1 Execution site(s)
Mikhail S., born in 1935: "When the Romanian gendarmes arrived at the village, they started to massacre the Jews almost immediately. They would go to Jewish houses, take the Jewish families out and bring them to the outskirts of the village to shoot them. The column of Jews that was gathered before the shooting was very big. There were at least a hundred people in the column. While walking to the execution site, the Jews threw their belongings and valuables away. They knew they were about to die. The gendarmes didn’t let anyone take anything. Some Jews were shot outside of the village, I don’t know exactly where. Some of the Jews were shot in their homes. Their bodies were taken to the Jewish cemetery by local men to be buried.” (Witness N°182, interviewed in Alexăndreni, on November 20, 2014)
“(…) On July 15, 1941 Romanian soldiers including local [Romanian] policemen [i.e. gendarmes] broke into houses of [Alexăndreni] residents, took them out and killed them on the spot, because they were Jews. On that day [another] 85 residents of Alexăndreni and 33 residents of the town of Bălți who were then in Alexăndreni were killed [in an open field in the area of the Alexăndreni rural council]....
The rampage of vile killing in the village of Alexăndreni lasted all day. The German and Romanian monsters showed no mercy to old people, young infants, or pregnant women. Grigorii Mosintsev, a resident of the village of Alexăndreni, noted: "One’s heart was shaking at the shootings and the heart-wrenching screams of those people being murdered. Murder victims were everywhere. Whole families were exterminated, neither old people, nor children, nor even pregnant women, were spared. Before my eyes the whole Rechtel family was killed: two old people of 75 years old, the Rechtel’s daughter, and their 4-month-old granddaughter. Six people were killed in the Peretz family, including two children, one 6 years old and one - 8, and the Peretz’s daughter-in-law, who was killed when she was about to give birth (…)” [Report drawn up by Soviet Extraordinary Commission; RG22-002M:GARF 7021-96-127]
The village of Alexăndreni was established in 1837 as a Jewish agricultural colony, with Jews remaining as the majority of population prior to World War II. In 1897, 1.190 Jews lived in Alexăndreni. They represented approximately 95% of its total population. Most of the Jewish residents from Alexăndreni were involved in growing tobacco. According to the 1930 census, there were 1.018 Jewish inhabitants in Alexăndreni (67% of its total population). There were also Ukrainians, Moldovans and Romanians living in Alexăndreni before WWII. Alexandra C., born in 1931, remembers that local Jews were mainly traders and artisans: bakers, locksmiths and tailors. They occupied the part of the village which was located on one side of the bridge. On the other side lived non-Jewish residents. There was no synagogue in Alexăndreni, the Jews from the village would go to the one in Bălti. A Jewish cemetery was located at the outskirts of Alexăndreni. In June 1940, with the signature of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, Alexăndreni found itself under the occupation of the Soviet Union and became a part of Soviet Moldova.
Romanian troops entered Alexăndreni in July 1941. Right after their arrival, the Romanian gendarmes carried out the massacre of local Jews. According to a ChGK Soviet reports, on July 15-16, 1941, Romanian gendarmes, assisted by local non-Jews, entered Jewish houses and shot a number of Jews on the spot. YIU’s witness, Alexandra C., born in 1931, remembers that bodies of Jewish victims stayed in the houses for at least a week before they were buried by requisitioned locals. Then another 85 Jewish residents of Alexăndreni and 38 residents of the town of Bălti who had fled to Alexăndreni, were rounded up and marched to a field outside the village, where they were shot by Romanian gendarmes. Today, there is no memorial at the site. On July 17th, Romanian soldiers, resigned to Alexăndreni from the nearby village of Heciul Nou (Novyye Gechi), killed another 15 Jewish residents of Bălti. They were shot and buried at the local Jewish cemetery. The remaining Jews of Alexăndreni were later deported to Transnistria.
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