The first Anti-Jewish pogrom in Romania, started in July 1940, and continued under General Antonescu, is deeply rooted in the history of Dorohoi. The purpose of the pogrom was to purify the Romanian nation by deporting Jews to Transnistria. Thus, approximately 10,000 Jews were deported. However, over 3,000 of them were killed. Some say that the number of those killed was even higher, reaching 5,000.
According to historical documents, and to an article from Opinia Studențească (“Student Opinion”) Magazine (signed by Oana Balan and nominated at the Romanian Press Club Awards, Report-Inquiry Section, 2007), the Jews had been living in Dorohoi since 1475.
The Jews settled down on these lands in increasing numbers, taking refuge from Poland, Slovakia or Russia, countries where they were persecuted. They were welcomed in Moldova and in Dorohoi. Consequently, until the Second World War, the community from Dorohoi counted over 10,000 Jews out of 14 thousand inhabitants. They dealt with crafts and trade, they owned workshops of all sorts, from showmaking and tailoring to ice cream boutiques.
The same article further states the following about the Jews in Dorohoi: “Jidanii” (The Jews), as the majority of the population was called, were respected in the city, had a privileged status and were part of the high society. The people who had Jewish friends were considered to be respectable.
Only a few tens of Jews still live in Dorohoi nowadays. The Jewish Cemetery in the city accommodates approximately 4,000 graves. Of the 29 synagogues that existed prior to the Second World War, only 2 survived throughout the times.
In order to commemorate the Jews, the Dorohoi municipality decided to host the first museum dedicated to Jews in northern Moldova. The museum was built by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania, in proximity to Bet Solomon Synagogue from Pinchas Wassermann Rabbi Square.