| Press Room | Online Store | Friends | Contact Us

Feodosiya

Feodosiya, Feodosiya County, Crimean ASSR (today Autonomous Republic of Crimea) District, Russia

To enlarge the map click here Rebuilt former Choral Synagogue, today the Officers House of the Russian Navy 
<br>
Photo by Mikhail Tyaglyy, 2011 Rebuilt former Choral Synagogue, today the Officers House of the Russian Navy
Photo by Mikhail Tyaglyy, 2011
The International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem Former Talmud Torah building, now a school building
<br>
Photo by Mikhail Tyaglyy, 2011 Former Talmud Torah building, now a school building
Photo by Mikhail Tyaglyy, 2011
The International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem Former Senaya Square - a collection point of Ashkenazi and Krymchak Jews. Currently a shopping center
<br>
Photo by Mikhail Tyaglyy, 2011 Former Senaya Square - a collection point of Ashkenazi and Krymchak Jews. Currently a shopping center
Photo by Mikhail Tyaglyy, 2011
The International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem

Jews, mainly from the Byzantine Empire, Italy, and Persia began to settle in this location already in the 10th century (later it was called by the Turkish name Kaffa or Keffe). At the beginning of the 15th century there were two synagogues - one for the Krymchaks and one for the Ashkenazi Jews. The city also had a Karaite community, which built their own synagogue (called a kenassa). The Jews were mainly merchants and artisans, as well as wine-growers and gardeners.
The modern Jewish community was founded in the late 18th century, when the Russians conquered Crimea and renamed the town Feodosiya. In the 19th century Ashkenazi Jews became the overwhelming majority of the Jewish population of the city. In 1897 3,000 Jews (including Krymchaks) were living in the city (out of the total population of 24,000). In October 1905 more than 20 Jews were murdered in a pogrom. Under Soviet rule, in 1923 the 14th century synagogue (the oldest in the USSR) was closed and its ancient Torah scrolls and Jewish ritual objects were confiscated by the authorities. In 1926 3,807 Jews (including 559 Krymchaks) were living in Feodosiya. The total number of Jews dropped to 2,922 in 1939, when they comprised 6.5 percent of the total city population. The Karaites then amounted to approximately 20 percent of the population of the city. On the eve of the German occupation of the city about 1,500 Jews managed to leave the city.
The Germans captured the city on November 3, 1941. On November 13 the Ashkenazi Jews were ordered to register with the Jewish community council, to wear white Stars of David on their chests and backs, and to surrender their valuables to the Germans. The Jews were warned that those who violated these orders would be shot to death. According to the census made by the Feodosiya commandant's office three days later, 1,052 Ashkenazi Jews were registered, probably including the Jews from nearby towns, as well as Jewish refugees from Poland and Ukraine who were in the city at that time. The registration of the Krymchaks was carried out separately. There were some Ashkenazi and Krymchak Jews who did not register. According to the another report prepared by the city administration during the same period of time, 831 Ashkenazi Jews and 449 Krymchak Jews lived in the city.
After refusing the German order to help them set up paraformalin [formaldehyde] chambers (for killing Jews) in the quarantine area of the hospital, the well known Jewish doctor B.M. Fidelev, a leading epidemiologist and the chief physician of the Feodosia hospital, was tied up with telephone wire, together with his wife, and thrown into the clinic well, where they drowned.
On December 4 about 800 Ashkenazi Jews (or, according to a Soviet report, 2,000 Jews) were shot to death by a unit from Sonderkommando 10b on the outskirts of Feodosiya. On December 12 approximately 300 Krymchaks Jews were shot to death several hundred meters from the previous murder site by the same unit and by members of the Feldgendarmerie (military police).
Between December 29, 1941 and January 17, 1942 Feodosiya was liberated by the Red Army. However, before that, at the end of December 1941, several tens of the hiding Jews and Krymchaks were found and shot to death. During the short Soviet interregnum in Feodosiya, only few of the remaining Jews succeeded in fleeing the city because the Soviets authorities did not allow them to leave. After the renewed German occupation of the city,according to German sources, between January and April 1942 Ashkenazi and Krymchak Jews who had gone into hiding and were caught, as well as the children from mixed marriages, were killed at the same murder site. Along with the Jews, between 1941 and 1943 other residents of Feodosiya and its outskirts, partisans, and Soviet military personal were also murdered at this location.
Feodosiya was liberated by the Red Army on April 13, 1944.