The Search for Politanky

A Hidden Holocaust Refuge in Transnistria

in European Judaism

As the child of Holocaust survivors, I had thought that after more than seventy-five years little else could be learnt. But I was wrong. After my second journey to Ukraine and Transnistria in order to discover how my family had survived when hundreds of thousands of Jews had perished, I realized just how much so. Bukovina’s Jews from Romania, Ukraine and Bessarabia had faced horrific pogroms, forced evacuations and death marches, and had then crossed the Dniester River into Transnistria. These are lesser known topics in Holocaust history. Of the 450,000 Jews sent there, approximately 250,000 died, not by guns, gas or ovens but through thirst, starvation, disease and bullet-free mass murders carried out by the Nazis and their Romanian allies. Transnistria’s Holocaust history must be visited and revised. We owe it to the survivors, ourselves, our children and to history itself, before altering what has been written, or not, becomes impossible.