1 Execution site(s)
Arkadii M., born in 1934: “Y.U. : And when the Romanians came, what kind of administration did they create?
Witness : There was a Jewish Committee here. It was made up of Romanian Jews. Romanian and Bessarabian Jews. It is possible that it is thanks to them that we came out of it alive. They spoke the language; they made arrangements with the Romanians. And thanks to the local population, the locals treated Jews very well. The priest gathered the Ukrainian community and said: “Go ahead, help the Jews as much as you can.” Even the polizei treated the Jews well, everybody knew each other. We all grew up together, we were friends. Then they became polizei, can’t hold it against them. When the war was over, the polizei were taken, the Jews went to beg for them, but it was all for nothing, the polizei were given 25 years (of imprisonment). Though they didn’t do anything bad, they were even helping the Jews, helping them very much, even when the Germans were about to enter the shtetl, they would warn us and tell us to run away in a field, in a forest.
Y. U. : And those Romanian and Bessarabian Jews, were they brought here at the beginning of the war?
Witness : Yes, right away, at the very beginning of the war. They were wealthy people. We were poor. When we saw how they were dressed, you could tell they were from the West. They lived in our houses. There was no other place. We shared as much as we could. We had a very big house. We had a freestanding house. One side of the house, there were two rooms and a kitchen. The other side, there were three rooms, dining room, kitchen and a shed. My mom and my aunt had 2 cows. We were a big household.” (Witness n°2808U, interviewed in Hybalivka, on October 12, 2020)
“About 2000 deportees from Radauti, Siret, Campulung Moldovenese, Suceava, Czernowitz and other cities were brought to Djurin. Even in the time of the Tsar, there was a Jewish settlement in the village which the Communists left undisturbed. There was a cooperative, a kitchen and a Jewish militia. The percentage of poor people was smaller than in other cities of Transnistrien. At the end of 1942, a captain from the construction company Todt had brought a Jewish family to Dzhurin. At the same time, he brought money from Bucharest from various charitable organizations and private individuals. That helped to improve the situation of the deportees. There was only 30% mortality.
There was also a bakery in the village. The deportees lived by selling the possessions they had brought with them and worked occasionally for the Ukrainian farmers, although, they were supposed to remain in the village even though paying work beckoned from outside the village borders. Leaving the camp was punishable by death.
When the Russians occupied Dzhurin they found stores of clothing provided by the charity Joint [Joint Distribution Committee]. The Russians distributed the clothing to their people while hundreds of deportees ran around covered by sacks and without shoes. To protect the children from becoming delinquents, a school was created. Rabbi Baruch Hager from Siret provided worthy service there. Among those who died were Rabbi Hornik from Siret, the physicians Dr. Sabath and Dr. Greif from Radauti and the lawyers Dr. Walter Horowitz-Rohrlilch and Dr. Emanuel Scherzer from Suceava.”[ Source : Translation of chapter “Djurin” from Volume II: Geschichte der Juden in der Bukowina. Edited by: Hugo Gold. As told by: Martin Hass (Tel-Aviv), Published in Tel Aviv, 1962. Translated by: Jerome Silverbush]
Dzhuryn is a town, part of the historical Podolia region, located on the left bank of the Dniester, 75 km (58mi) southwest of Vinnytsia. The first record about the Jewish community goes back to the 17th century. In 1765 84 Jews lived in the village. By 1897 their number increased, and they comprised 34% of the town’s total population, with 1,585 Jews living in the village. The majority of the town’s Jews lived off small scale trade and handcraft. Some worked at the sugar factory. The community had a synagogue and several prayer houses. Under Soviet Rule a seven-year Yiddish school was created. In 1924 a Jewish collective farm “Union of Jewish grain growers”, which included 50 – 60 families, was formed. On the eve of the war, only 19% of the total population was Jewish due to immigration of the youngest ones to bigger cities.
Dzhuryn was occupied by German and Romanian troops on July 22, 1941. Right after the occupation all the Jews were instructed to mark their homes by a six-pointed star and wear a special binding on the sleeve. From September 1941 the village was taken under Romanian rule and became part of Transnistria. The Dzhuryn ghetto was created shortly after that in the area where the Jews lived before the war. About 3,500 Jews from Bukovina (North and South) were deported to Dzhuryn. The deportees were resettled with the local Jews, while others, about 1,000 Jews, were accommodated in a large synagogue, stables, and warehouses. Often, the Jewish deportees from Bukovina and Bessarabia were better educated and often wealthier than local Jews. Around 120 Jewish families from Bukovina were able to settle outside the ghetto by bribing the administration authorities. In the spring of 1942, the Judenrat, Jewish council was created, composed of representatives of the Jewish community in South Bukovina and headed by Suceava lawyer Dr. M. Rosenstrauch. The Judenrat created the high tax system, the Jewish police (20 people), the pharmacy, the hospital, the court, the canteen for the poor and the 50-bed orphanage. The doctors succeeded in reducing the scale of the typhus epidemic. Many Jews were required to perform road and railroads construction, but the Judenrat succeeded in reducing restrictions on Jews and especially deportations. Out of 4,000 Jews who remained in the ghetto as of 1943, only 500 Jews perished.
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