The Jewish Self-Administration in Ghetto Shargorod - Trasnistria
Some 300,000 Jews in Rumania survived the war, and miraculously another 68,000 in Transnistria, despite the inhuman, brutal conditions to which they had been exposed. The ghetto in Shargorod is an example of how such survival came about. In October 1941, the Jews of Suceava in Bukovina were deported to Ataki on the Dniester River where the conditions were dreadful. The Judenräte were involved in survival, not resistance, and thus they were able to save so many members of the community. From Ataki the Jews were ferried across the river to Mogilev and from there to Shargorod where the antisemitic Rumanian militia were in charge including housing and food distribution — both scarce. The Judenrat slowly took over the internal administration of the ghetto — set up its own bakery and soup kitchen and eventually even its own carefully selected police force and soap factory. Severe overcrowding and bitter cold led to epidemics and many deaths. Improved organization, updating and even establishment of hospitals, delousing and disinfecting and iron discipline helped overcome the situation. An orphanage was erected. In fact, a state within a state had been established. The Jews, themselves, organized the call for forced labor in a completely fair manner for which an increased supply of food was earned. In March 1944, the Russians conquered Shargorod and instituted their own reign of terror against the Jews of the ghetto. Nevertheless, at the end of the war, seventy to eighty percent of the deportees had survived.