Răuţel Camp Listings

Introduction By Oleg Sirbu and Rosanne Leeson

· Background
· Database
· Acknowledgements
· Searching the Database


The deportation of Jews from Bessarabia was accomplished in two phases.  The first phase was during the summer and early fall of 1941.  Jews living in rural areas were herded into transit camps, and those in urban areas were moved into ghettos.  The second stage took place from September to November, when the Bessarabian Jews were systematically deported to Transnistria to comply with Antonescu's orders. [1]

On July 11, 1941 all the surviving Jews were concentrated in the courtyard of the Moldova Bank.  The Romanian guards who took over transferred them to an internment camp in the Răuţel forest, some seven and a half miles (12 km.) SW of Bălţi (Beltsy), at 47°43' 27°50'.  Many of the inmates died from starvation and disease.  By August 30, 1941, only 8,941 Jews were left in the entire district (compared to the 31,916 residing there according to the 1930 census).  They were concentrated in three camps, and later on all were deported to Transnistria.

The quantitative picture is terrible enough, but the testimony of survivors, perpetrators, and witnesses paints an almost surreal canvas that more clearly conveys the horror of the transit camps.  The Răuţel camp, for example, established in the woods twelve kilometers SW of Bălţi (Beltsy) on July 17, amassed Jews from the city ghetto into dilapidated cottages and antitank ditches, all surrounded by barbed wire [2].  Between 2,600 and 2,800 competed for the six cottages, which together could hold 100 people at the most.  Those forced to seek shelter in the ditches covered themselves with makeshift roofs of branches. [3]

On Oct. 6, 1941, Ion Antonescu stated that he had decided to evacuate the approximately 10,000 Jews forever from Bessarabia (which included Răutel).  He planned to send them across the Dniester River, and if the circumstances permitted, across the Urals.  The inmates from Răuţel were first transferred to the Mărculeşti Camp, on Sept. 28, before being sent to Transnistria. [4]


    [1] Matatias Carp.  Cartea neagră: suferinţele evreilor din România, 1940-1944. Vol. 3, p. 117.
    [2] Ibid., pp 60-61, 78.
    [3] J. Ancel, ed.  Documents Concerning the Fate of Romanian Jewry During the Holocaust, vol. 6, p. 274.
    [4] Carp. Cartea neagră, Vol. 3, p. 143.

Additional Resources:


This database includes 2,070 Jews from four separate lists of prisoners in the Răuţel camp.  Unfortunately, there are two pages missing from the original documents.  The lists were created in a manner where the reader could see the head of the household and each of the family members within that household.  Any search that you perform that yields a result from the database will automatically give you any other family members associated with the original name you searched.  The fields of the database are as follows:

For a translation of the occupations in this database, please see the JewishGen InfoFile: http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/RomanianOccs.htm.


The information contained in this database was indexed from the files of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum [USHMM RG-54.001M (Reel 5)].  This information is accessible to you today thanks to the efforts of Rony Shaham, the JewishGen volunteer who was responsible for the transcription of this file.

In addition, thanks to JewishGen Inc. for providing the website and database expertise to make this database accessible.  Special thanks to Susan King, Warren Blatt and Michael Tobias for their continued contributions to Jewish genealogy.  Particular thanks to the Research Division headed by Joyce Field and to Nolan Altman, coordinator of Holocaust files.

Oleg Sirbu and Rosanne Leeson
January, 2007

Searching the Database

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Last Update: 12 Mar 2007   WSB