I want to share with you very an interesting story I received recently from
a German women Louise whose 93 years old mother and her 89 years old sister
were born in Leipzig, Bessarabia. Yes, this is not a mistake on my part.
There was a small town Leipzig in Akkerman uezd in Bessarabia. It is now
called Serpneve, in Odessa Oblast. You can find this place in our
Geographical Dictionary, and it says that the total population was 2597 in
1924, and it had 7 Jewish businesses (1924), and in the column Source
"Rel" that means relatives used to live in that place ( In fact my
grandfather's sister lived in Leipzig with her husband and a baby before the
Leipzig, Bessarabia was a German colony among many other German colonies in
Bessarabia, as well as in Ukraine established in 19 century and in many of
them Jews used lived, and had businesses. Here is what Louise told me from
her conversation with her aunt: "the Jewish families which lived in
Leipzig (close to the place she lived with family) at that time. Several
owned businesses. Everyone lived peacefully together. There was
intermarriage. So many families were shattered and so many lives were lost
(after 1940 Russian invasion and in 1941 Romanian/German). We need to keep
the history alive." Louise also sent me excerpts >from German articles
where Jews are mentioned as owners of businesses.
I know at least two other German colonies where Jews used to live and had
businesses: Tarutino - the main German colony. In 1897 it had population
of 5200 and 1873 were Jewish, and in 1924 it had 167 Jewish Businesses, the
other colony is Berezine, we know that 125 Jews used to live there in 1930
and that 10 Jewish businesses existed in 1924.
There are many books written about Bessarabian Germans, published in Germany
and in the US. There is a Bessarabian German Museum in Stuttgart. Many
years ago I had an idea that Jews may come to Bessarabia in 19c together
with their neighbors Germans. Unfortunately there is no proof to it yet, but
I received >from that museum some information and articles, lists of pupils
from German School in Tarutino with a number of Jewish names.Thanks to Louise, here is a very informative website, I did not know about:
www.meinbessarabia.de . It has a number of maps of the towns with family
names. I did not researched them yet, if there are Jewish names among.
But I do have also a town map >from Tarutino, and there are 3 synagogues on
that German map.
Germans established many other colonies in Bessarabia, and also lived in
parts of larger towns, like Bendery, Akkerman, Ismail, Kishinev. I hope to
post at our website translations >from several chapters Louise sent me.
I personally am interested to create websites for Tarutino, Leipzig,
possible other such places. If anyone has information on Jewish life in
these places, please let me know, or who wants to work on developing such
websites, I can share information with you.
I am very grateful to Louise that she shared many stories with me. I know
that she is part of this discussion group - this is how she found me.
All the best,
Bessarabia SIG Coordinator
Researching KOGAN, SPIVAK, KHAYMOVICH, SRULEVICH, LEVIT in Kaushany,
Bendery, Tarutino, Akkerman, Kiliya - all in Bessarabia, KHAIMOVICH in
Galatz, Romania, KOGAN in Dubossary, Moldova, SRULEVICH in Shanghai, China