Eye-witness reports of the massacres and persecutions of Jews in Rumania were give here today to the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by the Rumanian Jews who succeeded in reaching Turkish shores on the sinking freighter Strume after escaping from Bukovina and other parts of Rumania.
Rumania today is one huge concentration camp for Jews, the refugees stated. No Jew is protected by law, thus Jewish life and property can be taken by anybody without fear of punishment. Jews are prohibited from travelling on railroads, while a Jew undertaking a trip on the high roads by horse-and-wagon risks his life. All Jewish industrial enterprises and buildings have been expropriated. Small stores are still open, but they have-nothing to sell since wholesalers are forbidden to deal with Jewish retailers.
In Moldavia all Jewish enterprises were expropriated by Rumanians whom the government brought in from the province of Dobrudja. All Jewish banking accounts are blocked. All Jews aged from 18 to 60, including the outstanding Jewish leaders, are forced to do compulsory labor, digging trenches and performing the dirtiest kind of work under the most cruel circumstances.
NO FOOD FOR JEWS; 8,000 KILLED IN JASSY; ALL DEPORTED FROM DORNA-VATRA
Hardly any food is available for Jews, and clothing is not sold to Jews. Thousands are dying of starvation and from the cold. The general atmosphere in the country is sharply anti-Jewish. Jewish women and children in provincial townships whose husbands and fathers have been sent to forced labor, are in constant fear of their lives since they remain unprotected and can easily be attacked by local anti-Semitic bands.
In Dorna-Vatra, Bukovina, the entire Jewish population has been expelled to Transnistria, which is the part of the Soviet Ukraine occupied jointly by Rumanian and German armies. The fate of these deportees remains unknown, but it is believed that they all perished from hunger and cold. Mass-expulsion of Jews to Transnistria are constantly taking place in other Rumanian cities accompanied by terror and massacres.
Several pogroms occurred in Jassy but the most terrible of them was carried out five weeks ago when 8,000 Jewish men and women were slaughtered by Rumanian soldiers in house-to-house plundering and killing. After the pogrom hundreds of Jews were herded into cattle trains, without food and water, for transportation to Transnistria. The majority of them, however, died from hunger and cold before reaching their destination. They were buried in a collective grave in the township of Tirgu-Frumas.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.