Prosecutor Calls Jassy Pogrom “cold-blooded Murder; ” Survivors Describe Horrors

The Jassy pogrom was not a “spontaneous reprisal but a cold-blooded, premeditated mass murder “Prosecutor Constants Balcu declared today at the conclusion of a three-day cross-examination of about 200 witnesses in the trial of 57 Rumanian military and civilian officials charged with responsibility for the massacre of 14,000 Jews in Jassy in 1941, it was reported here over the week-end.

People of all ages and social strata–poverty-stricken, miserable-looking pogrom survivors and ragged old women–came here from Jassy to tell the story of what had happened seven years ago. Some of them pointed to the prisoners dock, recognizing the men who had ordered them deported.Several men, who had miraculously escaped from death trains, told of how 140) persons were packed into freight care whose maximum capacity was 45, and were kept there for six days without water. Some, they said, went insane because of the hunger, thirst and stench. In some cars, only five of one hundred and forty persons survived.

The Jassy tragedy, police stated, “was committed by the army and police under the auspices of the authorities, with the active help of the population whose anti-Semitic feelings had been whipped up by the press.” The maximum penalty for the defendants is life imprisonment, since Rumania recently abolished the death penalty. The defendants, headed by General Cheorghe Stavrescu, commander of the Fourth Rumanian Infantry Division, whose troops participated in the pogrom, have all pleaded not guilty.

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