1 Execution site(s)
Maria T., born in 1928: “A pregnant Jewish woman escaped from the column and managed to get to my sister-in-law’s house where she gave birth. She asked my sister-in-law to take and hide her baby, but she refused. In the morning, the soldiers picked Jewish woman up and took her to the execution square, along with her newborn child (…) The pit was filled by the villagers of Frasin. Sometime after the execution, the soil in the pit moved: there were people still alive below.” (Witness N°219, interviewed in Cordenii Noi on April 29th 2016)
Frasin is a village and a commune in Dondușeni District in northern Moldova. In 1930, there were 29 Jews living in Frasin, which had 1,933 inhabitants in all. The Jews from Frasin were mainly merchants and, according to YIU’s witness Feodor B., born in 1927, “they owned all the commerce in the village and they were respected by the villagers”.
According to Feodor B., born in 1927, when the German troops arrived in Frasin in July 1941, they evacuated all the villagers, forcing them to move to the nearby village of Gaspar. In the meantime, they settled down in Frasin and took over the village. After some time, the peasants came back to Frasin and the Germans were replaced by Romanian soldiers who established a new administration in the village and appointed a new Mayor. The local Jews managed to escape along with the Soviets. At the end of September 1941, a column of about 300 Jews escorted by Romanian soldiers was placed outside the village. The column had been transferred from Ukraine, from the Chernivtsi region. Feodor B. recalled that during that night, the villagers would trade with the Jews from the column, exchanging food for clothes. The next morning, the gendarmes selected several people from the column and forced them to dig a grave. Then, according to available sources, they chose several dozen Jews and took them to the pit. The Jews were forced to undress and valuable objects were taken from them, with gold teeth removed with pliers. Then the victims were thrown into the pit alive, and the Romanian soldiers ordered the other inmates in the column to bury them alive. Several gendarmes were shooting in the direction of those who tried to climb out of the mass grave during the filling. According to YIU’s witnessn as well as some of available source, some villagers from Frasin also shot the Jews to finish them off. Maria T., born in 1928 recalled that “we could hear the Jews’ screams and see the soil moving even after the pit was filled”. The Jews’ belongings were partially looted by gendarmes, partially distributed to the villagers who took part in the execution. In all, about 30 Jews from the column were shot in Frasin while others were taken in the direction of Transnistria. Another four were shot in a mass grave close to the village of Codrenii the following day.
For more information about the killings in Codrenii Noi please refer to the corresponding profile.
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