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Yad Vashem The Story of the Jewish Community of Bălţi, Romania (today Moldova)

Bălţi During the Holocaust

Under Soviet Rule

Exiles to Siberia

Students of the Bălţi Hebrew Gymnasium with the teaching staff, 9 June 1928 – the day before the entrance examinations to the high schoolStudents of the Bălţi Hebrew Gymnasium with the teaching staff, 9 June 1928 – the day before the entrance examinations to the high school
Misha Bronstein, Beitar activist in BălţiMisha Bronstein, Beitar activist in Bălţi
Fanya Trachtman in Beitar uniformFanya Trachtman in Beitar uniform
Eliezer Gik (Hik), Zionist activistEliezer Gik (Hik), Zionist activist

At the end of June 1940, the Russians conquered Bălţi, and the communist police, the NKVD, began to interrogate those they dubbed "bourgeoisie intelligentsia" and "dangerous elements": political activists, Zionists, the educated, traders, landowners and more. They were aided by people wishing to "settle scores" on personal matters, and many of the town's residents were arrested, including a large number of Jews. In parallel, the communist authorities took possession of a large amount of property, including stores, warehouses, merchandise and valuables.

Many Jews from Bălţi were arrested, interrogated and after a few months sent to forced labor in the heartland of the Soviet Union.

Exiled Jews from Bălţi:

Baruch Abramovich, trader and head of the General Zionist Federation in the town. Sentenced to eight years hard labor. At the end of his sentence, he returned to Bălţi.

Misha Bronshteyn, young lawyer and active member of Beitar. Sentenced to eight years hard labor. At the end of his sentence, he returned to his parents in Bălţi.

Sonya Dardik, member of Tzeirei Tzion. Exiled to Siberia, returned to Bălţi and emigrated to Eretz Israel.

Jacob Finkenson, printing press owner and Zionist activist. Exiled to Siberia, where he perished.

Mendel Goldstein, lawyer and Latin teacher at the Hebrew Gymnasium in Bălţi. Outstanding member of Tzeirei Tzion. Sentenced to eight years hard labor, where he perished.

Dr. L. Gorpel, medical doctor and Zionist activist, head of the Revisionist Zionist Federation in Bălţi. Sentenced to eight years hard labor.

Zvi Heiniks (Geinicks), lawyer and journalist, Zionist activist, founder of Tzeirei Tzion in Bălţi. Sentenced to ten years hard labor in prison. Emigrated to Israel in 1957, and joined the World Union of Bessarabian Jewry.

Elazar Hik (Gik), public activist who headed most of the Jewish institutions in the town. He was devoted to Tzeirei Tzion-Poalei Tzion, and sentenced to eight years hard labor. He served his sentence and then emigrated to Israel in the 1950s with the help of his friend, the poet Jacob Fichman.

Hirsh Hoffman, lawyer and member of the Romanian parliament, devoted to Tzeirei Tzion-Poalei Tzion. Sentenced to eight years hard labor. After serving his sentence he returned to Kishinev, where he qualified as a doctor.

Rafael Katz, principal of the Bălţi Gymnasium. Exiled with his wife to Siberia, where they perished.

Aharon Krasyuk, farmer, member of Tzeirei Tzion-Poalei Tzion. Sentenced to eight years hard labor in Siberia, where he perished.

Gedalia Lipson, head of the General Zionist Federation in Bălţi. Exiled to Siberia, where he perished.

Beryl Milgrum, one of the leaders of Tzeirei Tzion-Poalei Tzion in Bălţi. On the eve of WWII he moved to Kishinev, where he worked at the Tzeirei Tzion headquarters and in Yiddish journalism. Sentenced to ten years hard labor in Siberia, where he committed suicide.

Y.L. Sternberg, rabbi and Zionist activist, worked for Keren Hayesod and the JNF, member of the Mizrachi religious-Zionist federation. Sentenced to eight years hard labor, where he perished.

Boris Sheinberg, farmer, member of the General Zionist Federation in Bălţi, worked for the JNF, secretary of the Bălţi Jewish community. Exiled to Siberia, where he perished.

Fanya Trachtman, Zionist and Beitar activist, exiled to Siberia. After her return she emigrated to Israel, where she worked as a nurse in an old age home.

The online exhibition was made possible through the generous support of:

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.