Căuşeni (Causeni, Kaushany, Koshany, Kaushen) | Căuşeni

/ Căuşeni train station where many Jews evacuated before the German occupation. The trains went in the direction of Bender. The evacuation lasted for several days. © Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum The Yahad team with a witness where he saw his Jewish friend being evacuated before the Germans’ arrival: “The evacuation started on June 23, 1941. Trains were free of charge.”© Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum One of the former synagogues in Căuşeni. Others were destroyed and in their place, other buildings have since been constructed. © Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum In the yard of a witnesss’ house © Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum Ivan G., born in 1923, remembers the day he saw the shooting: “The elderly and handicapped people were taken to the shooting on carts by two German  gendarmes. There were also 3 Moldovans who were requisitioned to cover the pit.” © Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Vasile B., born in 1929, recalls that the Jews burned down their houses before the evacuation: “A special group of about 20 men was created for that. Three men from that group were caught and burned by the Moldovans.”   © Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum Ivan G., born in 1923, shows the team the execution site: “On the eve of the shooting, the Primaria, under the order of two Germans, dug a pit. It looked like a basement, 2x2x2x.“ © Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum The Yahad team with the witness, reconstructing the scene of the execution near the mass grave. © Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Căuşeni

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Field
Memorials :
No
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
About 120

Witness interview

Ivan G., born in 1923, remembers: “There was the construction of the road that led to Olanesti. So everyone who had carts was requisitioned for two weeks to transport the stones. My father was ordered by the Primaria to go with his cart but he couldn’t go, so I went in his place. So I had to bring stones from the stone quarry, located close to the village of Aleksandorvka. When I got there, I saw Jews working in the quarry. As I knew after talking to them, they were Romanian Jews who were requisitioned by Romanians to smash the stones. They worked in inhuman conditions, completely exhausted. It was in winter. They were barely dressed and instead of boots, they had wrapped fabric on their feet.” (Eyewitness N° 149, interviewed in Căuşeni on August 22, 2013)

Historical note

Căuşeni is a small town in eastern Moldova, located about 85km southeast of Chisinau. Evidence shows that Jews first settled in Căuşeni in 18th century. By 1817, 53 Jewish families lived in Căuşeni. Due to large immigration waves, the community increased to up to 80 families in the 19th century. There were many farmers and artisans among the Jews. Aside from agriculture, many Jews were involved in small business and trade.  According to the 1930 census, about 35% of the population was Jewish (1.872 Jews lived in the town). There were 5 synagogues before the war. In 1940, the town was first occupied by the Soviets and then in the summer of 1941 by the Germans.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Before the war started, many Jews managed to evacuate to the east with the help of the Soviet authorities. The town was occupied in early July 1941. Those who stayed, mainly disabled and elderly Jews, were shot in July or August 1941, in the mass grave located close to the river. According to some sources, about 120 Jews were shot. One of the witnesses interviewed by Yahad saw the shooting of a group of 15. The Aktion was conducted by German gendarmes with the help of Romanian soldiers.

Jewishgen

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