In June 29 ,1941 the romanian and german troups committed a pogrom
against the jews at Jassy, Romania. Do you have any documentation
regarding this event ? Thank you, Eugene Barad
Harry W. Mazal OBE answers:
Thank you for your recent request for information.
I am one of the persons at the Holocaust History Project that responds to
questions from our readers. It is possible that you will receive other
responses from my colleagues.
The best sources in English for the sad events that took place in Romania
are the several books on the Holocaust in Romania written or edited by
Randolph L. Braham, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political
Science, The City College and the Graduate Center of the City University
of New York, where he serves as Director of the Rosenthal Institute for
I will quote some heavily edited text from one of his books:
The Tragedy of Romanian Jewry
Randolph L. Braham (Editor)
c. 1994, Columbia University Press
"At the outbreak of the war, Jassy had a population of slightly
over 100,000 inhabitants, approximately 50,000 of whom were
Jews. The city was very close to the frontier with the Soviet
Union, and even before launching the anti-Soviet war on June
22, 1941, a number of secret anti-Semitic measures had been
initiated in Romania. Between June 20 and 26 the Jews of Jassy
were forced to dig two large mass graves in the Pacurari Jewish
cemetery. [FN-37]. About the same time, the Soviet air force
bombed Jassy twice, the seco0nd time inflicting serious damage.
The rumor spread that Soviet paratroopers were active throughout
the city and that these paratroopers were being given shelter by
"On the morning of 29 June, 1941, Jews were formed into
columns and marched from Tatarasi, Pacurari, Sararie, and
Nicolina Streets to police headquarters. Most of the prisoners
were men but among them were also some women with children.
Some were dressed, others were in their night clothes many
had been beaten and had bruises and open wounds. [...]
Civilian onlookers as well as soldiers and gendarmes, Romanian
and German spat at them and hit them with stones, broken
bottles, clubs, crowbars and rifle butts. [...] Civilians joined
the police and the military in dragging Jews out of their homes.
"All told, thousands of Jews were herded into the courtyard of
the Jassy police headquarters. [...] In another report, addressed
to the Minister of the Interior, Lieutenant-Colonel Chirlovici,
reported 1,000 Jewish prisoners at 9:00 a.m. and 5,000 by
nightfall. He stated that at noon there were 3,500 Jews in
the courtyard. [FN 54]
"At about 1:30 PM German soldiers and Romanian gendarmes
and soldiers surrounded police headquarters and an area close
by , ... [...] At about 2:00 p.m., the German and Romanian
soldiers began to fire directly into the crowds; they were
joined by some civilians ... [...] They used machine-guns,
automatic weapons, or rifles. Crazed with terror some Jews
tore down the fence of the courtyard and tried to take refuge
near the Sidoli cinema ... They too were mowed down without
[Note: several long paragraphs realistically describing the slaughter
of innocents are not included, even in abbreviated form, due to their
graphic nature - HWM]
"The massacre continued intermittently until 6:00 p.m. [...]
It is difficult to establish the number of victims of the massacre
at police headquarters. [...] Four trucks and 24 carts transported
the corpses; it took two whole days to move them.
"Approximately 2,500 Jews survived the massacre in the
police headquarters courtyard. At about 8:00 p.m. the
process of getting them to the railroad station began. [...]
Two thousand five hundred Jews were herded were herded
into freight cars. [...] The train left Jassy on June 30, 1941
between 3:30 and 4:15 a.m. At about 4:00 a.m. the same
morning, a second group of approximately 1,900 Jews
to be evacuated were rounded up at police headquarters.
"Two death trains left Jassy between 3:30 and 4:15 a.m. on
Monday, June 30, 1941. The first one ... consisted of from
33 to 38 sealed freight cars and contained between 2,430
and 2,530 Jews.
"When the train was emptied there were 1,076 survivors.
"The history of the second car is ... equally horrifying. On June
30, 1941 at about 6:00 A.M., 1,902 Jews were loaded onto a
second train comprising 18 cars.
"Of the 1,902 Jews put on the train, 1,194 died and were
buried in the Podul Iloaei cemetary.
"The total number of victims of the Jassy pogrom cannot be
established with certainty. While the number of victims on the
trains is known and relatively accurate, it is not known how
many Jews in Jassy were buried in communal graves, how
many such graves there were, and how many corpses weresimply
thrown onto garbage heaps or into the Bahlui River. German
diplomats estimated at least 4,000 victims... [...] The most
reliable source seems to be documents from the archives of the
Romanian Ministry of the Interior which ... place the number
at over 8,000."
If you have an academic interest in this subject I suggest that
you ask your local library to obtain the books by Brabham.
Other equally useful books are unfortunately in Romanian,
which I can read but only with some effort.
Harry W. Mazal OBE
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