Third of Jewish Population in Bessarabia Exterminated; Savage Pogroms Reported
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Third of Jewish Population in Bessarabia Exterminated; Savage Pogroms Reported

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Almost one-third of the entire Jewish population of the province of Bessarabia was exterminated in the course of the fierce Rumanian-Soviet fighting there and in the savage pogroms which followed the Rumanian conquest of the province, it was learned here today on receipt of a report by neutral authorities whose identities cannot be disclosed.

The carnage among the Jews in the Ukrainian towns and villages which fell to the Rumanians was described in the report as having assumed tremendous proportions. The Rumanian tactics, when a town was captured, the report revealed, was to separate the entire population into two groups: the “Aryan” – Russian, Ukrainian, German – and the Jews. There were no limits to what the Rumanian troops were permitted to do to the Jewish groups. In one town, 20,000 Jews were concentrated into 300 houses and kept under guard, unable to leave or to forage for food. No food or water were given them. The sufferings of the Jews were so acute, the report revealed, that many of the Rumanian sentries could not witness the spectacle and repeatedly had to ask to have their posts changed in order to escape the pitiful sight.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews throughout Rumania and the reconquered provinces have been interned in forced labor camps, the report disclosed. Many of them get no pay. When they are paid, the rate is 35 lei daily, or about one cent. Their food is rationed on the basis of the equivalent of one soldier’s daily ration for eight men. The forced labor decree applies to all men between the ages of 18-45. No provision is made for their families at home and in most cases these are absolutely destitute except for the limited aid the Jewish community can give them. In Kishenev, no Jews are allowed to hold any employment whatever and the Jewish population is left to die of starvation. Hunger and starvation are so rampant there among the Jews that young girls prostitute themselves for a piece of bread.

In general, treatment of the Jews in Rumania today, according to the report, rivals in savagery the worst excesses committed during the wild days of the Iron Guard revolt when the bodies of murdered Jews were displayed on meat-hooks in butcher-shops even in Bucharest, the capital.


Ironically, the only controlling influence in this orgy of bestiality is that exercised by the Germans, not out of any desire to protect the Jews, but simply because they wanted an end to the civil disorders in the country. Thus, when the Rumanian government ordered all Jews in Rumania proper to wear a large Star of David badge, the Germans put pressure on the authorities to revoke the order so as not to provoke new riots. The order was consequently revoked two days after its issue. Two Jews in Bucharest, who had not known about the second order which forbade Jews to wear the Star of David badge, were arrested because they were doing so in compliance with the first order.

The Rumanian government has issued a decree providing that after December 31 no Jew may be employed in any Rumanian enterprise of any kind. As by that date there will not be a single Jewish enterprise in Rumania, the country’s Jewish population is simply doomed to slow death.

There is not a single Jewish hospital left in Rumania, according to the report. All were ordered closed or taken over to handle Rumanian war casualties. Jewish schools are still permitted to function and are crowded as Jewish children are not permitted in Rumanian schools. Most of the concentration camps are bare fields surrounded by barbed-wire and rows of sentries, with no shelter for the in mates and no facilities of any kind.

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