Dates of Historical Interest for Bessarabia

Last Update 10 Sept 2007

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Bessarabia continued:

Bessarabian History

A List of Historical Dates from Pre Roman Times to 1991

GRHS Bessarabian Home Site

The following has been taken from Borodino / Bessarabia, South Russia from "A" to "Zzzz", "B", Bessarabia & History, pps. B-61 - B-67, written by Judy A. Remmick-Hubert, copyrighted 1991


Judy A. Remmick-Hubert


"Tata rus, mama rus, Dar Ivan, moldovan"

[Father Russia, mother Russian, Ivan, the son, is Moldavian.]

Before 1991

The area which German-Russians after 1812 was known as Bessarabia had been extremely important in ancient times because it had been the gateway from Russia into the Danube Valley.  And before there was a Russia, it was a gateway to the invasions from Asia in the east  to the west or or from Europe in the west to the east.

The Greeks placed colonies in this area in the 7th century BC.  It became part of the Roman Empire and was known as Roman Dacia.  After the 7th century AD the area changed many hands such as the Goths, Huns, Avars and Magyars as did the Slavs who seem to have begun to create settlements while the others just pasted west to east or east to west.  From the 9th Century to the 12th century the Kievian Russians [Rus] held claim and it was part of the Duchy of Halych-Volhynia.  In the same century the Cumans  pushed away the Russians [Rus] but their stay was limited; the Mongols "overan" the area of Bessarabia; and, 1367 the Principality of Moldavia was established under Walachian princely family of Bassarab who earlier had ruled the area.  In 1513 the ownership changed, again, and was taken by the Turks through their [vassals] the Khans of the Crimean Tatars [not to be confused with Tartars].  Russia took the area in 1812 under Tsar Alexander I's General Kutuzov (1768 - 1813).  Because of this  earlier association with the Crimean Tatars, after the Crimean War (1856) S. Bessarabia went to Moldavia and into the hands of Rumania. In 1878 the Congress of Berlin returned Bessarabia back to Russia where it remained until 1917 when the area refused to accept the communist government and in 1918 became an independent Moldovan Republic and in 1920 their independence was recognized by the Treaty of Paris, however, the USSR never accepted this rebellious independent republic who had nestled quite nicely with Rumania who was forced to cede Bessarabia back to the USSR in 1940 ....  The area became known as the autonomous Moldavian SSR  [Soviet Socialist Republic]. Everything changed, again when the communist regime tumbled down in 1991.  The new Ukraine Republic held claim to the southern portion of Bessarabia and the northern part  which includes the old capital of Kischinev is, now, part of Republic of Moldova and apparently are in favor of becoming part of Rumania once again.

This region in SE Europe was bounded by the Dnister, Danube and Pruth rivers on three of it's boundaries. The fourth side is the Black Sea.

Has rolling prairies and the last fingers of the Carpathian hills. Northern hill each 1500 feet There is the Podolian and Moldavia Plateaus. Deep ravines are like age lines that mark the face of this area.

Along the rivers and the Black Sea are slews and small lakes.

The largest cities are:

  • Kischinev
  • Izmail
  • Belgoro-Dnestrovsky
  • Akkermann

The earth is black [cernozeum] rich with vegetable deposit which changes into the red earth around Hotin.

This is a fertile agr. land with grazing land. Crops are grain, tobacco, fruit and wood. Apparently by 1912 there were large fields of "American Indian corn" [memories of Christine, nee Schewikert, Hein b. 1885 Borodino /Bess and Badeker p. 24].

It has two climate areas : coastal and interior.

The interior temperature of Kishinev in summer can run as high as 110 degrees . Winter it can fall to as low as 22 degrees. Drought were rare. Rain falls about 96 days out of every year. Sept. having the less rain fall.

Travel before 1918 was difficult and usually done by foot, wagon [carriage, etc. ] or train. There was only 4 paved main roads. And there was discouragement of building more roads or bridges.

There were by 1912 some 65 banks and other credit institutions. The cash value was a little more than 40,000,00 dollars. 70% of large estates were mortgaged.

