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Clay water pitcher used by a Romanian family that sheltered their Jewish neighbors

Object | Accession Number: 2017.648.2

Clay pitcher used by Maria Strashnaya and her family, who hid their Jewish neighbors, the Gurvits family, in the attic of their house in Beleavinți, Romania (today Moldova). The Strashnaya’s hid them in the summer of 1941. Maria lived in a region known historically as Bessarabia, with her son, Ivan Strashnyi, daughter-in-law, Ksenia Strashnaya, and their young daughters, Maria (later Edeniuc) and Eugeniia. Following World War I (1914-1918), the area where they lived became part of Romania. On June 28, 1940, Romania ceded the region to the Soviet Union. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in summer 1941, Romania, a German ally, recaptured the region. The antisemitic Romanian government sought to remove Jews from its provinces by deportation and mass-execution. Benyamin Gurvits, who used to own the village grocery store, asked the elder Maria to provide temporary shelter for his family. Maria and her family members agreed to help Benyamin, his wife, Ita, and their two children, Yefim (Haim) and Manya, even though the townspeople had been warned not to assist. After some time, the Gurvits family heard that the killings had stopped and felt comfortable leaving the area. They passed through several ghettos and labor camps, eventually ending up in the Cernăuți ghetto (now Chernivtsi, Ukraine). In May 1945, the war in Europe ended. The Gurvits family never returned to Beleavinți. They moved to Groznyi, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (now Grozny, Chechnya, Russia), before immigrating to Israel. In 1997, Maria, Ivan, and Ksenia were all honored as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.

use:  approximately 1939-approximately 1945
use: Briceni (Moldova : Raion)
Household Utensils
Drinking vessels
Object Type
Pitchers (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Vasilii Edeniuc
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 21:51:01
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