FALESHTY (Rom. Făleşti), town in Bessarabia, today Republic of Moldova. In 1817, the community numbered 176 families (out of a total of 364 families) and 4,518 persons (68% of the total population) in 1897. As the czarist legislation restricting Jewish settlement in border areas (see *Russia) applied to Faleshty, the Jews were frequently expelled from the town on the grounds that they were living there illegally. In 1887 a society for settlement in Ereẓ Israel was established in Faleshty, and with the assistance of funds provided by Baron Edmond de *Rothschild, 25 families settled in 1887 in Kastina (*Be'er Toviyyah). In 1925, 106 Jewish families in Faleshty were occupied in agriculture, farming an area of 1,025 hectares. The Jewish population numbered 3,258 in 1930 (51.7% of the total).
The Romanian withdrawal in 1940 took place without incident. The incoming Soviet authorities established a Yiddish-language secondary school, but on June 19, 1941, exiled all Zionists and businessmen to Siberia. Most of the exiles survived the war; some returned and settled in the larger towns or went to Israel, while others remained in Siberia.
An aerial bombardment at the beginning of the war (June 21, 1941) caused the first Jewish casualties. Those who had horses at their disposal quickly fled the town, while others followed on foot. A few succeeded in crossing the Dniester with Russian help and escaped from there into the interior of the U.S.S.R. Most of the fleeing Jews, however, were caught on the way by Romanian-German forces and put to death. On June 27 Faleshty was taken over by German troops, who were also joined by Italian forces. The local population and peasants from the surrounding villages collaborated with the occupying forces in robbing and burning Jewish property and murdering the Jews. Romanian troops arrived at a later date and stepped up the murderous campaign. The Jews were concentrated in a ghetto raised at the town's entrance, to which the Jews of other places in the vicinity were brought. The young people were put on forced labor; at night they were imprisoned in the great synagogue and there German and Romanian troops assaulted the women among them. The others were driven out of the ghetto and forced to walk to a nearby village, Limbenii Noui, where many died of disease and starvation. In September the survivors were again deported, this time to the Mǎrculeşti camp. In October those who were still able to walk were expelled to *Transnistria, where practically all of them either succumbed to the inhuman conditions or were murdered by soldiers. One group of Faleshty Jews, including the town's rabbi, Ihiel Flam, were taken to a river in mid-winter, forced to break the ice, strip, and throw themselves into the freezing waters. Only a very small number of Faleshty's Jews survived the war.
Eynikeyt (March 6, 1945).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.