1 Execution site(s)
Cosacu A., born in 1924: “Two Jews were shot in the village when the Germans and Romanians arrived here. Sometime later, their families, as well as other Jewish families from Mărăndeni were gathered in one of the local houses. From there, they were taken to the camp established in the village nearby. I would go there almost every day with some food to barter with Jews. My mother would give me bread and cheese which I exchanged for different things, mostly clothes. We would exchange items through the fence. The gendarmes who were guarding the camp didn’t say anything. The Jews would take the food and share it with their families in the camp. Sometimes, they had nothing to give me in exchange, but I would leave them food anyway.” (Eyewitness N°192, interviewed in Mărăndeni, on November 25, 2014)
Mărăndeni is a village in Fălești District in northern Moldova. Before the outbreak of WWII, there were several dozen Jewish families living in the village. They were mainly merchants. They would buy different products in the nearby towns and villages and sell them in Mărăndeni. They lived in one of the village neighborhoods. The relations between Jewish and non-Jewish residents of Mărăndeni were described by the witnesses as good. Every Tuesday, there was a big market in Bălți, located about 20km from Mărăndeni. Cosacu A., born in 1924 remembers that Jews from the entire district would go there to trade. Jews from Mărăndeni would sell mainly clothes and textiles at the Bălți market.
When the occupation started, soldiers of the 6th Romanian Infantry Regiment arrived in the village. On July 7, 1941 they shot two Jewish men from Mărăndeni in a ravine on the outskirts of the village. Before the shooting, the two men had to dig their own graves. They remain there today. There is no memorial or marker for their grave.
According to Cosacu A., born in 1924, sometime after this shooting, a camp for Jews was created not far from the village. According to Soviet archives, dozens of Jews from Fundurii Vechi were transferred to the transit camp in Răuţel, established in July 1941, located about 7km from Mărăndeni. Jewish families from Mărăndeni were rounded up and gathered in one of the local houses. From there, they were all brought to Răuţel transit camp. The camp was in the forest and surrounded by a barbed wire fence over two meters high. It was guarded by Romanian gendarmes. Peasants from Mărăndeni would go to the camp to barter with their Jewish neighbors. They would give them food in exchange for different goods. The camp existed for several months. In September, 3,436 Jews from Răuţel transit camp were deported to another camp, in Mărculești near Fălești. On September 10th, 1941, General Topor gave the order to deport Jews from Mărculești to Transnistria. Deportations began at the end of October and lasted until November 10th, 1941. Jewish houses and shops were looted by local peasants once the Jews were taken from Mărăndeni.
For more information about the fate of the Jews from Răuţel transit camp please refer to the profile of Răuţel
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