A petition from Kovalivka
Margareta Dodan (born 1917) and four of her children were deported in September 1942 from Iaşi to the village of Kovalivka (from 1941 to 1944: called Covalevca) in Transnistria. The Iaşi municipal police had put them on the list of ‘Gypsies who have no means of living or precise occupation from which to live honestly’, despite the fact that her husband had served in the army and this category of Rom was exempt from deportation.
The village of Kovalivka, located in the Oceacov district (and in the middle of December 1942 it passed to Berezovca district), was one of the so-called ‘Gypsy villages’ on the River Bug. After the evacuation of the Ukrainan population, approximately 1,100 Roma were housed in 54 houses. From the outset, the conditions in Kovalivka were extremely tough. Sometimes, 25 to 40 people had to live in a house with two or three little rooms. Deportees suffered from hunger, the cold and illness. In winter 1942/1943, about half of the deportees died, most of them from typhus epidemic that broke out at the end of December 1942 and lasted until March of the following year.
Margareta Dodan secretly left Kovalivka for Odessa, where on 16 December 1942 she submitted this petition to the Governor of Transnistria. In that document, she revealed the desperate situation in which she and her children found themselves and requested repatriation. The petition was forwarded to the Gendarmerie Inspectorate of Transnistria on 31 December 1942 with the order to investigate the case. At that time, a commission of the General Inspectorate of the Gendarmerie in Bucharest had already investigated the situation of the Romani deportees. The commission, which had been active in the area of Kovalivka, Andriivka (Andreevca) and Varyushyne (Varuşino) from 12 to 19 December 1942, put Margareta Dodan on the list of persons proposed for repatriation. The investigations carried out by the Iaşi police led to the repatriation of the family being approved. But owing to the typhus epidemic among the deported Roma, their repatriation was delayed. Three of Margareta Dodan’s children died. She and her daughter Anica (born 1931) returned to Iaşi after 1 May 1943.