1 Execution site(s)
Maria J., born in 1932, recalls: "I saw Jews working on the road while my mother and I went to visit my grandparents in another village. I think there were about fifty working on the road because it was completed in a short time. There were only men. They had to crush big stones, and then they took the little stones and paved the road. But it was hard as they worked barefoot. They were watched by a dozen armed soldiers in green uniforms." (Witness N°72, interviewed in Hîncăuţi, on May 10, 2013)
"Between the 7th and 9th of December, 1944, the Commission examined the witness depositions, declarations and the crime scenes of the Romanian and German occupiers. It discovered two mass graves: the bigger one was about 200m north of the village of Hîncăuţi, Edinet district, and another smaller one was 500m south-west of the village. In the first grave fifteen decomposed bodies were found. The bodies were identified by the relatives as they were not all decomposed due to the nature of clay soil. The bullet traces were visible. In another grave…[illegible] bodies were found. They could not be identified, as they were almost totally decomposed." [Act N°2 of the Soviet extraordinary commission drawn up on December 19, 1944; RG-22.002M.7021-96]
Hincăuţi is a village in Edineţ district in northern Moldova. It is located about 21km north of Edineț, the district’s administrative center. Before the outbreak of WWII, there were Moldovans, Ukrainians and Jews living in the village. Jews from Hincăuţi were merchants and farmers. Jewish and non-Jewish children would go to the same school. YIU’s witness Ion G., born in 1928, remembers his Jewish neighbors Schloma and Itzek. Maria J., born in 1932 recalls that there was a Jewish doctor in Hincăuţi. His name was Kliger. His children went to a Jewish school in another village. She also remembers her neighbor Ida.
In July 1941, the day after the Romanian army arrived in Hincăuţi, Romanian gendarmes started to assemble local Jews. Some peasants from the village showed the soldiers which ones were Jewish homes. Once the Jews were assembled, they were taken to the orchid at the outskirts of the village by Romanian soldiers and a man described by YIU’s witness as a ‘Tatar in black uniform on horse’. At the execution site, this man gave weapons to three peasants from Hincăuţi and ordered them to shoot their neighbors. The names of those men were found in Soviet archives and confirmed by YIU’s witnesses. The shooters were Victor Andreevitch Dascaal, Alexeï Petrovitch Papovitch and Fiodor Ivanovitch Gontchar. They were tried and sentenced after the war. Maria J., born in 1932 saw the bodies of the murdered victims. There were men, women, and children, among them her Jewish neighbor Ida. According to Maria, Ida was only wounded and begged the perpetrators to finish her off but they were deaf to her cries. The bodies of the victims were buried sometime after the shooting, “when they started to smell bad.”
In total, forty-seven people were shot at Hîncăuţi in July 1941. They were buried in two mass graves, one of which contains the bodies of fifteen Jewish victims. The victims’ bodies were exhumed in December 1944 and reburied in Edineț.
Today, there is a monument at the murder site commemorating Hîncăuţi’s Jewish victims.
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