Mass grave from Holocaust-era discovered in Romania

Find in forest northeast of Bucharest contains bodies of men, women, children shot in 1941; police seal off area to public.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 5, 2010 18:38
2 minute read.
Mass grave containing the bodies of Jews

Romania mass graves 311. (photo credit: AP Photo/ Evenimentul Zilei Daily, Vlad Stoicescu)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

BUCHAREST, Romania — A Holocaust-era mass grave containing the bodies of an estimated 100 Jews killed by Romanian troops has been discovered in a forest, researchers said Friday, offering further evidence of the country's involvement in wartime crimes.

The find in a forest near the town of Popricani, about 350 kilometers (220 kilometers) northeast of Bucharest, contains the bodies of men, women and children who were shot in 1941, the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania said in a statement.

RELATED:
Many Holocaust survivors still await gov't subsidies
Wiesenthal Center criticizes Peres
In the shadow of tragedy, president visits Romania

On Friday, riot police sealed off the area, not allowing anyone near the site, local reporters told The Associated Press.

The find offers evidence of pogroms against Jews in the region, scholars say, campaigns that were long minimized in a country whose official history taught that Germans were the sole perpetrators of the Holocaust.

Sketchy reports about the possibility of a mass grave in the forest began to appear in 2002, and local authorities began an investigation, which was suspended in the fall after nothing was found. Experts resumed the investigation at the site and began interviewing witnesses again in 2009, according to Romanian historian Adrian Cioflanca.


About 280,000 Jews and 11,000 Roma, or Gypsies, were killed during the pro-fascist regime of dictator Marshal Ion Antonescu, who was prime minister from 1940 to 1944 and executed by the communists in 1946. About 6,000 Jews live in Romania today.

Historians have documented several pogroms in Romania during World War II, including one in June 1941 in the northeastern city of Iasi, where up to 12,000 people are believed to have died as Romanian and German soldiers swept from house to house, killing Jews.

Those who did not die were systematically beaten, put in cattle wagons in stifling heat and taken to a small town, where what happened to them would be concealed. Of the 120 people on the train, just 24 survived.

Romania's role in the Holocaust remains a sensitive and highly charged topic. During communist times, the country largely ignored the involvement of Romania's leaders in wartime crimes.

In 2004, after a dispute with Israel over comments about the Holocaust, then-President Ion Iliescu assembled an international panel led by Nobel-prize winner Elie Wiesel to investigate the Holocaust in Romania.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery

By JPOST.COM STAFF