Roumanian Opinion Outraged by Shooting of Six Young Jews at Soroga: Six Murders Which Are Six Blots
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Roumanian Opinion Outraged by Shooting of Six Young Jews at Soroga: Six Murders Which Are Six Blots

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All Roumania is roused to indignation by the cold-blooded murder, as the press describes it to-day, of six young Jews by the frontier guards at Soroca, near the frontier of Bessarabia and Soviet Ukraine.

Senator Iov, a member of Professor Jorga’s Party, has sent a telegram to the Adeverul” here, protesting emphatically against the Soroca massacre, as he calls it, saying that the six murders are six blots on the name of Roumania.

The “Cuvintul”, a Government organ, declares that the six victims were decoyed to the River Dniester by a police agent, and that the whole affair was a trap. There was no reason for shooting, it adds, because the Dniester is not frozen at that point and they could easily have been caught and kept under arrest.

The shooting has been condemned by Government spokesmen in Bucharest, and also by General Rischkanu, the Minister for Bessarabia, in discussing the matter with Chief Rabbi Zirelson, of Kishinev, who visited him, in order to ask for his intervention.

Tens of thousands of people followed the funeral of the victims which took place in Soroca to-day. All shops were kept closed, and the life of the town was entirely at a standstill. General Marcovicz, the Prefect of Soroca, was afraid that there might be disorder because of the intense feeling among the people, and called upon Rabbi Sisser, the Rabbi of the town, to guarantee that there would be no breach of the peace. The Rabbi refused, however, on the ground that he could give no guarantees. Everything passed off quietly. The town has now been proclaimed in a state of siege.

Tikinov, one of the victims who lived for 14 hours after he was shot, made an important statement to the State Attorney be fore he died, but the nature of his statement is not disclosed. Three bullets were found in the breast of one of the victims, and a girl victim was riddled with bullets, some of them dum-dums.

A representative of the Ministry of Justice, who has been sent down to Soroca, has been added to the Enquiry Commission. Deputy Landau has also arrived there, and has appealed to the population to keep calm.


Revelations of the wholesale murder of Jews and others by the Roumanian frontier guards ar the River Dniester were made during the trial in 1925 of Lieutenant Morarescu, {SPAN}###{/SPAN} Commandant of the frontier-guards, who was acquitted, although the Public Prosecutor stated that he had been responsible for the death of over 200 people.

Some of the men in his guard told the court that Morarescu had sent them to the Russian side of the Dniester to Lure across Jewish refugees by promising them safe transit into Roumania if they paid Morarescu 100 Tchervonetz (about £100) per head. When the refugees were brought to the frontier station, they were shot and all money and valuables were handed over to Morarescu.

A former corporal in the guard, named Zaharia, told the court that Morarescu had once told him that several Jews would cross the Dniester during the night and he should bring them alive into his office. He did that. Morarescu forced the Jews to drink with him, compelled them to dance before him till the early hours of the morning and at dawn he ordered them to be shot. He himself had shot dead one of the victims who had been only wounded. Another ex-guard named Bolohan said that he had on the orders of Morarescu shot dead a women and her child, and a third named Motohoi said that one day he had on Morarescu’s orders shot dead two men, two women and a child, and Morarescu had given him leave of absence as a reward. Morarescu’s defence was that he had acted on the instructions of the Commanding Officers of the 3rd. Army Corps, who had ordered him to prevent anyone crossing the frontier and to shoot at sight if anyone was found attempting to cross into Roumania. He had been commended for his obedience to orders, which showed that he had carried out the instructions of his superior officers to their satisfaction. He admitted under cross-examination that he had once shot dead a woman refugee with a child in her arms after she had been allowed to pass by some of his soldiers.

Evidence was given that Christian refugees had also been terribly maltreated and robbed, but only Jews had been shot.

Shortly after his acquittal, Morarescu went about the villages of Bukovina with the antisemitic terrorist leader Zelea Codreanu, inciting the peasants to kill Jews, and boasting “I have killed 135 Jews myself, and I am going to kill a lot more”.

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