Fîntîna Albă (Fantana Alba, Fyntyna Alba) | Edineț

/ Ion B., born on 1930:  “My father had a cart before the war. He would transport Mr. Sohar, a Jewish merchant, from the village to the train station so he could go to different towns to buy and sell his merchandise.” © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Ion B., born on 1930:   “I saw the shooting of Mr. Sohar during the occupation. He was found and shot in his own house by a Romanian soldier. He was buried in the village by his neighbor.” © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum YIU’s team during the interview with Mina B., born in 1933, the eyewitness of a shooting perpetrated in Fîntîna Albă in October 1941. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Mina B., born in 1933  “In autumn of 1941, columns of Jews were passing through our village. At the head of one of the columns there was a rabbi walking with a Torah in his hand. He was reading for the Jews.” © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Mina B., born in 1933:  “The column was guarded by Romanian soldiers with dogs. Dogs were barking, children were crying. The Romanians made a selection at the edge of the village. Two huge pits had been dug there before.” © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Sketch of the shooting of Jews in Fîntîna Albă based on the testimonies of YIU’s witnesses. ©Yahad-In Unum Mina B., born in 1933 shows YIU’s team the road that was taken by the column of Jews passing through Fîntîna Albă. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Mina B., born in 1933  “Here, the selection was made. Women, children and elderly or sick people from the column were taken to the pits and shot while the column kept advancing.” © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Memorial for the Jewish victims shot in Fîntîna Albă during the occupation. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Fîntîna Albă

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Orchard
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
About 90

Witness interview

Ion B., born on 1930: “I saw two columns of Jews being brought by Romanian soldiers through our village. When I saw the first one, I was on my way home from my cousin’s house. Two pits had been dug at the outskirts of the village. The Romanian guards were selecting people from the column, mainly elderly, weak, women and children. They put them aside. They were all shot in groups of ten people in the first mass pit. When the first column passed, about ten minutes later, the second one arrived. Some of the Jews in this column were on carts but the majority was on foot. Another shooting of selected Jews from the column took place in the second mass grave following the same scenario. One pretty Jewish girl from the second column was released by the soldiers. She didn’t want to flee, but eventually she did. She was hiding in a local women’s house for two weeks. Then, she left and I never heard about her again.” (Eyewitness N°76, interviewed in Fîntîna Albă, on May 11, 2013)

Soviet archives

“In July 1941, after the entry of German-Romanian troops into our village, the entire Jewish population, namely twenty-three people, was assembled and escorted towards the outskirts of the village. There were elderly people, women and children. I do not know where they were taken or what was done with them. But they never came back. This testimony is true to my words and has been read to me.”
[Deposition of a local resident Zinovy K., born in 1902, made to the Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on March 25, 1945; RG.22-002M: GARF: 7021-96-82]

“In October 1941, Romanian soldiers brought a heavily guarded convoy of around six hundred Jews through our village. A group of around eighty to ninety people was separated from the convoy, including the elderly, women and children, and shot in the territory of our commune, at a place called "Valea lui purece." They were shot and buried there. I do not know the names of the soldiers who shot.
I have nothing to add, this testimony is true to my words and has been read to me.” [Deposition of Vasiliy U., made to the Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK); RG.22-002M: GARF: 7021-96-82]

Historical note

Fîntîna Albă is a small village in northern Moldova, located 174km from Orhei. Before the outbreak of WWII, seven hundred and fifty-six people lived in Fîntîna Albă, including Moldovans, Poles, Russians and Ukrainians. There were also several Jewish families in the village. YIU’s witnesses recall the names of four Jewish families: Sheim, Usaï, Itzek, et Sohar. Local Jews lived in the center of Fîntîna Albă, near the Catholic Church and cemetery. They were merchants and shop owners. Ion B., born in 1930, remembers Mr. Schaï Sohar who was a Jewish merchant in the village. He would go to surrounding towns and villages to buy and sell his merchandise.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

According to the Soviet archives, in July 1941, after the German-Romanian troops entered the village, the entire Jewish population of Fîntîna Albă, namely twenty-three people, was assembled and escorted to the outskirts of the village. The archives don’t give any additional information about their fate.

In October 1941, a long column of Jews passed through the village. Some of the local Jews were rounded up in their homes and put in those columns that were guarded by Romanian soldiers with dogs on both sides. The weakest people, including children and the elderly, were selected and shot by the Romanian soldiers at the eastern boundary of the village. The column advanced while the selected Jews were shot and buried in two pits that that had been dug by the premilitaries, on the orders of the station chief, in a place commonly called "Valea lui purece." Once the first mass grave was full of bodies, the shooting continued in the second pit. Both pits were filled in after the execution by the same requisitioned premilitaries. The column continued to advance. Once it passed, the soldiers distributed belongings which they had looted from the Jewish stores to the local population. Further on, there were several similar shootings of those in the column that took place. According to YIU’s witness Ion B., born in 1930, the local Jews who had been forced to join the column were brought to the village of Scăieni located about 20km from Fîntîna Albă, where they were shot.

Nowadays there is a memorial commemorating the shooting of Jews in Fîntîna Albă. However, it was not erected at the exact location of both mass graves which remain unmarked today.

 

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