Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Brutal Excesses Against Jews on Roumanian Trains Depicted in Memorandum

April 28, 1927
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)

The Jews of the town of Bratushany, district of Hotin, have sent a memorandum to General Rescanu, High Commissioner for Bessarabia and Bukowina. The memorandum complains of the excesses committed against Jewish travellers on the trains and asks the General to take measures for their protection.

“We, the undersigned,” the memorandum, which bore eighty signatures, read, “inhabitants of the town of Bratushany, in the district of Hotin, have the honor to report to you the following: As is shown by the enclosed declarations and medical certificates, Jews of our town who on the night of March 16-17 travelled in the passenger train from Jassy to Czernowitz, were attacked between the stations of Stolnitchen and Skumpiu, by a group of Cuzists, armed with leaded sticks. The Jews were dragged out one by one from the compartments into the corridor and were beaten mercilessly. Three of these travellers were thrown out of the windows of the train while it was going at full speed. Nothing is known of what has happened to them. The other seventeen Jews were seized by panic and rushed to the doors of the compartment. But they were locked. The Jews were saved by a kind-hearted soldier who helped them to jump off the train while it was travelling at full speed.

“There were only five Cuzists and they could easily have been suppressed. But the staff on the train preferred to do nothing. They looked on passively, while the Jews were being attacked.

“These wild excesses on the trains are the result of the anti-Semitic agitation which is being carried on without hindrance all along the railway line from Jassy to Kishineff and from Jassy to Bielce. A systematic incitement is being carried on against the peaceful Jewish population. Pamphlets and manifestoes and proclamations are circulated, which are full of provocative allegations against the Jews and which call the population to acts of violence and brutality. These anti-Semitic proclamations are for the most part circulated in the railway stations with the tacit approval of the station authorities.

“Groups of Cuzists frequently travel along the railway line from Jassy to Bielce and from Jassy to Kishineff for no other purpose than to insult and attack the Jewish travellers. Where the Jews are not actually assaulted, they are insulted and humiliated. This happens under the very eyes of the train officials, who look on and take no heed. We are very far from exaggerating the circumstances.

“We, the Jewish inhabitants of Northern Bessarabia, who are commercially linked with the towns of Kishineff and Jassy, are compelled to give up travelling on the railways because of the risk to our lives. We wonder whether we, citizens of this country are still under the protection of the laws of the country, or whether we are outlaws.

“In doubt and despair, we turn to you who have the mission of upholding order and legality, and we beg you to take us under your protection, to defend our lives and property. Our request in brief, is this: (1) an impartial inquiry and the punishment of the guilty according to the law. (2) measures to put a stop to the anti-Semitic propaganda on the Bessarabian railways, so that Jewish travellers should be able to travel under normal conditions. (3) a guard on the trains to protect the lives of the Jewish travellers.”

Recommended from JTA