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KOTOVSKOYE (Rom. Hânceşti ; until 1944 called in Russian Gancheshty ), a small town 18 mi. (36 km.) S.W. of Kishinev (Chișinău), in Bessarabia, Moldova. Kotovskoye developed from a village into a town during the first half of the 19th century as a result of the settlement of the Jews who then came in large numbers to Bessarabia. In 1847, 372 Jews were registered in Kotovskoye, and in 1897 the Jewish population numbered 2,228 (44% of the total). The Jews were mainly merchants but also engaged in crafts and some in agriculture. Of the 390 members registered in the local loan society in 1925, 203 were merchants, 94 artisans, and 21 farmers. There were 1,521 Jews living in Kotovskoye (24% of the total) in 1930.

[Eliyahu Feldman]

Holocaust Period

When the war broke out in June 1941, German and Romanian forces advanced toward Kishinev along two axes, one passing through Sculeni (Skulyany) and the other through Kotovskoye. In both places the Jewish population was slaughtered and not a single Jew appears to have escaped.

[Jean Ancel]


M. Carp, Cartea Neagră, 3 (1947), 36.