Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reports on Jewish cemeteries in Moldova

The Moldovan edition of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty broadcasted a documentary about Jewish cemeteries in the country. Represented are the cemeteries in Chisinau, Orhei and Vadul-Rashcov. They are outstanding witnesses of Jewish heritage in Moldova. Hopefully this will contribute to raise awareness of public, politics and administrations towards these cemeteries and their worthiness of protection. I am grateful to have been interviewed by editor Eugenia Pogor and for the chance to express my view of the significance of these places for all of us.

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Farewell, Moldova!

On our last common day in Moldova Achim, Petra and I went from Bălţi (Beltsy) back to Chişinău (Kishinev). We decided to take a western route to visit the Jewish cemetery in Făleşti (Faleshty).

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In the Moldovan Borderlands

Today we have been in the outer northwest of Moldova, in Briceni and Lipcani. Here you find yourself in a triangle between Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. In both places there are remarkable old Jewish cemeteries.

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A short trip to Ukraine

Soroca is located in the border area with Ukraine. This has given us the opportunity to make a trip from Otaci to Mohyliv-Podilskyi today. The local Jewish cemetery is one of the most important witnesses of the past.

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From Soroca to Otaci

From Soroca we went further north to Zguriţa (Zguritsa) and Otaci (Ataki). In both places there are Jewish cemeteries and former synagogues. Both cemeteries have a special magic – the one due to its picturesque location, the other due to the age and the artistic quality of the gravestones.

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Soroca

Our journey takes us further into the north of Bessarabia – now up to Soroca. We visited the Jewish cemetery, were welcomed in the synagogue and saw the famous “Gypsy palaces”.

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Into Transnistria

To go from Rezina to Rîbniţa (Rybnitsa) and Raşcov (Rashkov) one has to cross the border from Moldova to “Transnistria”. The border is controlled only on the Transnistrian side, as Moldova considers the region as part of its national territory. The Jewish cemetery in Rîbniţa and the old synagogue in Raşcov were our destinations.

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Back on the banks of river Dniester

On our way to Rîbniţa (Rybnitsa) and Raşcov (Rashkov) we made a stop in Rezina on the banks of river Dniester. The Jewish cemetery of Rezina is the most dilapidated we’ve seen so far on our trip.

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On the banks of river Dniester

My friends – Petra and Achim – and I continued to explore the area east of Bălţi (Beltsy). We were in Vadul-Raşcov (Vadul Rashkov) on the banks of river Dniester and Prodăneşti (Prodaneshty), to visit the local Jewish cemeteries. Vadul-Raşcov cemetery is one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever seen.

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East of Bălţi

Bălţi is located in the heart of the Bessarabian shtetl land. Today we went eastwards to visit the Jewish cemeteries in Alexandreni, Mărculeşti, Floreşti and Tirgul Vertiujeni. We found very different locations and conditions.

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