Video recordings of Transnistria Survivors' Association's annual commemomoration ceremonies (Haskara) that took place at Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue in Toronto in 2006 and 2007.
Founded in 1994, the Transnistria Survivors’ Association works to provide a voice for and raise awareness of a lesser known group of Holocaust survivors. Transnistria was the Romanian authorities’ name for the former Ukrainian region located between the Rivers Dniester and Bug. It was placed under Romanian administration following the German and Romanian conquest of Ukraine in the summer of 1941. Prior to the Second World War, Romania was home to the third largest Jewish population in Europe; but beginning with the Citizenship Revision Laws of 1938, the Jews of Romania were deprived their citizenship rights and became the targets of repressive antisemitic policies and laws. Neighbours turned on neighbours. Thousands of Jews were murdered in pogroms, either by Romanian or German troops, Nazi Einsatzgruppen, or the local population. In 1941, the Jews who remained alive in the Provinces of Bucovina and Bessarabia were deported to camps and ghettos in Transnistria. Thousands were jammed into freight trains while others were marched by foot. Many died along the way. Between 1941 and 1944, it is estimated that German and Romanian authorities, along with Ukrainian collaborators, murdered or caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Romanian and Ukrainian Jews in Transnistria. Some of those who survived these tragic circumstances, especially from Bucovina and Bessarabia, and made a new home in Toronto gathered together to lend each other support and to tell their largely unknown story of oppression and survival. The Transnistria Survivor’s Association organized yearly Hazkarah (memorial) services and its dedicated members continue to share their extraordinary stories of survival through speaking engagements at schools, colleges and synagogues. Past presidents include:
1. Felicia (Steigman) Carmelly
4.Lou (Leizer) Hoffer
As of 2017, the current President is Joe Leinburd.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
Transnistria Survivors Association
Transnistria (Ukraine : Territory under German and Romanian occupation, 1941-1944)