The Initial Spark to Jägendorf’s Foundry

Yitzhak Arad, The Holocaust in the Soviet Union, University of Nebraska Press & Yad Vashem, Lincoln/Jerusalem, 2009, P. 301-3012: “Around 27,000 Jews – half of the deportees from Bukovina – were concentrated in the Mogilev-Podolsky region. The town was an economical center, and many of the deportees hoped to find accomodation and employment there. The initiative of a few Jews made it possible for thousands of deportees to remain in the town – contrary to the designs of the Romanian authorities, who felt that there was no room in the semi-ruined town for the Jews. A prominent figure among these was the engineer Ziegfried Jägendorf, who had held the rank of lieutenant in the Austrian army during World War I. Jägendorf managed to arrange a meeting with the town’s Romanian prefect, Colonel Ion Baleanu, with whom he had served in the Austrian army and who knew that he was an engineer. To Jägendorf’s request that conditions should be eased for the Jewish deportees and that they should be permitted to stay in the town, Baleanu replied:

You must realize that Jews cannot stay in Mogilev: we are establishing camps for them elsewhere in the district…We need your services here in Mogilev. The power station was put out of action during the battles and further damaged when the Dnestr overflowed its banks. I want you to select a few electricians and mechanics from your ranks, four or five, perhaps.

Jägendorf convinced the town’s Romanian authorities that the repair and reopening of the power station would require hundreds of Jewish workers, and so they were permitted to remain in the town with their families. After Jägendorf and his employees reinstated the town’s electricity supply, further manufacturing plants were established in which Jews were employed. One of Jägendorf’s enterprises was a metal foundry, to which he gave the name ‘Turnatoria’. It produced various commodities, including heaters for government officials and the local population, metal parts for repairing bridges over the Dnestr, and other objects; in the beginning of 1942 more than 1,000 Jews were employed in these plants. For the deportees these initiatives were salvation. Jägendorf was elected chairman of the thirteen-man Jewish council, and, except for the latter half of 1942, he served in this position for as long as the ghetto existed.”

Read aslo: https://hauster.blogspot.com/2010/02/das-wunder-von-moghilev.html

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