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Some tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in Kaushany are believed to date from the 16th century. It is certain that there was a Jewish community in Kaushany in the 18th century, when Kaushany was the center of Tatar rule in southern Bessarabia. See the excerpts from Demetrius Kantemir above. In 1812, Bessarabia became a part of the Russian Empire. By 1817, 53 Jewish families lived in Kaushany. The community increased with a large Jewish immigration into Bessarabia in the 19th century. In 1853 80 families of Jewish farmers were granted landholdings by the state, and were reclassified as "state farmers."
In the 1854 Kaushany census, we find 80 Jewish families: 251 men and 272 women. Due to the difficult economic conditions, in 1864 they were permitted to get reclassified as townsmen (middle class, 'meschane'). However, a number of Jews in Kaushany continued to work in agriculture, including sheep and large cattle farmers. In 1849, two Jewish farmers owned a total of approximately one thousand heads of cattle and three thousand sheep and goats.
In 1897, 1,675 Jews lived in Kaushany, of total population of 3,729 (45%).
In 1930 1,872 Jews lived in Kaushany (35.1% of the total).
Five synagogues were open in Kaushany in the 1930-s, among them Shnidershe shul, the Zionist synagogue, and the Large synagogue.
After the Soviets occupied Moldova in 1940, the new authorities in Kaushany arrested Zionist leaders and people of wealth, and exiled them to Siberia. Many were killed or died shortly thereafter. At this time, all but one synagogues in Kaushany was closed down.
When the war started on June 22, 1941 Soviet authorities in Kaushany helped the Jews escape to the east. They gave everyone documents, and helped with wagons, horses or bulls to get to the rail road station.
Those who could not or did not want to move away were handed over to the Germans or Romanians by local Moldovans. All Jews were gathered at the cemetery and burned by the Nazis. The local population assisted them in this massacre.
Only several families returned to Kaushany after the war. They left the town in the 1950-60s. The Jewish cemetery had been desecrated and destroyed during the war. In the 1950s, new apartments were build in place of a Jewish cemetery. The community was not revived after the war.
Video Testimonies of HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS from Kaushany
|M. Leibowitz - Part 1 of 2 (30:28)||M. Leibowitz - Part 2 of 2 (9:47)|
M. Lewin - Part 1 of 5 (30:26)
M. Lewin - Part 3 of 5 (29:59)
M. Lewin - Part 5 of 5 (25:50)
M. Lewin - Part 2 of 5 (29:25)
M. Lewin - Part 4 of 5 (29:58)
L. Bruter - Part 1 of 3 (28:51)
L. Bruter - Part 3 of 3 (30:27)
L. Bruter - Part 2 of 3 (05:18)
R. Tabachnik - Part 1 of 6 (28:46)
R. Tabachnik - Part 3 of 6 (30:27)
R. Tabachnik - Part 5 of 6 (30:10)
R. Tabachnik - Part 2 of 6 (30:25)
R. Tabachnik - Part 4 of 6 (30:15)
R. Tabachnik - Part 6 of 6 (29:06)
Please send me any comments about or corrections to these memoirs, and also please send me new stories. I hope that all memoirs will be soon translated soon to English.
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Updated 18 May, 2011
Copyright © 2008 Yefim A Kogan
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