This slim volume, based on extensive research into the published literature and archival sources in several languages, is a focused, detailed account of the shockingly brutal, primitive, cynical torture and massacre of thousands of Jews in the northern Romanian city of Iasi (Yas in Yiddish) in the last days of June 1941. The Iasi Pogrom claimed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of victims butchered in a Romanian police precinct’s courtyard and in dozens of sealed box cars wandering the rails in the burning summer heat in the days preceding the joint Romanian-German invasion of Soviet Ukraine in the first week of July 1941. This was about two weeks after the start of the general German assault on the Soviet Union that brought the Einsatzguppen or mobile killing units that cut a bloody swath through the Jews caught on Soviet territory.
Despite Romanian efforts for decades to hush up the story of the Iasi Pogrom and the mass killings by blaming the Germans, the evidence clearly shows that most of the Jews killed in Romania and in Romanian-occupied regions of southern Ukraine were the victims of Romanian soldiers, police, and civilians, and not the Germans.
While there are other, larger works on the Holocaust in Romania, Henry Eaton provides an accessible, clear, and sensitive account based on archival documents, published works, and the testimony of surviving perpetrators, witnesses, and victims. The author dramatically demonstrates how Romanian officials systematically lied and falsified documents to cover up the horrendous reality.
The book includes a concise introduction and overview into the benighted cultural patterns and social and political history since the nineteenth century that paved the way for such barbaric treatment of Jews who were unfortunate enough to live in Romania in the twentieth century. This book is clear, shocking, and illuminative of a little-known corner of the catastrophe that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Romanian and Ukrainian Jews under Romanian rule.
Bibliography, index, maps, notes, photographs.
- Local History, Transnational Memory in the Romanian Holocaust by Glajar & Teodorescu, eds.
- Purifying The Nation by Vladimir Solonari
- The History of the Holocaust in Romania by Ancel, Murciano, & Volovici