Novoselytsya (Novoselitsa, Noua Sulita) | Chernivtsi

Border point. © Taken from The Russian-Austrian border. © Taken from Railway station in the Austrian Novoselytsia. © Taken from Street of Novoselytsia under Austrian rule. © Taken from Street of Novoselуtsia under Austrian rule. © Taken from / An old Jewish cemetery. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The last remaining synagogue in Novoselytsya. It is about to be restored. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Inside the synagogue. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’ team with the witnesses explaining about the Yahad’s researches. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Mendel T., born in 1926, a Jewish survivor: “At 14, I weighted only 22kg. I was a skeleton. In the camp where I was detained they gave us 100gr of mamalyga without salt per day.” ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Yelena A., born in 1930, followed the column of Jews going towards Novoselytsya. Men, women, and children were brought to the open grave. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Our Rabbinic advisor Mendel Samama with Mendel T., the Jewish survivor of Novoselytsya, June 2015 ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team with a witness near the execution site. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The execution site of Jews from Novoselytsya. Their bodies were reburied at the Jewish cemetery in Stroyintsi, where a memorial was built.  ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews from Novoselytsya in Marshyntsi and Stroyintsi

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Field close to the road
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 50

Witness interview

Mendel T., born in 1926, was the only one survivor from his family: “There were 39 Jewish Komsomols who fought the Romanians at the moment of the occupation. When the Romanians entered the town, they started to fire at them with sub machine guns. But then, the Romanians started to fire back and killed every single Jew who went out of the house. They killed everyone, no matter if they were children, elderly people, or women. They killed babies by smashing their head against the walls, they didn’t even fire at them. They raped little girls aged of 10-12 years old. My wife was raped by ten Romanian soldiers and back then she was only 10 years old.
YIU: When the Romanians arrived, did your family go into hiding?
W: Yes, we all went into hiding. And after, when we were all rounded-up, we were taken to the building where we stayed locked up for about a week. We were guarded by a gunned Romanian. All the remaining Jews from Novoselytsya were confined in that building. Some of Jews managed to flee to Russia. After one week, we were taken from the building to different concentrations camps and ghettos. (Witness n°1900, a Jewish survivor interviewed in Novoselytsya, on June 29th, 2015)

Soviet archives

« On Saturday, July 5, 1941, the Romanian troops arrived in the village of Novoselytsya. Straight away, they started to shoot the civilian population. They killed them on the streets, in the houses, everywhere where they could find them. Some were taken outside the town, towards the Jewish cemetery, to the field, located close to the village of Marshyntsi where they were shot. The following day, on Sunday, the Romanian soldiers searched for the Jews. They checked in every house. They shot dead anyone they found. Then, armed with sub machine guns they cordoned off the Jewish houses and set them on fire. If someone tried to escape from the flames he was shot dead on the spot. My son and I along with other Jews were forced to gather the corpses of the dead Jews on the street. There were many corpses, at least about 200. We had to transport the gathered corpses to the school yard, located on the Lenin street. Personally, I knew many of the victims. There were many children and young women among the victims. Once we gathered the dead and transported them to the school yard on Lenin street we were taken to the camp located in the village of Selyshche. Five days later we were relocated in the camp of Bershad, in the region of Vinnytsia. » [Deposition of a Jewish survivor, Benya Eidelmann given to the State extraordinary commission (ChGK) on July 27, 1944; RG 22.002M: 7021-79-75]

Historical note

Novoselytsya is located about 38km southeast of Chernivsti.  In 1774, with the annexation of Bukovina by Austria, the western part of the village fell within the borders of the Austrian empire while the eastern part came under Russian rule when Bessarabia was annexed by Russia in 1812. In 1918 the town was taken over by Romania. In the first half of the 19th century due to immigration of Jews to Bessarabia, 66% of the total population was Jewish, and in 1930 its number grew up to 86%. In 1930, 4,152 Jews lived in the town.  The majority of them were merchants. Others were artisans or farmers. There were also Jewish doctors and lawyers. There were 14 synagogues, including the oldest one built in 1740, a Jewish cemetery and Jewish schools, including Talmud Torah and cheders. The Zionist movement operated in the town until 1940 when the Soviets annexed the territory and closed all Jewish institutions. The majority of members of the Zionists movement were deported to Siberia.  The village was occupied by Romanian troops on July 5th, 1941. Only a small percentage of Jews managed to flee by that time.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

On the same day when the Romanians arrived, a 3 day pogrom was organized in Novoselytsya during which the market and Jewish houses were set on fire and about 975 Jews were killed on the spot. According to a Jewish survivor, interviewed by Yahad, the young girls were raped by the Romanians. The remaining Jews were ordered to gather the corpses and bury them at the cemetery in the nearby village of Stroyintsi. After, they were locked up for 3-7 days in the former premises of the tractor services. 37 of the detainees alleged of communism were shot on July 31, 1941. This most likely occurred close to the village of Stroyintsi. There is information within some sources about the ghetto that was created for a very short period of time because all the Jews were ordered to leave the town on July 27.  Within two days all Jews were assembled on the main road and taken to Transnistria along with the other Jews from the district of Khotyn, Guertsa and Storozhynets.  Being turned back from Transnitria, controlled by Germans, the majority of Jews were settled in the camp in Sokyriany which numbered 20,852 Jews on August 11, 1941. Due to lack of space some Jews were transferred to a camp in Edinet. Hundreds of Jews died from hunger, diseases and unbearable living conditions before reaching Transnistria. About 40-50 Jews were taken and shot in Marshyntsi. A small percent of Jews, especially those who were relocated in the Bershad camp, managed to survive the war.

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