21 December 2010


Briceni (Brichon, Brichany, Бричень, Бричаны, Briceni Târg, Briceni Sat) is a small town in the north of Bessarabia, now part of Republic of Moldova. (In the picture, the division into districts of the province of Briceni, the northernmost in Moldova, whose capital city is Briceni.)

In 1817, it had 137 Jewish families. In 1897, turned already into one of the largest Jewish communities of Bessarabia, Briceni housed 7,184 Jews, which meant 96.5% of the population.

In the late 19th century, there were 972 Jewish artisans, mostly furrier, who produced and exported about 25,000 furs a year; in addition to them, 25 Jewish families were devoted to horticulture and tobacco culture, while 700 Jews were day laborers.

In 1924, there were 125 Jewish farmers whose crops were extended by 64 sqm, some of them leased.

In 1940, when its Jewish population reached about 10,000 people, the city was occupied, along with all of Bessarabia, in the context of World War II, by Soviet forces, who confiscated the most part of private and community property, used the synagogue as a barn and deported 80 Jewish community leaders to Siberia.

In 1941, the Romanian troops regained Bessarabia with the support of the German army, killing many Jews. Jews from neighboring towns of Lipcani and Secureni were concentrated in a ghetto in Briceni and, in July, dispatched to a death march from which few returned in 1945.

According to the 2004 census, 8,765 people now live in Briceni, of which a tiny number is composed by Jews.


  1. Any way to see WHO lived in Briceni in 1897-1898? Census records, marriage, etc? My G Grandmother and G Grandfather and his family lived there before coming to the states in the late 1800's.

  2. Bom Dia, Fernando! Have enjoyed reading your website! My grandfather Leib Fichman (possible spelling Fikhman?) came from Secureni and married my grandmother Esther Landin (born Briceni circa 1900) in 1916-1918? They moved to Recife, where he became Luiz Fichman. He died in Recife in January, 1949. There are lots of FB researchers investigating Bessarabia!