Marianca de Sus (Verkhniya Marianovka) | Căuşeni

/ Ilie C., born in 1933, remembers the day of the shooting: “We were grazing cows with my friends, near the ravine, when we saw the Jews being shot. Beforehand, they were forced to dig a long anti-tank ditch.” © Victoria Bahr/ Yahad-In Unum In the middle of the field, Marianca de Sus © Victoria Bahr/ Yahad-In Unum The Yahad team looking for the witnesses who were children back at that time and who may be able to tell us what happened to the Jews during the occupation © Victoria Bahr/ Yahad-In Unum The Yahad team during the interview with Ilie in his yard. © Victoria Bahr/ Yahad-In Unum The witness’s neighbor shows the Yahad team the approximate location of the barns where a group of Jews was burned alive © Victoria Bahr/ Yahad-In Unum

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Anti-tank ditch in the field
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Ilie C., born in 1933, remembers: “The Jews were taken by Germans to Marianovka where they were locked up in two barns. They poured kerosene and set fire to the barns while the Jews were inside. They burned them alive. We saw the barns moving as people tried to get out, but there was no way to get out. The doors were locked. After that, they bought another group of Jews. But they were taken directly to the execution site where they had to dig a pit. Once the pit was dug, they started the shooting. We could see everything with other boys. But we could not get closer because there were Germans armed with machine guns. So, we watched from afar how those poor people suffered.” (Eyewitness n°148, interviewed in Zaim, on August 22, 2013)

Soviet archives

“The Jewish handicapped men and women whom we chased with batons from their rooms were forced to run completely naked on the streets of Marianca de Sus, from one end of the village to the other. While we were making the men and women run, beating them with batons, the chief of the Romanian Gendamerie along with the chief of the local administration (Primar), N.G., walked on the left side of the street and laughed. We made them run from 5pm till 7pm. After this wild marathon, we gathered them, all naked, at Building n°3. Shortly after, four Romanian gendarmes, armed with rifles, arrived to guard the building. […] Then the Romanian major ordered, in a loud voice, to immediately execute all handicapped Jews who were inside the buildings [of the facility for disabled people] in Marianca de Sus. The police chief responded that he had only four armed policemen at his disposal. The major replied: “I’ll give you ten soldiers armed with machine guns.” (Interrogation of the accused A. K., Russian, before the war worked as a guard of the Russian cemetery in Kishinev, made by the Soviet Extraordinary Commission, 22.002M. 7021-96]

Historical note

Marianca de Sus is a small village in the Căușeni region in the southeast of Moldova, located about 80km from Chisinau. Unfortunately, there is no information about the Jewish community living in the village before the war.  In 1940, the village was first occupied by the Soviets and then in the summer of 1941 by the Germans.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

According to the archives and research results, we can state that anti-Jewish measures started right after the occupation.  From the Soviet archives, it is known that about 350 handicapped people, including 120-140 Jews were shot in late July - early August 1941. Before being shot, the disabled people were forced to undress completely, were chased from the nursing house and were forced to run for 7 hours on the streets of the village. Afterwards, they were shot in one of the sheds located on the territory of the nursing house. According to the archives, the execution was conducted by Romanians who were helped by local police. During the research mission, Yahad-In Unum discovered that not all the Jews were shot. Some Jews gathered from the villages of the Causeni district were burned alive in two barns. According to the accounts of witness n°148, this episode happened before the execution, in = summer 1941. From his account, all the executions were conducted by Germans.


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