

       History of the Romanian Jews – Volume prepared by Lya Benjamin – Hasefer 

       Press– Bucharest, 1996.

***  The Jews of Romania between 1940-1944 vol. III, Part I and II, 1940-1942,

       Times of Great Misfortune – Scientific coordinator Prof. Dr. Ion Serbanescu –

        Hasefer Press, Bucharest, 1997.

***  The Jews of Romania between 1940-1944 vol. IV, 1943-1944 – The Balance of

       Tragedy – Revival of Hope – FCER – Study Center for the History of the

        Romanian Jews, Scientific coordinator Prof. Dr. Ion Serbanescu – Hasefer Press,

        Bucharest, 1998.

***  The Jews of Romania during the War for Unification of the Country in 1916-

       1919 – Volume prepared by Dumitru Hincu.  Material selected by Lya Benjamin

        – Hasefer Press – Bucharest, 1996.

***  Generations of Judaism and Zionism – Dorohoi, Saveni, Mihaileni, Darabani,

       Hertza, Radauti Prut – Prepared and redacted by Shlomo David – vol. 1, 2, 3, 4. 5

       – Israel 1993-2000.

***  The painful break of a long coexistence – FCER – Study Center for the History

       of the Romanian Jews – Volume prepared by Lya Benjamin, Dumitru Hincu,

       Harry Kuller, Ion Serbanescu – CSIER Press – Bucharest 2001.

***  The extermination of the Romanian and Ukrainian Jews during the Antonescu

       period – editor of the first part: Randolph L. Braham – Hasefer Press, 2002.

***  Jewish World Congress – Section Romania – The Jewish population in numbers

       – Statistical Memento – 1945.

***  Jewish World Congress – Section Romania – The settlements of the Romanian

       Jews – Statistical Memento – 1947.

***  Central Institute for Statistics – The General Census of the Romanian Population

       from December 29, 1930 – published by Dr. Sabin Manuila, director of the

       General Population Census – vol. I, II, III and V – Bucharest, 1938.

***  Central Institute for Statistics – The Population Census from April 6, 1941.

***  The inventory of Basarabia and Northern Bucovina in August-September 1941.

***  C.E.R. – The census of inhabitants of Jewish origin from May 1942.

***  The General Inspectorate of the Gendarmerie – Numerical situation of the Jews

        living in Transnistria’s localities and districts today, from the ones evacuated

        from Basarabia and Bucovina – the situation as of September 1, 1943.

 

 

 

 

- CONTENTS -

 

Preface

…………  1

The author’s testimony as a survivor of the Transnistria Holocaust

…………  3

HISTORICAL AND STATISTICAL DATA REGARDING THE PREDICAMENT OF THE JEWS UNDER ANTONESCU GOVERNMENT 1940 – 1944

…………. 7

To the reader’s attention

…………  8

I. THE JEWS OF ROMANIA IN THE PERIOD PRECEDING THE ANTONESCU GOVERNMENT

…………  9

1.  The anti-Jewish pogrom of Dorohoi (July 1,  1940)

………… 10

II.  THE JEWS OF ROMANIA IN THE PERIOD AFTER THE INSTAURATION OF THE ANTONESU GOOVERNMENT AND PRIOR TO THE OUTBREAK OF THE WAR WITH THE SOVIET UNION  (September 1940 – June 22, 1941)

………… 12

1.  The Legionary Rebellion

………… 13

III.  THE JEWS OF ROMANIA IN THE PERIOD AFTER THE OUTBREAK OF THE WAR WITH THE SOVIET UNION AND PRIOR TO THE DEPORTATIONS TO TRANSNISTRIA (June 22, 1941 – September 1941)

………… 14

1.  The pogrom and death trains of Iasi

………… 15

2. The mass assassinations of Jews in Basarabia, Northern Bucovina and the land of Hertza during the first months after the outbreak of the war

………… 17

IV. THE DEPORTATION OF THE ROMANIAN JEWS TO  TRANSNISTRIA

………… 20

1.  The deportation of the Jews from Basarabia, Bucovina and the land of Hertza

………… 20

2.  The deportation of the Jews from Southern Bucovina

………… 23

3.  The deportation of the Jews from the District of Dorohoi

………… 24

4.  The deportation in 1942 of certain categories of Jews from The Old Kingdom and Southern Transylvania

………… 26

5. The total number of Romanian Jews deported to Transnistria

………… 27

V. TRANSNISTRIA – A PLACE OF SUFFERANCE AND DEATH

………… 29

VI. THE FATE OF THE NATIVE UKRAINIAN JEWS

………… 37

VII.  TRAGIC BALANCE FOR THE JEWS UNDER ANTONESCU GOVERNMENT

………… 43

VIII.  CONCLUSIONS

………… 44

MEMORABLE CALENDARISTIC DATA DURING THE RACIAL PERSECUTION AND GENOCIDE IN THE TERRITORIES UNDER ROMANIAN AUTHORITY

………… 48

STATISTICAL  DATA  AND CALCULATIONS  REGARDING  THE JEWS  OF  ROMANIA  DURING  THE SECOND  WORLD  WAR

………… 52

GENERAL DEMOGRAPHIC BALANCE OF THE JEWS FROM THE FORMER UNIFIED ROMANIA AND TRANSNISTRIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

………… 63

THE  LIST  OF  GHETTOS  AND CONCENTRATION  CAMPS  IN TRANSNISTRIA

………… 68

THE JUST OF THE PEOPLES

………… 70

BIBLIOGRAPHY

………… 71

 



[1] Jean Ancel – Contributions to the History of Romania – Volume 1, Part 1, page 81, Hasefer Press, Bucharest, 2001.

[2] See table 1 on page 53.

[3] See table 1 on page 53.

[4] See table 1 on page 53.

