As a result of the meticulous and thorough research of the Kazerne Dossin Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre on Holocaust and Human Rights, Mecheln-Auschwitz 1942-1944 is a trilingual series (Dutch, French and English) of four books dealing with the persecution and deportation of Jews and gypsies from the SS-Sammellager in the Dossin Barracks in Mechelen to Auschwitz. Only a few miles away fom the SS Camp Fort Breendonk, the Dossin Barracks were used from 1942 until 1944 as a transit camp for Jews and gypsies from Belgium and the North of France, assembled here to set out on their journey of no return to Auschwitz. The first part of the series presents the reader with a historical overview of the racist and anti-Semitic persecutions in Belgium and the North of France. It focuses on the complex and poignant story of the action, reaction and interaction between occupier, occupied and persecuted, confronted with the final solution. It also relates the history of each individual transport.
Parts two and three show us the portraits of 18,522 out of 25,259 deportees, wagon by wagon and transport by transport. These pictures literally give the genocide a face. Among these portraits we succeeded to identify 97 out of 104 deportees, who had their roots in Bukovina. Leon Messing, born on 12 June 1927 in Czernowitz, was 15 years old and the youngest deportee from Bukovina on the date of departure of Transport 10 on 15 December 1942. The oldest deportee from Bukovina was Abraham Moses Reder, born on 17 August 1866 in Czernowitz, i. e. he was 76 years old on the date of deportation on Transport 11 of 26 September 1942. Just like my uncle Maximilian Hauster, born on 26 November 1909 in Czernowitz, deported with Transport 19 of 14 January 1943, neither would return in 1945.
Part four contains the revised and corrected alphabetical list of names of the victims, together with biographical information about their personal fate. We have excerpted from this database those 104 deportees, who originated from Bukovina and compiled a listing in alphabetical order, which is available for download as PDF file by clicking just here or on the picture below.
Only two women and two men out of 104 deportees survived after 8 May 1945: Sara Adler and Theresia Breitner from Czernowitz, Wilhelm Berler from Nepolokoutz and Juda Meier Fleischer from Siret. 96,2% of the people originated from Bukovina deported on these in total 28 Transports were wiped out.
I succeeded to acquire a very rare book: The Suffering of the Deportees in Transnistria by Fabius Ornstein, edited by the Association of the Former Deportees to Transnistria immediately after WW2 still in 1945. On Fabius Ornstein’s life-saving activity in Transnistria we learn from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency report dated July 26, 1943 as follows:
“Thousands of Jews in Transnistria Have Not Seen Bread for Months, Hundreds Starving
Thousands of Jewish deportees confined in the various ghettos which the Rumanian occupation authorities have established in Transnistria, the Rumanian-administered section of the Russian Ukraine, have not seen any bread for months and the vast majority of them are threatened with starvation unless some assistance is forthcoming soon, according to private advices received here today. In the township of Copaigorod about 2,220 Jews are confined at present, the report discloses. Under the leadership of one of the deportees, Fabius Ornstein, the Jewish community has organized a free kitchen which has so far managed to distribute about 500 meals twice daily. These ‘meals,’ however, almost always consist of potatoes and nothing else. [...]“
Hugo Gold, History of the Jews in the Bukowina, The Oldest Societies, Institutions and Organizations of Bukovina by Prof. Dr. Erich Neuborn, Tel Aviv, p. 153: “The opening of the Jewish Orphanage, took place in 1904/1905. Already in 1898 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph I, the idea of building an orphanage in Czernowitz was discussed and an executive committee was formed to raise the necessary funds. Members of this committee were among others, Markus and Rachel Schlaefer, Benjamin, David and Jetti Tittinger, Loebel and Cecilie Salter , Josef Steiner, Jakob and Toni Gold, and Dr. Benno and Fanni Straucher It wasn’t until 1904, that the orphanage on Franzosgasse was completed when the Heinrich and Josefine Wagner endowment of 662,928 crowns was activated and used for the construction of the orphanage. The festive opening of the orphanage was attended by the Austrian Minister President, Dr. Ernest von Koerber, the Bukovina State President, Prinz Konrad Hohenlohe and the Greek Orthodox Archbishop and Metropolitan, Dr. Vladimir von Repta. In 1913 the orphanage was legalized for the second time as the Emperor Franz Josef Jubilee Orphanage Foundation for Israelites in Czernowitz and latter was administered by the Community. The mission of the orphanage was to raise Jewish orphans of both sexes and to train them for future employment.”
What I like about this job is you never know what’s going to surface. A woman wrote to me recently (Lara Diamond by name) telling of a an interesting old document she saw at a friend’s house and offered to photograph it. She thought the group would be interested, since it had a list of names attached and was from Novoselice/Novoselitsa. I agreed to have a look at it.
And this is what I present for you today: A 1904 document written in cursive Yiddish, written by the Rabbi of Novoselice: Yisrael Pesach son of Shalom Shachna Wetstein. This was the great great grandfather of Lara’s friend. The document apparently is the authorization for the sale of the town’s Chometz prior to Passover in 1904. There is a list of names at the end of the document, that most likely are the assigned buyers.
“These are signatures so some are difficult to read. I did my best. I suggest you put the last page on Viewmate to get an independent eye on these.
The bottom of the first page is signed by the town’s rabbi (and my friend’s gg grandfather) Yisrael Pesach son of Shalom Shachna Wetstein.
Witness at the top of the second page (first page of the two-sided document) is Avraham Chaim son of Baruch Shvartzer.
There are names in the paragraph up at the top of the last page:
Yisrael Pesach son of Shalom Shachna
Malka daughter of Rei Renish
Moshe son of Meir Veinberg
Zaan Shaya Dibes
Then the rest of the page are signatures. (First word of each line is “Signed.”)
Yitzchok Reitman and (illegible) Beleson
Nachum Gruldinberg and also his brother? Pesach and (illegible) Reb Anshel
Leib son of Zev Plumilman (illegible) Yona Yilarstein
Chaim Feitia Kapilivike
Avraham Chaim Sheishesh? And Matisya Varman?
(Illegible) Sara Mecharkle
(illegible) Yaakov Yosef Yazlivt
Hersh Leib Shich? and his brother Yisrael Shich
And for those who can… here is the document, hand written in Yiddish, [Correction --The document is written in cursive Hebrew not Yiddish as originally posted --see commnets below] in pdf format:
Lara notes: “There are two documents. One is one page and the other is 2 pages (on 2 sides of the page).
The first picture is an overview of the one pager. Then I have 3 close ups of that page.
Then an overview of each of the sides of the other. Then I zeroed in on a list of names (actually signatures).”
According to the CIA, there are over 25 towns in today’s Ukraine with the name Novoselista. Is this ‘our’ Novoselista at 48°13’00″N : 26°17’00″E ? I ran this by Yosi Eshet who didn’t think so. Lara thinks it is, and I have no idea. Maybe someone will recognize a name and we’ll have the answer?