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Eighty Prominent Jews in Bucharest Held As Hostages; Synagogues Confiscated

The Jewish population in Rumania meets the Jewish New Year under conditions of unprecedented terror and starvation, according to authentic reports reaching the United Rumanian Jews of America.

All prisons in Rumania are jammed with Jews, men and women, whom Gen. Antonescu, Rumanian Premier, has proclaimed as enemies of the country, pro-Russian or pro-British. In Bucharest 80 prominent Jews are being held as hostages for “good behaviour of the Jewish population.” Premier Antonescu announced that for each soldier, Rumanian or German, killed or wounded, or for each act of sabotage, he would execute fifty Jews.

Not a single day passes without anti-Jewish regulations being issued. The Commissariat for Jewish Affairs which has been established and which is headed by Gen. Danielescu, has as its primary aim the confiscation of all Jewish possessions. Jews are denied the privilege of shelters or gas masks, while all males from 18 to 50 must do forced labor and over 150,000 of them are treated as slaves in rebuilding roads destroyed by retreating Russians.

The Jewish hospitals have been confiscated and Jewish patients driven out to make room for the wounded German and Rumanian soldiers. The Jewish doctors have been called to give their services to the wounded soldiers who, by the thousands, fill all the hospitals, synagogues, and even private buildings. Two of the doctors, Dr. Mendelovic and Dr. Bercovici, from Jassy, have been executed for allegedly poisoning wounded soldiers.

The Jews are ordered to mark their homes with a “Mezuza,” placed at the door. The Jewish population, above the age of 12, must wear a yellow Mogen David upon their chests. They are not allowed to leave their homes from 8 P.M. to 7 A.M. They may not pay visits to friends or relatives, or visit coffee houses, restaurants or cinemas. They are not permitted to have radios and must always carry their passports with them to prove, if they are halted in the street, that they are registered for forced labor. Any Jew whose passport does not have a stamp from the military authorities showing that he has enlisted for forced labor, is arrested and brought to trial before a military court.

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