Before 1912 salaries were considered low and mills, farms, etc. had difficulty in finding workers.

American capital was flowing into Bessarabia through the big banks by many German-Russians who had migrated and had capital to do this.

1911 there were "inscribed" onto the list of Bessarabia's social list some 468 families. There were 138 of the old Moldavian aristocracy; 198 raised through the military ; others, such as Poles, made up the minority.

Population was homogeneous and had Ukrainians, Poles, Bulgarians White Russians, Jews, Kirghizes, Tartars, Letts, Georgians, Armenians, Gypsies , Mongolians, Chinese and Koreans and Germans-Russians before the Russian Revolution of 1917.

After 1991:

With the break up of the USSR, Bessarabia was divided.  The southern part became part of the Ukraine Republic and the upper part which includes Kischinev part of the Republic of Moldova or Moldavian SSR [not Rumania, however, the majority seem to be working for a reunion...]. 

Historical Dates

Larger Towns Important To German-Russians


Kishinev [Kischinev, Kischinew, Kischineff, Khishineff, Chishinau]: This was the capital of Bessarabia found on the Byk [Buik] River, a tributary of the Dniester River.  It was found by the Turks in the early 15th century.  In 1812 the Russians annexed Bessarabia  but gave the area it's own government and Kischinev remained the capital.  See history of Moldavia. With the changes occurring after the fall of the communist regime in 1991, Kishinev was renamed Chinau and no longer carried the label the capital of Bessarabia or Moldavia [Moldova] and, now, in 2002 is part of the Republic of Moldova or Moldavian SSR [not Rumania, however, at this time efforts of a reunion is occurring....].

I turn to my old Baedeker Travel Book where he lists various facts about Kischinev for the year of 1912 p. 24:

  • population: 125,0000 of which over half are Jewish
  • capital of Bessarabia
  • has a rail station
    • cab fares from the train station to town
      • one horse cab was 25 kopecks
      • two horse cab was 30-50 kopecks per hour
  • Town has a Greek Catholic Cathedral, a bronze statue of Alexander II since 1886, House of Governor, Lutheran Church and a statue of Pushkin, the poet, since 1885 in their lovely public gardens.... Natural History Museum
  • there was a tramway with the fare costing 5 kopecks


Known as a "rail station" town in 1912 by Baedeker which had about 60,000 people on the right bank of the Dniester River.  It was once a fortress community until it's military needs were abandoned in 1897.  It is best known by one of the earlier inhabitants the Swedish King Charles XII (1709 to 1712) who was hoping to conquer the Russians under Peter I "the Great".  His military camp became the village of Varnitza which was about two miles north of Bender. It is said that about 650 German soldiers remained in this area, however, I've found no records that this was true....The distance by rail from Bender to Reni  [near  where the Pruth River and Danube River  meet and flow into the Black Sea] was 268 versts or 177 miles and took eight hours.  The tracks ran across the southern part of Bessarabia. Some of the German-Russian colonies Baedeker mentioned on the route were: 

  • Zaim
  • Leipzigskaya
  • Kulmskaya


Reni was important town because this is where a person could board a steamboat that would take you into the Black Sea. It held 10,000 people.  Across the Pruth River was Galatz, a Rumanian frontier town.


Here is where many the German-Russian emigrants ended their boat "Journey" on the Danube [Donu] River and move into the areas of  quarantine.

The details of this boat journey can be found in  Joseph S. Height's book HOMESTEADERS ON THE STEPPE, The Odyssey of Pioneering People, written by Friedrich Schwarz and his family pps.  40 - 45 followed by other letters.  Many of these family ended their boat journey in Galatz which is near Ismail. 

Historical Sites

Trajan Walls

There is an ancient crumbling wall which the locals, as did the German-Russian colonists, the Trajan Walls  However I'm not certain if the Roman emperor who lived in A.D.  c. 53-117 had his troops build a wall in Bessarabia. He may have since he was the ruler under which Rome brought Dacia under it's control.

