Balta Ghetto Listings

Introduction By Oleg Sirbu and Nolan Altman

· Background
· Database
· Acknowledgements
· Searching the Database


Part of the deal between the Nazis and the Romanian leader was that Antonescu's government was officially entrusted with governing and exploiting the region between Nistru and Bug reivers, an area called "Transnistria".  On August 19, 1941, Marshal Ion Antonescu established the government of Transnistria, which was officially installed after the capture of Odessa on October 16, 1941.  The Supreme Headquarters of the Army [Comandamentul de Capetenie al Armatei] underwrote the authority of the government of Transnistria.  On November 11, 1941, Gheorghe Alexianu, governor of Transnistria, with the authority vested in him by Marshal Antonescu, signed Ordinance 23 establishing Transnistria as a penal colony, divided into 13 districts.  A prefect ruled over each district and enforced the Ordinance.  A pretor administered each sub-district.  Balta was one of the thirteen, with the capital city of Balta.  Each district was governed by a prefect, who in the case of Balta was Vasile Nica.  Local gendarmerie and police were subordinate to the prefects.  Balta police and gendarmerie were from Fifth Balta Battalion.

Before the war this area had a Jewish population of 300,000.  Tens of thousands of them were slaughtered by Einsatzgruppe D and by other German and Romanian forces.  When Transnistria was occupied, it was used for the concentration of the Jews of Bessarabia, Bukovina, and northern Moldavia, who were expelled from their homes on the direct order of the Romanian dictator, Ion Antonescu.  The deportations began September 15, 1941, and continued, with some interruptions, until the fall of 1942.  Most of the Jews who survived the mass killings carried out in Bessarabia and Bukovina were deported to Transnistria by the end of 1941.  According to the records kept by the Romanian gendarmerie and army, 118,847 Jews were deported in that first phase.  The deportations were resumed in the summer of 1942, with 5,000 Jews, mostly from Chernovtsy, forced across the Dniester River.

The Jews in Transnistria were not permitted to choose their place of residence; they were confined to ghettos and camps and were all put on forced labor, "for the public good."  They were promised a daily wage in the form of food and money, but in practice received no pay at all for their work until late of 1943.

On September 3, 1941 Colonel Vasile Nica, within three days, ordered all district Jews into a ghetto across four street blocks.  He appointed one Jew as a "primar" who was authorized set up a Jewish police force, prohibiting any one to leave the ghetto and sentenced everyone 14-60 years old, men and women, to hard labor.  In addition, every Jew had to wear a yellow star and a registration number.  Balta had local Jews as well as Jews deported from Bessarabia, Bukovina, and Dorohoi.

On October 14, 1941 gendarmerie headquarters of Transnistria issued an order by which all the Jews were prohibited to be used for work outside the ghetto so as to prevent the spread of disease.  The Second Army pursued the "solution" by concentrating the Jews in isolated labor camps and worked them to death.  According to the ghetto list that was put together sometime in October of 1941, there were a total of 2,824 Jews in the ghetto.  According to a report from a Romanian authority in Transnistria during the winter of 1943, there were 2,723 Jews living in the Balta ghetto (70% locals, 18% from Bessarabia, 11% from Bukovina, and 1% from Moldavia and Walachia).  On November 18, 1943, 83 Jews were executed.

The heading of this list is: "List of Jews registered in the ghettoes, catalogued alphabetically and by the head of the family."


This database includes 2,817 Jews from the Balta Ghetto, Transnistria, as of 1941.

The fields of the database are as follows:


The information contained in this database was indexed from the files of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum [USHMM RG-31.004M, Reel-16], which got its copy from the Odessa Oblast Archives.  This information is accessible to you today thanks to the effort of the following JewishGen volunteers who are responsible for the transcription of this file: Nolan Altman (coordinator) and Paula Zeiselman.

In addition, thanks to JewishGen Inc. for providing the website and database expertise to make this database accessible. Special thanks to Susan King, Warren Blatt and Michael Tobias for their continued contributions to Jewish genealogy.  Particular thanks to the Research Division headed by Joyce Field and to Nolan Altman, coordinator of Holocaust files.

Nolan Altman
May 2005

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Last Update: 15 Sep 2005 by WSB.