Several memorials commemorate the Jews murdered by the Romanian occupiers and German Einsatzgruppen (SS mobile killing squads) in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa.
Prior to the Second World War, about 180,000 Jews lived in Odessa making up around one third of the population. After several weeks of besiegement, German and their allied Romanian troops took the city on October 16, 1941. From now on Odessa was under Romanian occupation - the city became the capital of the Romanian-controlled Transnistria region. A part of the Jewish population had been able to flee before the besiegement; there were probably between 80,000 and 100,000 Jews in Odessa on the day of its occupation. Together with the Romanian troops, the Sonderkommando 11b (mobile killing unit) under the command of Bruno Müller marched into Odessa. On the following day, the Romanians ordered the registered of all Jews. Many were arrested, and Jewish intellectuals were immediately executed. On October 22, 1941, a bomb went off in an administration building, killing 67 people, amongst them several Romanian and German officers. The response of the occupying forces was brutal: shortly afterwards, Romanian troops tracked down Jews in the whole city and shot or hanged them. Romanian soldiers shot between 10,000 and 23,000 Jews in a closed off part of the port. The Sonderkommando 11b also took part in the massacres on October 23. Romanian constabulary brought about 2000 arrested Jews to an out of order well shaft. The Sonderkommando shot all the Jews there, the bodies falling into the well shaft. At the end of October 1941, the Romanians continued their murders outside the city: between 16,000 and 20,000 Jews from Odessa were herded into the town of Dalnik and murdered there. At the beginning of November, the remaining 35,000 were forced into two ghettos, where many of them died. At the end of 1941, all of the ghetto residents were deported to Transnistria, the Romanian-controlled part of the Ukraine, and murdered in the Bogdanovka camp. Around 20,000 Jews made it to German areas of settlement, where many were murdered by German paramilitary units.
Romanian soldiers and units of the Einsatzgruppe D (mobile killing squad) murdered at least 70,000 Jews. Around 20,000 Jews were deported from the ghetto and murdered in Transnistria.
A memorial stone was set up on the site of a massacre which was conducted on October 23, 1941 by Romanian troops and which several thousand Jews fell victim to. The inscription on the memorial stone from Soviet times reads: »Here, on October 19, 1941, the fascist animals burned alive about 25,000 Soviet citizens. We honour your memory!«