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Briceva, Moldova

BRICEVA, Jewish agricultural settlement in Bessarabia, Ukraine; in Romania 1918–40 and 1941–44. Briceva was founded in 1838 on an area of 308 hectares (approx. 760 acres) acquired by colonists originating from Podolia. In 1899 there were 301 Jewish families (1,510 persons), of whom 83 owned their holdings (averaging approx. 9½ acres per family), possessing 1,244 sheep and goats. Because of the scarcity of farm equipment, plowing was hired out. As a result of the Romanian agrarian reform of 1922, 72 Briceva farmers received 216 hectares (approx. 533 acres) from the state. In 1924, 176 Jewish families were engaged in agriculture on an area of 1,134 hectares (approx. 2,800 acres, of which 1,605 acres were lease-held); in 1930 the Jewish population numbered 2,431 (88.9% of the total). A Jewish elementary school and a Hebrew intermediate school operated in Briceva. In the face of antisemitic outburts in the 1930s, a Jewish self-defense group was organized.

[Eliyahu Feldman]

Holocaust Period

The settlement's proximity to the Dniester River enabled many Jews of Briceva to escape to the U.S.S.R. before the arrival of the Romanian and German troops in July 1941. Those who stayed, as well as those caught in flight, were robbed; the women were raped by Romanian soldiers. Later they were deported to *Transnistria , where most of them met their death. After the war, a few dozen families, the surviving remnant of the community, returned to Briceva, finding their homes occupied by non-Jews. None remained there.

[Jean Ancel]


Yakir, in: Eynikeyt (Sept. 10, 1946).

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.