• Holocaust Memorial Bălţi
Several monuments in the Moldovan city of Bălți (Russian: Beltsy) commemorate the city's Jews who perished between 1941 and 1944: they were expelled, died of the effects of forced labour or were murdered by German Einsatzgruppen.
Image: Bălți, 1941, Destroyed houses following the German-Romanian invasion, Yad Vashem
Bălți, 1941, Destroyed houses following the German-Romanian invasion, Yad Vashem

Image: Bălți, 2005, Total view of the Holocaust memorial in the city centre, Stiftung Denkmal
Bălți, 2005, Total view of the Holocaust memorial in the city centre, Stiftung Denkmal
The city of Bălți lies in the north of the historical region of Bessarabia. In 1930, there were about 14,000 Jews living in Bălți, just under half of the total population. In 1940, the Soviet Union annexed Bessarabia, which had since 1918 been part of Romania - including the city of Bălți. German and Romanian troops occupied Bălți on July 9, 1941, following the invasion of the Soviet Union in June. Together with the regular army, the Sonderkommando 10a under command of Heinrich Seetzen arrived in Bălți. Many of the locals, including a majority of the Jews, had fled the approaching troops inland to the Soviet Union. Already in the first days of occupation, the Romanian soldiers indiscriminately abused Jews, killing several hundred. Romanian soldiers and members of Sonderkommando 10a took turns in shooting Jews in the following days, claiming the killings were in reprisal for attacks on their own soldiers. Shortly before withdrawing from Bălți at the end of July 1941, the members of Sonderkommando 10a shot another 45 Jews, including leaders of the Jewish community. The Sonderkommando moved on with the front, while Bălți stayed under Romanian occupation. The remaining Jews of Bălți as well as Jews from the entire district were gathered in the nearby camps at Limbenii, Râșcani and Răuţel. The Romanian authorities deported almost all of them across the river Dniester to the Transnistria region. There, many Jews did not survive the ghettos, forced labour, abuse and sicknesses they were subjected to.
Image: Bălți, 1941, Destroyed houses following the German-Romanian invasion, Yad Vashem
Bălți, 1941, Destroyed houses following the German-Romanian invasion, Yad Vashem

Image: Bălți, 2005, Total view of the Holocaust memorial in the city centre, Stiftung Denkmal
Bălți, 2005, Total view of the Holocaust memorial in the city centre, Stiftung Denkmal
It is not exactly known how many Jews from Bălți perished in the Holocaust. Up to several hundred Jews were murdered during the violent riots of the Romanian units. The Romanian commander ordered his men to shoot a further 15 Jews. In the night of July 11/12, 1941, Sonderkommando 10a shot ten Jewish hostages; three days later, a further twenty Jewish hostages were shot. At the end of July 1941, shortly before their withdrawal from Bălți, members of Sonderkommando 10a shot 45 Jews, including leaders of the Jewish community.
Image: Bălți, 1941, Execution of leading members of the Jewish community in July 1941, Yad Vashem
Bălți, 1941, Execution of leading members of the Jewish community in July 1941, Yad Vashem

Image: Bălți, 2005, Holocaust memorial in the city centre, Stiftung Denkmal
Bălți, 2005, Holocaust memorial in the city centre, Stiftung Denkmal
In 1997, a memorial to the Jews who perished in the Holocaust was erected in the city centre of Bălți. The menorah at the front bears the following Romanian inscription: »To the Jewish victims of the Fascist genocide during World War II«. The memorial stele reads in Russian: »May you have peace, in eternal memory«. A further monument on the Jewish cemetery commemorates the murdered Jews from Bălți and surrounding area. The stele, which was erected by the local Jewish community in 2001, marks the site of a mass grave in which many of the victims are buried.
Image: Bălți, 2005, Romanian inscription on the menorah of the Holocaust memorial, Stiftung Denkmal
Bălți, 2005, Romanian inscription on the menorah of the Holocaust memorial, Stiftung Denkmal

Image: Bălți, 2005, Monument on the site of a mass grave on the Jewish cemetery, Stiftung Denkmal
Bălți, 2005, Monument on the site of a mass grave on the Jewish cemetery, Stiftung Denkmal
Name
Monumentul victimelor Holocaustului
Address
str. Ştefan cel Mare 43
3112 Bălţi
Open
Accessible at all times.