Hirova (Guirovo) | Călărași

/ “The Jews from Hirova were merchants. When the war began, they were all gathered by local peasants in a Jewish house and then shot by Romanian gendarmes in a nearby forest.”© Kate Kornberg - Yahad-In Unum Jacob G., born in 1935, saw the bodies of Jews from Onișcani after the execution. They were shot in an anti-tank trench not far from the village of Hirova.© Kate Kornberg - Yahad-In Unum Jacob G., born in 1935:  “One Jewish boy was still alive but wounded. When the villagers from Onișcani saw him, they called the soldiers so they would finish him off.” © Kate Kornberg - Yahad-In Unum Jacob G., born in 1935:  “A baby who was hidden under his mother’s skirt survived the execution. A man from Onișcani took him by legs and hit him against the tree until he killed him.” © Kate Kornberg - Yahad-In Unum Mass grave of at least 70 Jews from Onișcani killed by Romanian gendarmes near the village of Hirova in July, 1941. © Kate Kornberg - Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Hirova

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
At least 70

Witness interview

Jacob G., born in 1935: “The Jews from Hirova were shot by several villagers in a nearby forest. One day, they were all gathered in a local house that belonged to a Jewish man called Louzer. My father knew him very well, they worked together. Shortly before the shooting, Mr. Louzer came to ask my father for shelter for his wife and children. My father agreed but he hid them only for one night after which he told Mr. Louzer that he can’t risk his family’s life anymore. Mr. Louzer understood him and left with his family. Then, all the Jews were shot in the forest (…) Another shooting of Jews took place in the anti-tank trench near Hirova village. The day of that shooting, I was passing with my mother on a cart by the road in the direction of Hirova. That’s when I saw the bodies of about sixty Jews in the anti-tank trench located not far from the road. The Jews were already dead. They were brought there from the village of Onișcani: men, women and children.” (Witness N°202Mo, interviewed in Hirova, on March 9, 2015)

Moldovan/Romanian Archives

“… The entire Jewish population was gathered, women, old people, children of all ages, in one of the Jewish houses. They gathered seventy-two people. At around 6 o’clock in the evening, the head of the gendarmerie, a certain Floria Golgogianu, arrived in the village, accompanied by a non-commissioned officer named Evgueni Bornia, and five gendarmes whose names I do not know. First they took all the men out, tied them up to each other by the hands. They were escorted by the gendarmes, and there was with them the postmaster, the Bornia officer, as well as several men from our village. They were six: Nicolae Gârbu, Pantelae Gârbu, Eremea Țurcanu, Nicolae Tenesescu, Vasile Mateescu; all the Jewish men were taken outside the village of Guirovo (Hirova), about 4km to the northeast, and one hundred or one hundred and fifty meters before the forest, the chief gave the order to stop. He left with Mateescu to examine the place, then they came back, gave the order to walk a few meters and made everyone stop there. They pushed the Jewish men about five meters forward and the gendarmes shot them all down with machine guns.

The next day at dawn, even before sunrise, all the women and children were taken away to be shot; the escort was the same as for the men; everyone stopped a few meters before the place where the men had been shot and the gendarmes prepared to shoot the rows of women with infants in their arms. Next to them were the adolescents and small children, who were just standing. They began by shooting adult women, then adolescents, then the gendarmes approached and shot the infants at close range in the arms of their shot mothers. When the execution was over and everyone was about to leave, a little girl of about six stood up among the corpses and looked around at the bodies of the shot mothers, not fully understanding; at that moment one of the gendarmes noticed the girl still alive and approached to shoot her, but the girl got scared and hid her eyes with her hands. She was shaking with fear but she was not crying like little children cry and the gendarme shot her down. Then all the bodies were buried. " [Source : Moldovan KGB archives. RG 54.003 Fichier 48. P.1-70.]


Historical note

Hirova is a village in Călărași District located in central Moldova. Before the outbreak of WWII, there were Moldovans, Roma and Jews living in the village. The latter were merchants and shop owners. They lived in the village center. The Jewish and non-Jewish children went to the same school. There was no synagogue in the village. Hirova is located about 7km from Onișcani. In 1930, there were 89 Jews living in Onișcani out of a total of 2,296 of inhabitants.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

According to Moldovan archives, two mass executions of Jews from Hirova were carried out on July 29-31, 1941. On July 27, 1941 the permission was given to the local population by Romanian militaries to organize the pogrom of Jews. The inhabitants of the village started to gather and beat up the Jews and loot their properties. All the Jews were caught and locked up in one of the local houses. The Romanian gendarmes arrived in Hirova on July 29 or 30, 1941 and they carried out two mass executions of Hirova Jews. In the first one that took place the day of their arrival, they shot 30-40 Jewish men. On the next day, they shot about 50-60 women and children. Both executions took place in a nearby forest located about 4km from Hirova. Unfortunately, YIU’s team didn’t manage to locate the mass grave of the Jewish victims from Hirova.

According to Iacob G., born in 1935, another mass execution took place near the village of Hirova in July, 1941. The Romanian troops arrived to Onișcani, a village located about 7km from Hirova, in July, 1941. Some of the local Jews had left the village and fled eastward before their arrival. Right away, the Romanian gendarmes started to gather the remaining Jews, mainly elderly people and families with children, altogether with some Jews from different villages who found themselves in Onișcani at that moment. According to available sources, there were several Jews from the village of Hîrbovǎt among the victims. The Jews were shot by the Romanian gendarmes in the anti-tank trenches located a few kilometers from Onișcani, not far from the village of Hirova. According to YIU’s witness Iacob G., among the victims there were men, women and children. No memorial marks the mass grave of the Jews from Onișcani.

After the execution, the Jewish houses and belongings were looted by the villagers from Onișcani.


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