20 December 2010


In August 2009 I was in Noua Suliţă (Suliţa Târg, Suliţa, Novoselytsya, Новоселиця, Новоселица, Nowoselyzja, Nowosielica, Nowosielitza), in the historic region of Bessarabia, since 1991 in the territory of independent Ukraine, near the border with Romania, where I visited the large and ancient Jewish cemetery site [see my picture].

On the banks of the Prut River, Novoselytsya was first mentioned in a document in 1456, having belonged to the Principality of Moldova until 1812. With the transfer of Bessarabia to the Russian Empire, its eastern half went under Russian rule, while its western half, since 1775, belonged to the Austro-Hungarian province of Bukovina.

In 1905, the local train station was inaugurated, along an existing line from the last quarter of the 19th century and which became the main transit point for cattle leather exported to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The station became famous thanks to the famous American journalist John Reed, who started there, in 1915, his trip to Russia in order to witness the Bolshevik Revolution.

With the end of World War I, the whole city became part of Romanian territory and, with World War II, of the Soviet Union.

In 1930, the city, the second largest in the Romanian province of Hotin and important commercial center, had a population of 5000 inhabitants, of whom about four-fifths were Jews. The city had several banks, a Jewish hospital, a synagogue, a post office and telegraph, a commercial high school, a court, two cinemas and airport.

Currently the city has around 8000 inhabitants, of whom about half a dozen Jewish families.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice post. My grandfather,Abran Guelfand Loy was born there and left before WWII .... more or less in 1937 and went on train to the port in Marseilles and then to Chile.