The Attitude of the Non-Jewish Population of Bessarabia and Transnistria to the Jews during the Holocaust: A Survivors’ Perspective
The history of the Romanian Holocaust made a real breakthrough in the recent years. The Romanian government’s policy against the Jews, the responsibility of Ion Antonescu, the history of massacres in Romania, Bessarabia, and Transnistria, the deportation of Bukovinian and Bessarabian Jewry, and the fate of deportees and local Ukrainian Jews in the internment places of Transnistria, were all brought to light. However, one element has been missing almost completely from the complex story depicted by the researchers of the Romanian Holocaust: the role and place of the local civilian non-Jewish population. This article tries to fill this gap by bringing the non-Jewish population of Bessarabia and Transnistria into the picture. These local populations are analyzed not as static groups, but rather as bearers of previously inculcated values, as populations that reacted based on previous background and presented realities to the racist policy of a newly established regime.