• Jewish Museum Odessa »Migdal Shorashim«
A museum in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, established by the Jewish community in 2002, displays the history of Odessa Jews.

Image: Odessa, before 1917, Contemporary postcard, Postcard collection Przopiorski
Odessa, before 1917, Contemporary postcard, Postcard collection Przopiorski

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.
Image: Odessa, before 1917, Contemporary postcard, Postcard collection Przopiorski
Odessa, before 1917, Contemporary postcard, Postcard collection Przopiorski

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.
Image: Odessa, 1941, Execution in Odessa, Yad Vashem
Odessa, 1941, Execution in Odessa, Yad Vashem

In 2002, the Jewish community of Odessa opened the Jewish Museum Odessa »Migdal Shorashim«. The museum is the only of its kind in Odessa, according to its own accounts it's the only such institution in all of Ukraine. The exhibition deals with the history of the Jewish community of Odessa, which until 1941 was one of the largest in Europe. The museum displays objects of daily use, photos and documents.
Image: Odessa, 2004, Exibition item at Jewish Museum, Muzey istorii evreev Odessy »Migdal' Shorashim«
Odessa, 2004, Exibition item at Jewish Museum, Muzey istorii evreev Odessy »Migdal' Shorashim«

Name
Muzej istorii ewreew Odessy »Migdal' Schoraschim«
Address
ul. Nezhinskaya 66
Odessa
Phone
+380 (0)48 728 974 3
Web
http://www.migdal.ru
E-Mail
museum@migdal.ru
Open
Daily 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays