What happened in Transnistria?

Deportation of Romanian Jews to Transnistria (1941). Photo Credit: US Holocaust Memorial Museum / National Archives and Records Administration

Transnistria was a territory between the Dniester and Bug rivers, administered by the Kingdom of Romania between 1941 and 1944. It is not identical with the present-day region of Transnistria, which is an ongoing political issue between Russia, Moldova and Ukraine. During the war, Romanian and German units murdered 150,000-250,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews. Romanian units acted both under German command and on their own initiative to carry out these killings.

Shortly after the Axis conquest of the territory from the USSR in 1941, Jews in the city of Kishinev were killed by shooting, and the remainder forced into a ghetto where they performed forced labour.

In the winter of 1941-42 Romanian troops murdered almost all the Jews in the ghetto of Bogdanovka, and in camps at Domanevka and Akhmetchetkha. A ghetto (or “colony” as described by the Romanian units) at Mogilev saw vast death from typhus. Camps at Pechora and Vapniarka also caused mass death. At least 270,000 Romanian Jews were murdered during World War II.

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