Șofrîncani (Shofrincani) | Edineț

/ YIU’s team interviewing Ilia J., born in 1921 who witnessed the execution of 28 Jews in Șofrîncani. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Ilia J., born in 1921:  “Jews from Șofrîncani managed to flee before the arrival of the Romanian troops in the village. Once they left, their houses were looted by local villagers. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Ilia J., born in 1921:  “A group of Jews were brought by the Romanians to the village and put in a local Jewish empty house with no food or water. Villagers would go there to exchange food for clothes.”© Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Ilia J., born in 1921:  “After three or four days, the Jews were taken in a column from the house to a big ravine where they were shot and buried.” © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum A ravine on the outskirts of Șofrîncani, mass grave of 28 Jews shot by Romanians on July 20, 1941. There is no memorial on the site. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Șofrîncani

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Ravine
Memorials :
No
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Witnesses interviewed :
28

Witness interview

Anatoli O., born in 1920: "Y.U: Did you see when they brought the Jewish men from the village to Șofrîncani ?
Witness: Yes, I saw them. When I was working at the lake, they passed right by me.
Y.U: Who brought them to Șofrîncani ?
Witness: Romanian gendarmes.
Y.U: How did it happen: they took the men first to Șofrîncani, and then they killed the women?
Witness: First, they killed the women and children here, and then they took the men away.
Y.U: They were shot in Șofrîncani, right?
Witness: They were shot in Șofrîncani, yes.
Y.U: Where were they shot: in a pit, in a field?
Witness: They were taken to a field.
Y.U: Did you see the shooting of men?
Witness: No, I didn’t see the shooting of men, I was at my job at the lake. Why would I go there?" (Witness N°107, interviewed in Stolniceni, on May 20, 2013)

Soviet archives

“In July 1941, when the German-Romanian troops entered the village, the entire Jewish population of the village, namely 6 people, was assembled; there were old people, women and children. They were taken to the fields on the border between the municipalities of Șofrîncani and Stolniceni, to a place called "Glinichtche" and there, shot. They were executed by a group of three Romanian gendarmes. I don’t know their names.” [From the deposition of a local resident Andrey P., born in 1911, a peasant from Brătușeni, attended two years of school, not a member of the party, given to the State Extraordinary State Commission (ChGK) on March 29, 1945; RG.22-022M : 7021-96-82]

Historical note

Șofrîncani is a village in Edineț District in northern Moldova. Before the war the village was mainly inhabited by Moldovans. There were also several Jewish families who lived there. Jews from Șofrîncani were mainly merchants, selling textiles and food. Șofrîncani’s Jewish community would go to the synagogue and Jewish school in Edineț, located about 20km from Șofrîncani. It was the largest Jewish community in the District. In 1930, there were 5,341 Jewish inhabitants in Edineț, which represented about 90% of its total population.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

According to Soviet archives, on July 20th, 1941, Romanian soldiers gathered 28 Jews in a Jewish house in the village of Șofrîncani and shot them in a local ravine, a place known as Cocova Odaea. Among the victims were women and children from other nearby villages as well as Jewish men from Stolniceni. Jewish women and children from Stolniceni had been shot by Romanian soldiers in Stolniceni a little before. YIU’s witness Ilia J., born in 1921, recalls that the Jews were imprisoned in the Jewish house during three or four days without any food or belongings. They were guarded by two Romanian soldiers. The day of the execution, they were all taken to the ravine located at the outskirts of Șofrîncani where they were shot by Romanian soldiers with rifles. The bodies of the victims remain in that ravine to this day. According to Ilia, some of the Jews from Șofrîncani managed to flee before the arrival of the Romanian troops. Their fate remains unknown.

Soviet archives mention another shooting of six Jews from Brătușeni and one Soviet prisoner of war perpetrated in July, 1941 by three German gendarmes. The victims were shot in a field called “Glinichtche” located between villages Stolniceni and Șofrîncani. The shooting place was a former clay quarry. Unfortunately, YIU didn’t manage to find out more about this particular execution.

 For more information about the Jews killed in Stolniceni please refer to the corresponding profile

 

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