“Leova” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Romania, Volume 2
(Leova, Moldova)

46°29' / 28°15'

Translation of “Leova” chapter from Pinkas Hakehillot Romania

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1980



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Joel D. Waters


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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Romania, Volume II,
page 362, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1980

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Translated by Ite Toybe, Belgium

With the change in government all the wealthy Zionist activists were arrested and deported to Siberia, and their property was confiscated. The imprisonments started one month after Bessarabia was annexed to the Soviet Union in July 1940. The Jewish intelligentsia suffered the most: two doctors and one chemist were arrested. Only the chemist returned home, the other two perished in Siberia. During the retreat of the Romanian army in June 1940 no harm was done to the Jewish community of Leova, that boasted about 600 families (in 1930 there were 2,326 Jews in Leova).

At the start of the war the village, located on the river Prut, found itself on the frontline. All the inhabitants tried then to leave the village with the help of the Russians, but most of the Jews who succeeded in doing so were murdered in neighbouring villages and towns by Romanian soldiers and gendarmes.

Only a few succeeded in reaching Odessa or the Caucasus mountains. In Odessa they were murdered by the Germans and in the Caucasus their underwent a similar fate after the region was conquered by the Germans. All those Jews who stayed in Leova were murdered by the Romanian army. A few of the Leova Jews that were intercepted on the road were deported to Transnistria. From there only a few returned: of the 600 Jewish families living in Leova before the war only 30 Jews returned to Leova.


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