Table of Contents

[Pages 5-6]


Translated from the Russian by Garri Shneyder

Kilia, an ancient small town, was founded 2700 years ago at the Danube River delta in close proximity to the Black Sea. This large river flows through eight European countries, making here deep and wide, providing the development of ports for the ocean ships.

Since the beginning, Kilia had a diversified population of Russians, Ukrainians, Lipovans, Moldavians, and Jews.

From 1920 through 1940, there were between 2400-2500 Jews in Kilia: merchants and tradesmen, rich and poor, middlemen and longshoremen, who worked shoulder to shoulder with the Russian longshoremen, carrying bags with grain up to 50-60 pounds.

Romanians occupied Kilia in 1918; however, they did not start the development of our city. There were no highways and railroads. There were only 4 classes of gymnasiums for a general town population of 20,000 and another 50,000 of the rural area. The Danube would freeze almost every winter and the town would become isolated for the several months.

The Jewish Community was better organized: 4 nice synagogues (the 'main' synagogue on Big Danube Street was considered as one of the luxury buildings of the town), school and day care “Tarbut”, youth organizations of different movements, library, drama class, sport groups, “Maccabi” brass orchestra, loan and savings bank, 2 houses for elderly and all of that – the social activity of the Jewish community.

Also, the Zionist activity started, fundraising for KEREN KALEMETA and KEREN GAYESRDA. Until 1940, about 50 families and chaluzim were able to leave for Palestine.

In 1940 the Jewish population warmly greeted the Soviet Army; however, Stalin's Soviet regime stopped all organized life of the Jewish population. Using the unlawful measures (Para 38 & 39), several hundred Jews were expelled as “untrustful”. Some of them never returned. All 4 synagogues, school, library and Jewish community building were confiscated by the order. This was obvious discrimination, since from all 6 churches in Kilia, four were left intact and they are still active today.

* * *

The days of horror were coming. On June 22, 1941, the German-Romanian fascist troops invaded Bessarabia. On July 18, 1941, the Soviet Army moved out from Kilia. During these 26 days, there was no organized evacuation of Jewish population. WE KNOW WHO SPILLED THE BLOOD OF 1800 JEWS OF KILIA, ELDERLY, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN. During first 2 weeks, the Romanian gendarmes shot to death more than 100 Jews on streets of the town. At night, the Russian neighbors were bringing the bodies of killed Jews to the cemetery, where they were buried in the common grave until today.

On September 25 and 30, 1941 all Jews were expelled by the order (most walked out by foot). In TATARBUNARAH another 118 were shot to death (see the document “report” by gendarme Colonel Mikulesku). In Odessa another 80 were killed (either shot to death or hanged). On the way to the BOGDANOVKE, in most cases elderly, sick, and children were shot to death, about 300 people.

On December 25, 26, and 27, 1941 horrible organized shootings took place of 54,000 Bessarabian and Odessa Jews, including more than 1100 Kilians. Only 180 people survived, including 8 people of Kilia.

With the big delay – 50 years after tragic liquidation of Jewish population of Kilia – the remnants of Kilia currently living in Israel had organized to consecrate the lost relatives for the future generations.


A small group of these executioners were sentenced to various prison terms in Romania. In the USSR, there were 2 judicial trials of the killers and 22 were executed. We believe that many of these killers are still hiding these days and the arms of justice must reach them. THERE IS NO MEMORIAL IN BOGDANVKA TO GIVE TRIBUTE TO 54,000 JEWISH VICTIMS OF FASCISTS.

We are glad that in the last year, Jews of the Soviet Union are allowed to repatriate to Israel. We would like to believe that the local Soviet government would be able to erect the memorial to honor 1800 Kilian Jews as victims of fascists and also would improve the situation at the Jewish cemetery.

