“Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Jewish committees in the ghettos of the Mogilev district and the Romanian authorities in Transnistria, 1941–1944 1
ByGali Mir-Tibon
Pages 21

This chapter explores how the Jewish committees operated vis-à-vis the Romanian governorate within the unique circumstances in the Mogilev district during the Holocaust, and how they took advantage of the conditions that developed in the region to benefit members of their original Romanian hometown Jewish communities. The term Judenrat, commonly used for these Jewish officials in the ghettos, was rarely used in Transnistria. Transnistria province had been built as a military and economic colony with two essential purposes: to provide protection against the Soviet eastern front, and to offer cheap labor for mining, rebuilding war damage, and constructing roads and bridges for use by military forces. From November 1941–February 1942, the ghettos were "open" and Jews lived in the former Jewish Ukrainian neighborhoods and rented rooms in other neighborhoods in towns. Difference in financial status constituted, in part, the difference between life and death in the Mogilev ghettos.