“Dubassar” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Romania, Volume 1
(Dubasari, Moldova)

47°07' / 29°10'

Translation of “Dubassar” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Romania

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1969


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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Romania,
Volume 1, pages 418-419, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1969


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(pages 418-419)
 

Dubassar, Romania

The district capital, about 60 km. northwest of Tiraspol, on the eastern bank of the Dniester River.

Translated by Shula Laby, M. D. and Morton Laby, M.D

The district capital, about 60 km. northwest of Tiraspol, on the eastern bank of the Dniester River.

In 1926, 3,630 Jews lived there, comprising 80.9% of the population. The town was captured by the German/Romanian army in mid-July, 1941. At that time 3,500 Jews remained there. With the capture of Dubassar, the Einsatzgruppe commando gathered all the Jews of the district (about 18-20,000) into the town. Among them were Jews who had fled from Besssarabia and Bukovina when the war started.

All except some 200 Jews (who were miraculously saved in three locations) were slaughtered by the commando unit of the SS who followed the conquering army.

More than 10,000 bodies were thrown into a mass grave near the old hospital. About 500 meters north of that location another mass grave was prepared, which later became a cornfield.

After the slaughter, the Germans and Romanians took out wagons full of belongings of the murdered Jews. They also desecrated the Jewish cemetery and removed the headstones, which they used for paving the street around the public garden. The remaining headstones were destroyed. These facts were told to returning survivors by the Ukrainian inhabitants of the town.

The town was administered by the German military government, headed by a high officer of the SS. Dubassar was also the headquarters of the Romanian Gendarme Legion which guarded the border. This was headed by Gen. Dambrovicianu. The person in charge of the district was the Romanian Col. Batcu, who was dependent on the whim of the German officials in the district .Mobile units of the SS guarded the strategic road from Dubassar to Grigoriopol, which was then fortified.

In 1941, when the slaughter of the Jews in the Golta district began, ten Jews succeeded in escaping from Crivoje-Ozero and reached Dubassar. The slaughter was documented in a report by the gendarmes in Transnistria.

In December, 1942 a group of 10-12 Jewish accountants was sent to Dubassar , chosen from the refugees who had fled to Moghilev and Balta. They were put under the orders of the authorities of the district, and were housed in the municipal prison by the gendarmes. They were employed by the district government in different offices in the town and district where there was a lack of such professionals. In addition, five Jewish doctors and three Jewish pharmacists from the Regat were also brought to work in the local hospital as forced laborers. They were housed in the hospital, and were forbidden to leave the building without a special permit. For their work they received food rations.

The two high Romanian officers treated the medical personnel from Regat well. Occasionally they were even told in advance about the Germans'plans for the near future. The source of this information was none other than the German commander himself, who often visited the hospital because he suspected the Jewish doctors of hiding partisans in the building.

In September, 1943 a group of several thousand refugees was brought to Dubassar. They had been gathered from various places in Transnistria to work on repairing the road from Dubassar to Grigoriopol. Among them were many Jews from Iasi. All the refugees, men, women, and children, wore rags. Their shoes were torn, and many even were barefoot. They were housed in stables along the road where they worked. The food which they received was a mixture of corn flour and straw. They were guarded by Romanian gendarmes from Dubassar, under the German commander. They worked 14-16 hours per day, under strict supervision. Anyone trying to escape was shot on the spot.

After many of the Jewish workers died, Soviet citizens were brought in to take their places. Supervision over these workers became even morestrict. Searches were conducted frequently, in order to discover any propaganda material; since the activity of the partisans was increasing in the area with the approach of the Russian Armies.

At times, some Ukrainian gentiles brought food to the Jews.

Due to the lack of proper sanitation, many people died of typhus. A few sick people were brought to the municipal hospital, where the Jewish doctors cared for them, and shared their own food rations with them.

In mid-March, 1944, eighteen refugees from Dubassar arrived in Tiraspol, where envoys from the Bucharest Aid society helped them cross the Dniester River in order to return to Romania.


Bibliography:

Archives of Yad veShem O-3 /1927 PKR/V-16 (205-18) PKR/V-60 (843)
Archives of M.Carp VIII, 114
Carp. M. Cartea Neagra III, Bucuresti, 1947, pp. 201,215, 439
Feldman, Moshe ben Yaakov; In Memory of the 18,500 martyrs who died for the Sanctification of G-d's Name at the hands of the murderous Nazis in the town of Dubassar by the Dniester, near Bessarabia Transnistria. 1943-44. New York, 1946.

Translator's note: To learn more about the town of Dubassar and its vibrant Jewish community, from which many famous people came, we suggest reading the translation of the Dubassar Yiskor Book, which can be found on the Jewish Gen site on the Internet.


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