LAUSANNE, Switzerland (JTA) — The bones of murdered Jews are being sold to medical students from a World War II mass grave, a private investigation suggests.
In an e-mail to JTA, the Rabbinical Centre of Europe said it had learned that students at the University of Iasi in Romania were buying parts of skeletons from the site of a World War II massacre of Jews in Podu Iloaiei.
Asher Gold, a spokesman for the Brussels-based rabbinical group, said the allegation came from an American Jew living in Iasi.
Students at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy GT Popa reportedly told the visiting American that grave workers would dig up bones and “clean them up nicely” for the price of about $40 per bone.
Jewish students confirmed to the rabbinical group that notices concerning the sale of bones have circulated at the university, but they could not name a direct source for the purchase, Gold said.
Gold also said the rabbinical group sent some students to the site to inquire about purchasing bones. The female caretaker reportedly did not turn away the students, but also did not answer their query.
“We were stunned to learn of these allegations. We immediately set out to investigate before taking matters further," Rabbi Arye Goldberg, Deputy Director of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe, told JTA. "The results have left us deeply concerned and we will be aggressively pursuing this matter further. No human remains deserve to be used in such experimental manner. The memory of those who perished deserve to be preserved in a proper and dignified manner and we will make it our business to ensure that is the case.”