The Upper Wall [Oberen] Trajan Wall is near Bendery and crosses Bessarabia to the town of Leowa in the Pruth River.

The Lower Wall or Under [Unterer] Trajan Wall stretches from the Kunduk Lagoon [Liman]  and resembles a starry "big dipper" as it touches the northern tips of Kitail Lagoon, Katlabua Lagoon and the southern tip of a minor lagoon just north of the major Jalpug Lagoon across Bessarabia to the Lagoon of Cahul near Reni.

Vineyards of Bessarabia

The vineyards known:

  • Cristi Vineyars at Romaneshti and supplied the table wine for the Tsars
    • Nursery was in Orhei County
  • Buvobsyx-Calarashi Vineyard and nursey near Orhei County
  • Costiugeni Vineyard near Kischinev
  • Soroca Co. Vineyard near Saharna
  • Saba
Borodino / Bess., S. Russia - 1912
  • Important find near the village of Borodino is called "The Borodino's Royal Hoard".  It contained the following 17 objects:
    • 6 fragments found in an area that had been held by a clay pot  "of which only one sherd survived".
      • two well preserved, long, silver spearheads with ornamental gold plates on the sockets
      • socket of a thrid
      • one silver dagger, the middle rib of which was covered with gold ornmental plate
      • a silver pin with a rhomboid head ornamented with gold incrustations
      • 4 polished stone axes with perforations
      • fragments of a 5th stone axe
      • 3 well polished maceheads made of alabaster
      • 2 copper plates with holes, which may have belonged to a wooden object
    • The information was found in Marija Gimbutas's  BRONZE AGE CULTURES IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE.  Use google and you can view the book.  Start at page 65 for the information on the finds near Borodino. Page 15 is the start of the German explanation in Ernst Hoeger's book 175 JAHRE BORODINO , 1814 bis 1989, Borodino und Neu-Borodino (Bessarabia).  Still sold in North Dakota State University, GRHS and AHSGR book stores.  The experts believe the hoard dates between 2500 and 1400 B.C.


by Allyn Brosz

Today, 5 September 2000, marks the sixtieth anniversary of a fateful event in the history of the Germans in Bessarabia -- the resettlement in the autumn of 1940 of more than 90,000 ethnic Germans to resettlement camps in various parts of the German Reich and to farmsteads in the Warta River district (Warthegau) of Poland. Adam Giesinger gives an excellent synopsis of those events in his book, _From Catherine to Khruschev: The Story of Russia's Germans_. Lincoln, Nebraska: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1981. The following paragraph appears on pages 301 and 302:

"On June 28, 1940 the Soviet government issued an ultimatum demanding Rumanian evacuation of Bessarabia within four days. The Rumanian government, not geared for war, had no real option but to comply. Among the German colonists this sudden development created extreme consternation. They knew well the experiences of their kin across the Dniester and desperately feared the future. They were soon reassured, however, when the news came through that the government of the Reich was taking an interest in their plight and was planning to take them to Germany for resettlement. On September 5 a German-Soviet agreement regarding the transfer of the Bessarabian Germans to the Reich was signed and before the end of the month the transports began to move. By the end of October the Bessarabian Germans, almost to the last man, had left their native soil and were on their way to new homes."

Allyn Brosz

Washington, DC

e-mail: dated: 5 Sept. 2000

Village coordinator for Alt-Posttal, Bessarabia

Notes for speech for GHSR -  Rise of Bolsheviks & What Letters Can Tell Us

[Updated 9 Sept 2007]

Wikipedia - Jews in Bessarabia:
Russification and Ethnic Consciousness of Romanians in Bessarabia (1812 to 1991)

Research Paper for "Ethnicity and Subcultures in East-Central Europe"

International Studies Center - Budapest University of Economics

(Prof. Ágnes Fülemile)


Markus Schönherr

Bessasrabian Newsletter:  http://www.grhs.
Google's News Archives:
History of Moldavia:





Hein Genealogy

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Hubert Sym