Tarigrad | Drochia

/ Nadezhda P., born in 1928:  “The Romanians went from house to house to find the Jews and gathered them all in the basement of a local school.”© Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Nadezhda P., born in 1928:  “From the basement, the Jews were taken to the field and shot at the edge of the pit that had been dug by several Romanian soldiers.”© Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Maria S., born in 1918:  “After the shooting, Jewish houses and shops were looted by locals.”© Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum The former location of a local school where Jews were gathered in the basement before their execution. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Nadezhda P., born in 1928, brought YIU’s team to the mass grave of the Jewish victims from Tarigrad. Today, as then, it is an arable field. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Mass grave of about 50 Jews from Tarigrad and the surrounding area, killed by German-Romanian troops in July, 1941. There is no memorial at the site. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Tarigrad

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 50

Witness interview

Maria S., born in 1918: “Before the war, there were Moldovans, Jews and sedentary Roma living in the village. The Roma were locksmiths and the Jews were mainly merchants. I remember a Jewish shop owner Odla (…) Romanian soldiers came into the village on foot. I remember that they came in the summer because it was a sunny day. On the day of their arrival, they gathered the local Jews in the basement of our school. Then, they shot them outside the village. I saw this Jewish woman, Odla, being taken with her two girls to the basement of the school. I didn’t see the shooting, but I heard that she was killed, as well as the rest of the Jews from Tarigrad (…)" (Witness N°115M, interviewed in Tarigrad , on May 22, 2013)

Soviet archives

“The commission has received the information that the German-Romanian occupants shot the civil population of Tsarigrad [Ţarigrad], in number of 22 people, in early July 1941. The mass grave with the bodies of the shot victims is located in the western part of the village, outside the village. During the forensic research in the village of Tsarigrad [Ţarigrad] one mass grave was identified. Upon the opening the corpses of the dead victims were discovered, laying in disorder. The exact number of the dead bodies was impossible to establish due to the advanced decomposition of the bodies.

According to the testimonies of the local residents, Boris O., Mikhail R., Pantelei V., the commission established that on the day of the arrival of the Romanian troops in the village of Tsarigrad [Ţarigrad], in July 1941, the following civilians, residents of the village, were arrested: Moshka Kofman, 65-70 years old, Avrum Kofma, 62 years old, Moshka Merenfeld, 65 years old, along with their wives and children and another 10 Jews who had arrived from others villages of Moldova; and confined into the basement of the school located in the village Tsarigrad [Ţarigrad]. The following day in the morning, they were shot by Romanian soldiers from the machine gun at the western part of the village, outside the village. The following residents were shot:
1. Merenfeld Khait with four children;
2. Merenfeld Moshko, 65 years old along with his wife and daughter;
3. Kofman Moshka, 65 years old and his wife;
4. Kofman Kraina, 23 years old;
5. Kofman Avrum, 62 years old.
The ten Jews who arrived from other villages of the Moldovian Socialistic Republic weren’t identified. Their names are unknown. All of them didn’t belong to any political party and were Jewish.”
[Act n°7 drawn up by Soviet Extraordinary State Commission(ChGK) on May 11, 1945, GARF: 7021-96-84]

Historical note

Tarigrad is a village in Drochia District in northern Moldova. Before the outbreak of the WWII, there were Moldovans, Jews and sedentary Roma living in the village. The Jews were mainly merchants and they owned several local stores. There was no synagogue in the village.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

In July 1941, the Jews of Tarigrad and nearby villages were rounded up in the basement of the village school, by German-Romanian troops on the day they arrived. The Romanians, supervised by the Germans, looked for the Jews in their homes. Once all the Jews were gathered in the school basement, they took them, in groups of 8-10 people, to a field outside the village where Romanians soldiers were waiting armed with machine guns. The Jews from Tarigrad and the surrounding area were shot at the edge of the pit. After the shooting, the perpetrators left the execution site without filling the mass grave. Nadejda P., born in 1928, recalls that two days later, the villagers decided to fill the pit themselves, for fear that the dogs would feed on the bodies. Yahad-in Unum’s investigation identified the exact location of the pit. The number of victims mentioned in the archives (between 22 and 25 people) seems to be underestimated. Nadejda P. who was a direct witness of the shooting claims that around 50 people, men, women, and children, were killed that day by German-Romanian soldiers. The bodies of the victims remain in the mass grave today. There is no memorial at the site.

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