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Use our multimedia maps, and explore the family pictures, archival material, and personal stories of 21 Jewish Holocaust survivors to get a unique insight into the rich Jewish heritage of these two European cities.
The ruins of an impressive building on the grounds of the Municipal Hospital No. 4 at Strada Columna 150 catch the eye. It was once the main building of the Jewish hospital, which was on the site until 1940. For several years now, the two-story building was supposed to be renovated. So far, the collapse-prone masonry was only provisionally secured with metal clips.
The buildings next to it and behind it are still used by the hospital today. They were also part of the former Jewish hospital, which was founded in 1817. In the mid-19th century, the facility had around 30 beds, financed by government subsidies, the Jewish community’s own funds and donations. As Chişinău´s Jewish community grew, the Jewish hospital expanded: by 1900 it had more than 100 beds. At that time the building complex included a poor house. In 1911 the premises already offered space for 200 patients. Mainly members of the Jewish community of Chişinău were treated there.
Numerous new members of the Jewish community were also born in the Jewish hospital, including Bella Chanina:
I was born in the Jewish hospital in Chişinău in 1923, and was registered in the rabbinate book. When after the war I needed to obtain a birth certificate since the original was lost, they found the roster of 1923 at the synagogue and found an entry about my birth there. Following the family tradition, my mother wanted to name me Yulia after her father, but the others talked her out of it: ‘What if you have a boy one day’.
The hospital served kosher meals and there was a synagogue on site. If you walk straight past the ruin through the main entrance, you will find two smaller brick buildings in the rear area of the premises. One of them might have been the synagogue, while the other probably had a mikveh. This, however, has yet to be confirmed.
The Jewish hospital was of particular importance in 1903. After the pogroms in Chişinău, around 500 people were treated here alone, including 95 seriously injured people, as the chief doctor of the hospital, Dr. Mikhail Slutsky later reported. Eight patients succumbed to their serious injuries. Historical photographs show the injured being hospitalized on the site.
The history of the Jewish hospital in Chişinău ended with the takeover of administration by the Soviet authorities in 1940, when the institution was nationalized and converted into a city hospital. However, in 1946, two thirds of all doctors in Chişinău were Jewish.