Kilia - a general view (the 16th century)

[Pages 10-13]

Translated from the Russian by Garri Shneyder

  1. Kilia is an ancient city. Its squares and streets saw ancient Greeks and armored phalanges of Alexander the Great, Roman cohorts of Trayana, armies of Igor and Svyatoslav, cruel Tatar-Mongol occupiers, Yanichars, legendary Zaporozhny hundreds and the armies of famous Field Marshals Suvorov and Kutuzov.
  2. The riverboat is moving along Danube River. It comes to the port. Cranes, granite promenade, flowers. And behind is the City of Kilia, beautiful as its name. The city starts at the gates of the port. Blocks of the white buildings, straight streets, Old Park near the lake, monuments, squares, and then new factories with the whitestoned walls, surrounded by vineyards. Kilia is spreading for 12 kilometers along the blue Danube.
  3. The history of town Kilia goes back to the deep past.
  4. Likostomon. This was the name of the merchant colony established by ancient Greeks at the Danube Delta in 7 BC.
  5. Perhaps Geti destroyed it, razed it to the ground and also built by Alexander the Great with its temple.
  6. In the middle of the first century, new conquerors were showing up. The roads of Kilia again were put to the torch.
  7. Why Roman legions were fighting so desperately here? There are Trayan structures built by Roman slaves. Eight meter wall along the Prut River.
  8. In 4 -6 AD Slavs settled in the delta of Danube.
  9. And Slavs accomplished the great mission in their history. This land became their homeland.
  10. Gradually, Kilia became a powerful fortress in the ancient Russia.
  11. Several blocks from Kilia's port there is the Church of Nicholas. Historical monument built 11 – 13 AD.
  12. It's a very interesting history of this church. Mongolians destroyed it. Restored in 17th Century by Moldovans, restored again in the 19th Century by Russians. During the Turkish period, it became a mosque.
  13. After ousting the Tatars occupation, Kilia became a part of Moldovan realm. It also is known as Vazia.
  14. Kilia is becoming one of the largest towns and ports. Part of Moldovan realm, with trades, vendors, architecture, art.
  15. There is a legend about brave young women of Kilia, Masha and Katherine. They committed suicide rather than being taken by the Turks.
  16. After liberation from the Turks in 1812, Kilia quickly developed. In 1827 it had a population of 3671, with Russians, Ukrainians, Moldovans, and Jews.
  17. It happened on June 30, 1901. The mill workers announced a strike.
  18. In March 1917, Kilia Soviet of workers and soldiers was established.
  19. The meetings were running from morning until night.
  20. In the second half of December 1917, the revolutionary order was established.
  21. Incursion of Royal Romania was marked by mass executions.
  22. In September of 1924, Andrei Kluzhnikov led the Tatarbunar rebellion.
  23. In the same year, a partisan group expanded its heroic struggle.
  24. In the spring of 1933, the Kilia security service was able to capture several members of the underground organization.
  25. In 1934, young Communist organization increased membership by workers and intelligensia.
  26. On June 28, 1940, at 2am, Soviet troops, following the order of their own government and people, crossed the Dneister River and started the campaign of liberation.
  27. Romanian occupational forces were trying to smuggle industrial equipment.
  28. In the first hours, the struggle ensued between Romanians and Communists.
  29. During Romanian occupation, more than ten restaurants were built, as well as a small power station.
  30. On June 22, 1941, at 4am, sleepy Kilia was awoken by explosions.
  31. Soviet people heroically defended the Danube delta.
  32. With arrival of German-Romanian fascists, mass executions and tortures were started in town.
  33. On August 1944, troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front crushed German-Romanian occupational forces.
  34. Armored boat under command of Lieutenant Vorobyev was first to enter port of Kilia.
  35. The heroism of the Soviet people will never be erased from memory.

[Page 14]

Today and Tomorrow

Translated from the Russian by Garri Shneyder

  1. Kilia during its previous existence didn't know such industrialization.
  2. There are legislative party and Soviet organization offices on the central street of town.
  3. There are new blocks of housing in town.
  4. The town is beautiful.
  5. Today Kilia and the surrounding area have new construction, dams, canals.
  6. The town is decorated by new buildings of the Kilia – Dzinelop railroad station and at the seaport.


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