Camenka is a main town in a subdistrict of Camenka of Transnistria, Moldova. The district contains this town and 12 communes (a total of 23 localities, including the small villages/hamlets): Camenca is located along the river Dniester. It is the northernmost sub-district of Transnistria. According to the 2004 Census in Transnistria, the population of the sub-district is 27,284 people, including 13,048 (47.82%) Moldovans (Romanians), 11,610 (42.55%) Ukrainians, 1,880 (6.89%) Russians, 43 (0.16%) Gagauzians, 59 (0.22%) Bulgarians, 9 (0.03%) Romas, 10 (0.04%) Jews, 447 (1.64%) Poles, 85 (0.31%) Belarussians, 26 (0.10%) Germans, 16 (0.06%) Armenians, and 51 (0.19%) others. The sub-district is home to the Dniester Sanatorium, the oldest health resort in Transnistria.
Photo - courtesy of Martin and Rivka traveling in Moldova and Ukraine.
In 1805 Antonina Wittgenstein bought Kamenka for 135000 roubles. She was the wife of well-known Piotr Christianowitsch Wittgenstein, whose father Ludwig Casimir Wittgenstein-Berleburg belonged to an ancient noble German family. Count Piotr Wittgenstein defended the northern region and the capital of Russia from Napoleon's invasion. In 1813, Wittgenstein's name became known in all Russia for his bravery in the battle under Dresden and he received a golden sword decorated with diamonds.
Lev Tolstoy, a famous Russian writer, in his novel "War and Peace," calls P.H. Wittgenstein's "the hero of St. Petersburg." The mansion of Wittgenstein in Kamenka belonged to "the most magnificent in Podolia." In 1819 Count Wittgenstein built his mansion and created two parks. In these parks there were lakes interconnected by canals with small bridges over it.
In 1939 in Kamenka lived 1283 Jews, which was 17.4% of total population. At the beginning of Great Patriotic War in June 22, 1941 some Jews were conscripted to the Soviet Army, and others evacuated to the East in June-July of 1941. On 23-24 of July, 1941, the Romanian Army passing by the town, shot dozens of Jews near the Fire department building. First were killed men, thereafter women with children. After that the ghetto was created. At the end of 1941-beginning of 1942, Romanian gendarme (policemen) by the order of the Head of gendarme Popa took from ghetto daily 20-30 people. At night they moved them to bank of Dniester River, shot them and corpses were thrown into the hole ice on Dniester. More than 1000 Jews were killed in town and nearby district. In the documents of Special Government Commission (“ChGK”) of the Soviet Union, 335 victims Jews were listed, including 70 children. Ghetto was liquidated in the beginning of 1942. Prisoners gathered at the central square. Those who could not walk drowned in Dniester, others moved to Rybnitsa (Moldova) and then to Transnistria to village Lipetskoe, were most of the deported were killed. Translation from Russian from “Holocaust on the Territory of the Soviet Union”, Encyclopedia, 2011. Nazariya C. Holocaust: Pages of history in Moldova and nearby Ukraine in the years of fascist occupation, 1941-1944, Kishinev, 2005
List of HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS, who was born and lived in Kamenka, Moldavian ASSR before the WWII. University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education.
The cemetery occupies an area of about 15,000 square meters and there are probably close to 5,000 gravestones on the site, but more than 50% of them are toppled or broken. The oldest gravestones date to the 18th century. The cemetery was once surrounded by a wall, which is now broken in many places. There is no caretaker and the cemetery is completely neglected. The text and the photo on the right are from Jewish Heritage Sites and Monuments in Moldova, United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, 2010
Please send new stories about your families in Kamenka to publish in this section.
|Palace of Princess Troubetskoy, Kamenka, end of 19 century.||Written in Russian: On this place were going to be a monument of a hero of Patricotic War of 1812, Marshal P.Kh. Wittgenshtein (see article about him in the history section.)||Bust of the Marshal Wittgenshtein, opened October 17, 2011 in Kamenka.||Interior of a grossary shop of N. B. Ayzenberg, Kamenka, Podol gubernia.|
|Town Kamenka on the Dniester River.||Kamenka Sanatorium - Dniester.||Kamenka from Vertuzhany, other side of
Courtesy of Martin and Rivka.
|Kiddush cup, 1884. It was brought from Kamenka.
Photo - courtesy of David Weissman.
|Kiddush cup. Other side - windmill.|
Yefim A. Kogan
Copyright © 2012 Marilyn Feingold,
Yefim A Kogan
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