Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Arrested Zionist Leader in Rumania Held Under Severe Conditions

March 8, 1956
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A. L. Zisu, leader of the outlawed Zionist movement in Rumania, is now confined under severe conditions in the Rumanian prison town of Pitesti, according to a report reaching here. The report, brought by a non-Jewish Rumanian escapee, said that Zisu and another Zionist leader, L. Berestanu, were seen by the escapee in jail. Both of them are confined in a small cell with eight other prisoners. The cell has only five beds and Zisu and Berestanu are allowed out of the cell only twice a week for ten minutes. The escapee said that Zisu told him he had been sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.

According to the report, the drive against Zionists began in 1951. At that time, a Rabbi Pushstein, who was then teaching Hebrew to the children of the Israeli Consul in Bucharest, was arrested. Under torture, the report continued, he was forced to denounce 80 Zionist leaders, all of whom were immediately arrested. Meanwhile, the security police produced a letter sent by Zisu to Rabbi Pushstein, with the request that it be handed to the Israeli Consul. The letter asked the Consul to appeal to American Zionists to intervene on behalf of the Jews of Rumania. Zisu was arrested at that time.

Recommended from JTA