Sokyryany, Ukraine Yizkor Book

Project Name. Translation of Yizkor book “Sekiryani, Bessarabia - alive and destroyed”

Project Leader
Carla Brauer-Lalezari

JewishGen Yizkor Book Project Manager: Lance Ackerfeld

Project Synopsis

The Yizkor book “Sekiryani, Bessarabia - alive and destroyed” was published in Tel Aviv in 1954. The book contains 260 pages written in Hebrew. The link for this book appears online at

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in this town constitute the primary audience for the material.  However, the material has the potential to be of broader interest to scholars specializing in Jewish history and society in this region.

Project Importance

Yizkor books are unique sources of information on once vibrant towns, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe, whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust. Written after World War II by émigrés and Holocaust survivors, yizkor books contain narratives of the history of the town, details of daily life, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and gripping stories of the major intellectual and Zionist movements of the 20th century. The necrologies and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value, as often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps or shot in the forests are not recorded elsewhere. Usually written in Hebrew or Yiddish, these important books are not accessible to most users, who cannot read these languages. Thus, the translation of these books into English unlocks this information to many more researchers all over the world. The JewishGen Yizkor Book Project received the award in 2002 for outstanding contribution to Jewish genealogy by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

The city of Secureni (Târgu Secureni, Sokyryany, Sokiriany, Sekuryany, Sekurian, Sikuran, Sekureni, Sekuron, Sokorone, Sekurjany, Sokiryany, Sekiryani) in northern Bessarabia, lies today in the Ukrainian province of Chernivtsi.

In 1904, the town had 783 houses and 4166 inhabitants, of whom 2590 were Jews. On the eve of World War II, Jewish population amounted 4216 inhabitants. According to the census of 2007, the town's whole population comprise of 9683 inhabitants.

The first document attesting the town's existence dates 1666. Until 1711, Secureni was part of the Principality of Moldova. From 1711 to 1812, it belonged to the Ottoman province of Hotin and, from 1812 to 1918, to the Russian province of Bessarabia.

From 1918 to 1944 - with a brief break during World War II, when the area was invaded by Soviet troops later repelled by the Romanians with Nazi support – Secureni was the capital of a district with the same name, covering 23 villages in the Romanian province of Hotin, having been an important commercial center with post and phone office, private school, court, a public hospital and a Jewish hospital.

In late July 1941, it was inaugurated in Secureni a transit concentration camp, where there were initially interned Jews originating mainly from Hotin. During the first days, about 35% of the prisoners died because they were fed with raw grain, though later this figure has fallen to one tenth. Jews imprisoned in Secureni, however, were in a better position than the ones at the camp of Edinet, which, originating mainly from Bukovina, had been looted during the trip. Both camps together amounted nearly 21 000 prisoners.

Apparently unfair or mistaken interpretations of higher orders received by a certain Romanian officer would have cost the death of 500 Jews who were deported from the transit camp Secureni in October 1941 to the extermination camp of Cosauti, managed by the Romanians in Transnistria.

With the end of the war, Secureni joined the USSR until its disintegration and the subsequent proclamation of the Republic of Ukraine in 1990 (Klabin, 2010).

Project Description

The book has 260 pages and it is written in Hebrew. It was edited by Ze'ev Igeret (b. 1897) and published in Tel Aviv in 1954. The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site under Secureni. The publisher for this book is Va'ad ha-Irgun shel yots'e Sekuryan = Committee of Former Residents of Sekiryani.

Estimated Cost

The estimated cost for this project would be in the range of $8000. JewishGen will be responsible for paying the translator and donations to the fund will be tax-deductible for US citizens.


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Updated 1 Mar 2012 by LA