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Jewish Community commemorates 70 years since Dorohoi pogrom

On the 70th commemoration of the Dorohoi Pogrom, which claimed – according to official documents – the lives of over 50 people, guilty of no other crime but that of being born Jewish, the Romanian Jewish Communities’ Federation stresses that the memory of the pogrom victims should contribute to raising the present generations’ awareness of the tragic consequences which the encouragement of hatred for one’s fellow-beings may lead to. “Those of us who survived through those dreadful times can remember the Soviet ultimatum which called for the surrendering of Bassarabia and Northern Bukovina, the difficulties of the army’s hasty retreat, under severe pressures from the Soviet commandoes, the anxiety and panic among the population, owing to the lack of information and communication. Moreover, the occupation of the Herza country, a part of the Old Kingdom, led to a military incident in which two Romanian officers and a Romanian soldier, of Jewish descent, were killed. On the latter’s funeral, subunits of the Romanian army, which were retreating out of Herza, entered the Jewish Cemetery in Dorohoi and started shooting at the participants in the ceremony”, dr. Aurel Vainer, the chairman of the Romanian Jewish Communities’ Federation, recounts. According to the latter, robberies, mutilations and bestial scenes took place during the pogrom. The intervention of the colonel Sanatescu, the regional military commander, put an end to the pogrom and helped to restore the order. “70 years after these violent events, we know that the Soviet ultimatum and the loss of the Eastern territories were based on the secret provisions of the August 23, 1939 Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. Against the background of the aggressive anti-Semitic press campaign of the time, of anti-Semitic laws, the Jews were blamed for the loss of the Eastern territories. It was much easier to cast the blame on them then on the truly guilty parties,” is further stated in the release signed by Dr. Aurel Vainer.

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