Follow-up to MDA32043.E of 22 July 1999 on whether a Jewish cultural organization in Chisinau has compiled a list of holocaust survivors; whether such a list, if it exists, has been used by antisemitic groups to extort money from persons on the list [MDA32975.E]

A 23 August 1999 report states that "Moldovan Jews and Roma who survived the Holocaust may become eligible for compensation under the $1.25 billion collective suit filed in the U.S. against Swiss banks" (Middle East News Item).

During a 17 November 1999 telephone interview, a representative of the Friends of Kishinev Jewry in Brooklyn N.Y., who is a native of Moldova, stated that an organization in Kishinev has compiled a list of holocaust survivors. He stated that he did not know the English translation for the name of the group, but described its members as "partisans" and survivors of the holocaust. He said that the group is not large nor well-organized, but that the list was created in order to access compensation from the Swiss government. He said that he was unaware of the list being used by antisemitic groups in any way.

The representative added that he was unaware of the existence of any antisemitic groups in Moldova, nor of any organized antisemitic activities. He said that crime is a problem in Moldova and claimed that the police, while trying, are not doing enough to deal with it. The representative stated that while antisemitism may exist in Moldova, he himself has not experienced it there, and in his opinion if Jews have been mistreated it is more likely to have been simply crime rather than antisemitism.

The following information was provided by a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and the Cummings Centre for Russian and East European Studies at Tel Aviv University who is also a Senior Research Fellow of the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism at the same university (8 Nov. 1999). With regard to a Jewish organization in Kishinev compiling a list of holocaust survivors for the German and Swiss governments in order for the victims to be compensated, he wrote:

There seem to be several Jewish organizations and active people from within the community structure and outside it who may have compiled such lists (I have no direct knowledge). The issue may be very complicated as the Romanian authorities were in charge in most areas and not the Germans [during the war].

He wrote that he had no knowledge of the lists having been acquired by antisemitic groups and used to extort money from persons on the list but said that "it could be true, generally the level of crime, extortion, mafia type of activity is very high in Moldova, and such actions could be true. Jews could be targets of such activities" (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Friends of Kishinev Jewry, Brooklyn. 17 November 1999. Telephone interview with representative.

Middle East News Items. 23 August 1999. "Moldovan Holocaust Survivors May Receive Compensation." (NEXIS)

Senior Lecturer/Research Fellow, Tel Aviv University, Department of History, Cummings Centre for Russian and East European Studies, Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism. 8 November 1999. Correspondence.