This story was told me by Misha (Moyshe) Seltser who lives now in Bat Yam, Israel on May 6th, 2012. The family of SeltserŐs used to live in Dombroven, Bessarabia for many years.

The founder of the family Ayzik Seltser came to Dombroven in 1836 with the first 24 families and created a large family up to 40 people with his sons and grands from all sides who used to live for 100 years at the same place.

Over the phone conversation he told me that in a couple of days he will celebrate the Victory day (end of the second World War- on May 8th, 1945).

I congratulated him as a participant and veteran of the war. Misha receives special pension and all benefits from Israel government as a veteran of the second World War.

I asked him if he remembers the beginning of the war and that is the story that he told me over the phone.


I used to live in the village Dombroven (Dumbraveni-rom.), Soroca district of Bessarabia.

I was 16 years old to the beginning of the second World War and in a good health.

On July 12, 1941 my mother asked me to join people who will welcome new Romanian representatives. After the beginning of the war on June 22nd, 1941 Russian Army gave –up a lot of areas in Bessarabia and started to move across the river Dnestr. We didnŐt hear any good news except that Romanian are coming back.

As a youngster I was able to hear news that used to come to our village from different sides. I also knew about Kusa party who supported fashizm in Romania and always played an anti jew role with his supporters in around villages. The idea to welcome Romanian reps didnŐt make me happy and I replied to my mother not in a good tone.

On July 12 the rabbi of our village gathered about 250-300 people and went out to Main Street to greet the new power with bread and salt as required by old traditions.

I tried to be a little behind and not to close to the crowd.

On the entre of the village showed–up about 20 kavalrymen. They were talking in Romanian, Italian and German. So it was a mix group. When they approached the crowd in a 50 yards away they suddenly pulled up the guns and started to shoot.

People began crying, some people were bleeding and some backed-up and started to run.

The kavalrymen backed-up and moved in an opposite direction.

In an hour or two gangs of people from neighboring villages entered Dombroven and started looting houses, picking up peopleŐs belongings. In some yards were heard shots and crying. The situation was absolutely a mess.

I jumped back home and asked mom and dad, my sister to leave Dombroven.

We run to the Yar and with other people about 20 hided in different skirds of hay outside Dombroven. We hided there for two days and the only food for us were carrots that we boys picked up in the fields. In the afternoon of July 15 I told my parents and other guys that we need to move out or they will kill us.

At the end of the day we walked in the direction of Vertiujeni that is about 22 km from Dombroven.

Late evening we came to Vertiujeni. The situation was very quite in the village. In one backyard we saw jewish people celebrating a party. We approached them and they asked us why we look so bad, are we beggars, men were not shaved. We told  them about events in Dombroven, that they didnŐt hear and asked for food. They gave us bread and we left hoping to find someone who can bring us across the river Dnestr. When we saw men we asked the same question. ŇDo you have Romanian leis to pays us?Ő- they asked us. We had only in our possession Russian rubles. ŇOur liberators are coming soon and Russian money will not be used moreÓ-replied men. When the dark moved down we realized that there are no choices. We need to steal a couple of boats that were anchored along the beach. I picked up a couple triangle stones, approached a boat and tried to break the chains. Finally one of the chains gave up. The other guys were also successful in getting a boat. Suddenly we realized that none of the boats have paddles. One the guys that was older me went along the beach and found a place where all paddles were stored. He picked a couple of paddles for us too.

We loaded the boats and were able to cross over night the river Dnestr. Our small group of 20 people came to place Kamenka, Ukraine. The war didnŐt reach already this place. People of Kamenka helped us with clothers and food and on the next day we were able to reach the railway station of Kodima. After picking up different trains we moved to the east of the country. Later I was called to Russian Army and took part in all war actions until our Army reached Budapesht , Hungary at the end of war. I was wounded at the end of the war and transported to Bucharest, Romania to a hospital. After a couple of surgeries I returned back to Dombroven in the end of 1945 and then moved to Soroca where I graduated the agriculture college in 1947. I started my new job in Bendery, Moldova and my family used to live there until immigrating to Israel in 1995. I am 88 years old now and I live in Bat Yam with the family of my daughter. I always remember Dombroven the place where I was born and where my youth passed.