Romania’s rare Shoah tribute for city of Iași

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Romania’s rare Shoah tribute for city of Iași

Country's prime minister remembers thousands of Jews killed in a 1941 pogrom

Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu has gone further than any predecessor by paying tribute to thousands of Jews killed in a 1941 pogrom in the north-eastern city of Iași.

Leaders of the central European state have a long history of denying Romanian connivance in the Holocaust, but Citu broke with tradition during an unprecedented meeting of parliament, in the presence of the massacre’s last survivors.

“We, as a nation, must openly admit that our past was not always glorious,” he said, as he explained the “unimaginable suffering, cruelty and savagery” inflicted on Jews on the orders of pro-Nazi marshal Ion Antonescu.

Around 15,000 people, almost a third of the city’s Jewish population, were killed on 29 June 1941. They were taken to the Iași police headquarters, where they were beaten and humiliated by local officers and civilians before being shot by armed troops.

Up to 8,000 survivors were herded into two sealed and overheated freight trains, where thousands more died of suffocation. Up to 100 pictures of the massacre survive, and the pogrom has been meticulously researched, including by a commission led by the late Romanian-born Nobel Peace laureate Elie Wiesel.

Antonescu, who was executed for war crimes in 1946, remains a hero to many Romanians, a point picked up on this week by Silviu Vexler, head of Romania’s Jewish community, who lamented the country’s “praise for war criminals”.

Government representative Alexandru Muraru said: “By commemorating this massacre, the worst in modern Romanian history, the parliament is laying the foundations for a truth-based reconciliation.”

Iasi pogrom monument

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: