“Valea Lui-Vlad”
Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Romania, Volume 2
(Valea lui Vlad, Moldova)

47°29' / 28°08'

Translation of “Valea Lui-Vlad” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Romania

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1980


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to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Romania, Volume II,
page 351, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1980


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[Page 351]

Valea Lui-Vlad

Translated by Ala Gamulka

In Romanian it is called Valea Lui-Vlad. This was a Jewish settlement in Balti District, located about 50 km from the capital.

Jewish Population

Year Number
of
Jews
1897 1,318
1910 1,385
1930 1,355

 

The settlement was established in 1836 on purchased land. The first Jewish settlers came from Podolia. Valea Lui-Vlad was a border settlement and Jews were not permitted to reside there according to Tsarist regulations. Still, the Jews from other villages and nearby towns found a haven there from persecutions by the Tsarist police. The police respected the Jewish colonists because they were farmers who earned their living by working the land. The colonists had some autonomy. Eventually, 36 families joined the original agricultural community. They did not own any land. Often, disputes arose between the farmers and the other residents. The farming population increased quickly thanks to natural growth although the area actually farmed remained small. The “immigrants”, as the newcomers were called, were mainly merchants and craftsmen. They blocked the way for the youth to pursue non-agricultural work. Although they did not own any land, they raised animals on grazing land in the settlement. These areas were tiny to begin with. When taxes were levied, the “colonists” managed to make certain the “immigrants” carried most of the payments. It was a kind of tax that had to be paid by the residents who were not farmers. They even had to pay a tax to the mayor. The “colonists” looked down upon the non-farmers. They called themselves “razeshi” i.e. free farmers. This term was used by Moldavian farmers. The total land of the settlement was comprised of 436 Disiatins. At the beginning, every family had a plot of 5.32 Disiatins.

Eventually, the method of distributing the land was changed in Valea Lui-Vlad. From 82 families who owned land, only 31 owned more than 4 Disiatins. The rest had to be content with smaller plots. The plots belonging to the Jewish settlers were smaller than those of other Jewish settlers in Bessarabia.

The settlers mainly grew wheat (in 1899 on an area of 59 Disiatins) and corn (an area of 33 Disiatins).

The main work animal was the horse. Work methods were quite primitive and the Jewish farmers had very few implements. One plough served the whole village. The raising of cattle held an important place, especially among the non-farmers.

At the end of the 19th century there was a slow change in the societal make-up of the village. 120 families of the total of 255 owned land. Those who did not own land arrived later in the Valea Lui-Vlad and earned their living in commerce and as craftsmen. An interesting characteristic of the village is that there were many wheat merchants. This was a productive line of work. Towards the end of the 19th century there was a considerable decrease in this field. This was due to competition among the Jews in the village as well as because the Christian farmers tried to sell their produce directly in the markets without any intermediaries.

At the beginning of the settlement, two synagogues and a bathhouse were built. There were also different charitable funds as well as a savings and loan facility.

The children attended the only school in the village.

 

Holocaust

There is no information on the fate of the Jews. It is assumed that some were slaughtered in the village and the rest escaped or were transferred to Balti.


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