2 August 2021

Mihai Dumitru


Interview on the occasion of 2 August 2021, Holocaust Memorial Day for Sinti and Roma

– Uncle, what’s your name?
– Dimitru, Mihai Dimitru.
– And how old are you?
– Ninety-five.
– Were you also deported to “Russia”, to Transnistria?
– Yes, I was. I was in Trei Dube, Libașovca, Crivoi Oziero. I [forced] to work there for two and a half years.
– They put us in huts there, we were 3-4 thousand families, you couldn’t circle them one day.
– Many died, their dogs ate them.
– Our Roma ate the corpses, they died without candles, without being buried. Where I found them, I buried them.
– In the spring these huts began to crumble, the [roofs] were made of wood. The snow had melted, it was a snowy winter, and the wood fell on men, women and the children.
– And they died inside.
– They died inside. And no one had taken them out. Who was going to get them out anyway?
– Were you a big family?
– We were a big family.
– How many members were you?
“It was my father, my mother, my brothers who died there in the bombing.” We were cooking corn on the fire, a bomber saw us from above and bombed them.
“And who died?”
– Papa, mama died there, I fled. Several Roma died, many Roma died …
– Many died of hunger.
– Many died of misery, of typhus.
– Little children died, they could no longer be taken care of.
– Women, young women fell in the streets.
“There was a forest where I worked and cooked in a cauldron.” And from this cauldron a Roma of ours, an old man, took out food and poured some for the children, the women, for everyone. We ate there. We had it bad. Hope God doesn’t punish anyone like he punished us.
– My father and mother died there, my two brothers and my elder sisters.
– Your children know what you experienced in Transnistria.
– They know.
“But do the grandchildren know?”
– They don’t know!
– They don’t know.
– They don’t know anything!

Opening Remarks

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