[5] See – The Jews of Romania between 1940-1944, vol. I – The Anti-Jewish Legislation – Hasefer Press, Bucharest, 1993, volume edited by Lya Benjamin.

[6] The Martyrdom of the Romanian Jews – page 73 – Hasefer Press, Bucharest, 1991.

[7] The Jewish issue in the stenographic reports of the Ministers’ Council – Lya Benjamin, Hasefer Press, 1996.  See the stenographic reports of the Ministers’ Council from April the 8th, 1941 – A.S.B., Fond. P.C. Cabinet, file 474/1941, pages 60, 64, 65, 66, 74. (Lya Benjamin, Stenographic Reports).

[8] See table 2 on page 54.

[9] Raul Hilberg – The Extermination of the Jews in Europe, vol.1, page 676, Hasefer Press, 1997.

[10] M. Carp – The Black Book – vol. III, page 119 – Diogene Press, 1996.

  Dinu C. Giurescu – Historical Magazine Nr. 11(368), November 1997, page 73.

[11] The Martyrdom of the Romanian Jews – page 7 – Hasefer Press, 1991.

[12] M.Carp – The Black Book – Vol. 3 – page 63-67 – Diogene Press, 1996 (according to the report of the investigative committee formed by order of Marshal Ion Antonescu). 

[13] The Archive of the High Command of the Romanian Army – Collection of the 4th Army (from July 11, 1941) – Copy in USHMM, RG 25003, Rall 7810144

[14] See the stenographic report of the Ministers’ Council from July 8, 1941 – A.S.B., Fund P.C.M. Cabinet, file 475/1941, pages 103-128 – Lya Benjamin – Stenograms.

[15] Historical Magazine – Nr. 11 (368) November 1997, page 75.

[16] See table nr. 3 on page 55.

[17] See the stenographic report of the Ministers’ Council from June 8, 1941 – A.S.B., Fund P.C.M. Cabinet, file 475/1941, pages 103-128 – Lya Benjamin – Stenograms.

[18] M. Carp – The Black Book – Vol. 3 – page 68 – Diogene Press, 1996.

[19] M. Carp – The Black Book – vol. III, page 164, Diogene Press, 1996 (from the confession of the former mayor of the district of Cernauti, Dr. Traian Popovici).

[20] According to the Jewish population census of May 1942.

[21] See table 5 on page 56.

[22] See table 5 on page 56.

[23] See table 5 on page 56.

[24] See table 6 on page 57. 

[25] See table 5 on page 56.

[26] Schechtman Iosif – Transnistria – Mosaic Cult Magazine, nr. 766-sept. 1993.

[27] Ruth Glasberg-Gold – A time of dry tears – Hasefer Press – Bucharest 2003, page 107-134.

[28] Disease of human beings and animals characterized by spastic paralysis.

[29] From Sonia Palty’s book:  “Jews, cross the Dniester!”, page 225-242 – Libra Press – Bucharest, 2002 (containing the full testimony of the survivor).

[30] Ilisei Ilie, Popescu D. Ioan – The files of suffering – Musatinii Editorial Group, The future Bucovina, 1999.

[31] M. Carp – The Black Book, vol. 3, page  455-458 – Diogene Press, 1996.

[32] M. Carp – The Black Book, vol. 3, page 511 – Diogene Press, 1996.

[33] See table nr. 8 on page 58.

[34] Cristian Troncota – Glory and tragedies, page 76 – Nemira Press, 2003.

[35] Cristian Troncota – Glory and tragedies, page 79-80 – Nemira Press, 2003.

[36] See the stenographic report of the Ministers’ Council from November 13, 1941 – A.S.B. Fund P.C.M. Cabinet, file 477/1941, pages 10, 11, 52, 53 (Lya Benjamin – Stenograms)

[37] Dr. Harry Kuller – An inedited document regarding the anti-Jewish reprisals in Odessa (October 1941) – F.C.E.R.-C.S.L.E.R. – Bulletin of the Center, Museum and Historic Archive of the Jews of Romania, nr. 10/2004, page 36.

[38] See the stenographic report of the Ministers’ Council from December 16, 1941 – A.S.B. Fund P.C.M. Cabinet, file 478/1941, pages 110, 112, 120, 153, 158 (Lya Benjamin – Stenograms).

 

[39] Cristian Troncota – Glory and tragedies – page 77 – Nemira Press.

[40] Radu Ioanid – The Jews under the Antonescu Regime – page 302 and 348, Hasefer Press, Bucharest 1997.

[41] Includes the Jews killed or deceased during the journey to Transnistria, the Basarabian Jewish refugees killed during the reprisals in Odessa, as well as other war-victims.

  Note:  With the exception of the Jews killed during the pogrom in Dorohoi, under the Gh. Tatarascu government, all other victims were killed during the Antonescu government.

[42] Alexandru Safran – A cinder snatched from the flames – page 96-107 – Hasefer Press, 1996.

[43] Jean Ancel – Contributions to Romanian History, vol. 2 – second part – page 242-248 – Hasefer Press.

[44] The Hebrew Reality nr. 51 (851) from May 16-31, 1997.

[45] See the stenographic report of the Ministers’ Council from September 5, 1941 – A.S.B., Fund P.C.M. Cabinet, file 476/1941, pages 107-109, 115, 116, 127-129, 143-144 (Lya Benjamin – Stenograms).

[46] See table nr. 13 on page 61.

[47] See the stenographic report of the Ministers’ Council from April 20, 1943 – A.S.B., Fund 103, microfilms, roll 1-106 (Lya Benjamin – Stenograms).

 

 

[48] The Jewish World Congress – Romanian Section – “The Settlements of the Jews in Romania” – Statistical Memento, page 30 – Bucharest, 1947.