Ghetto Czernowitz history

August 6, 1941

Cernăuți Police Headquarters

No. 1907/941 S

August 6, 1941

Circ. I-VI

Commission. Pol. Cozmeni

Detachment-Pol. Sadagura


Motivated by the address of the Prefecture of the județ of Cernăuți No.54 confirmed by the telegram No. 358/941 of the General Pretoriat, we inform you that by order of General Ion Antonescu it is forbidden for Jews to travel from one town to another.

No one is allowed to give travel permits to Jews.

Travel for possible investigations will be carried out only under escort.

We ask for strict compliance with the above provisions.

Chestor: [Signature]

Holdings of State Archive of Chernivts Oblast, Ukraine

Yellow Star (in romanian: Steaua galbenă )

Holdings of Chernivtsi Regional Local Lore Museum

Photo: Sergei Nezhurbida

On August 27, 1941, the Romanian newspaper 'Bucovina' published an article entitled 'Jewish Ghetto'. Text of the publication:

Jewish Ghetto

The discussion has slipped into the Jewish issue which is of interest to both Jewish and Romanian circles. It is known that the town of Cernăuți had about 60,000 to 70,000 Jews before the Russian occupation. The mayor assures us that the number of these Jews has halved, because many of them were deported or left voluntarily for Russia.

The Jews of Cernăuți could be divided into three categories: the autochthonous Jews, i.e. those who lived in Cernăuți even before the Russian occupation, the Jews who came from the surrounding settlements from which they were expelled and the Jews who came from Basarabia and even from other territories occupied by the Russians during the Russian rule.

The Town Hall [Primăria] intends, according to the mayor [primar], to create a ghetto for the Jews of Cernăuți. The ghetto can only be in the old Jewish quarter in and around the ‘Evreiască’ [Jewish] Street. All Jewish workers and proletarians will be sent to live in this quarter. But since this district cannot include all the Jews in the town, the ghetto will extend to the whole district between ‘Evreiască’ [Jewish] and ‘Romană’ [Romanian] Streets, where tradesmen and merchants will be sent to live. As for the so-called Jewish aristocracy made up of engineers, doctors, lawyers, big industrialists, etc., they will be allowed to live in other parts of the town, apart from certain streets, such as 'Flondor' [Iancu Flondor], 'Regina Maria' [Queen Maria], ‘Reşedinţă’ [Metropolitan's Residence], 'Stefan cel Mare' [Stefan the Great], etc., from where they will be evacuated, as well as the Christians living in the Jewish quarter.

The ghetto project is in the process of being worked on, and a commission composed of a delegate of the German police, a delegate of the Cernăuți Police Headquarters and a delegate of the Cernăuți Town Hall will go to Lodz - Cracow and perhaps Lublin to study the organisation of the ghetto on the spot. In the meantime, preparations are being made on the ground. The mayor assures us that the Cernăuți ghetto will be up and running by early winter.

Photo: Sergei Nezhurbida

On October 10, 1941 General Corneliu Calotescu, the Governor of Bukovina, signed a decision (No. 37/941) predetermining the deaths and deprivations of hundreds of thousands of Bukovina Jews. This decision was the basis for the establishment of the Jewish ghetto in Cernăuți (Czernowitz).

Corneliu Calotescu: ‘… I have the honour to inform you that the evacuation of the Jewish population of Bukovina has been decided. For this purpose, the Jewish population of the Municipality of Cernăuți will first be gathered in the ghetto fixed by the Town Hall [Primaria] from where they will then be transported …’.

Photo: Sergei Nezhurbida

General Calotescu's decision, from October 10, 1941 #37/941), was the basis for the establishment of the Jewish ghetto in Cernăuți (Czernowitz). On October 11, 1941, according to the special Program, from 2 a.m. to 6 p.m., all members of the Jewish community of Cernăuți and suburbs were gathered in the ghetto. At 6 p.m. the ghetto was closed.

Corneliu Calotescu: ‘No one may enter the ghetto except with my special written approval. (Except for Christians living in the neighborhood and who will prove it with identification)’.

Photo: Yad Vashem