48°18' / 27°18'
Translation of Cepelutiţi chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Romania
Published by Yad Vashem
Published in Jerusalem, 1980
This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities,
Romania, Volume II,
page 394, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1980
JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of
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Translated by Ala Gamulka
A village in the Hotin District located about 18 km from Lipcani. In 1930 there were about 200 Jews there.
The Jews were craftsmen and merchants. The leader of the congregation, for many years, was Rabbi Yona Forman. The Jews of Cepeleuţi suffered greatly at the hands of members of the Iron Guard who was in charge during the anti-Semitic reign of Goga-Kuza.
The changes in government in 1940 were not accompanied by attacks on the Jews in the village. There is no information on the condition of the Jews during the Soviet reign (1940-41). When the war broke out and after the retreat of the Soviet forces from the village, a gang of local criminals was organized. It was made up of four Ukrainians. Among them was the secretary of the municipal council, Nikolai Dabija. They approached the officers of the Romanian army units that had reached the village and they were able to receive arms from them. They also had a free hand in attacking Jews. The gang went from door to door taking valuables. They took all of the Jews of Cepeleuţi to an area about one kilometer outside the village. There they forced the Jews to dig a large pit. All of the Jews, without exception, were shot. Prior to that, any items belonging to the Jews had been taken from them. Babies were thrown by the murderers from hand to hand and then shot. One Jewish girl was forced to dance naked in front of the pit before, she, too, was slain. All properties of the Jews were divided among the Christian residents.
Out of all the Jewish residents, two young girls were saved because they had been away from the village on that fateful day. Also, a young boy who had been hidden by a Christian neighbor, survived. After the war the three young people returned to the village for a short period of time. One former resident if Cepeleuţi who had moved away before the war came back after he was liberated. He was able to pay for a fence around the burial pit, but did not erect a headstone.
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