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September 24, 2021

Florian Cormos, third torturer to be criminally investigated for genocide

The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER) has filed a petition with the Prosecutor’s Office of ICCJ on initiating criminal proceedings against Florian Cormos, former commander of the Cernavoda Labor Camp, for charges of genocide. The Prosecutor’s Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) issued a statement yesterday, saying the denouncement against Cormos for crimes against humanity has been registered. According to Andrei Muraru, Executive President of IICCMER, Cormos is the fourth out of 35 persons suspected of committing political crimes during the Communist regime, after Alexandru Visinescu and Ioan Ficior were brought under criminal investigation, and Iuliu Sebestven died last October, which makes the commander the third person in whose name a petition has been filed.
Reserve Captain Florin Cormos served as Commander of the Cernavoda Labor Camp from December 20, 1952 until April 17, 1953.
Muraru has explained IICCMER has clear evidence that Florin Cormos instituted an extermination regime against administrative prisoners and incarcerated convicts, as 115 deaths were reported during his four-month term as head of the Cernavoda Labor Camp.
“(…) Severe beatings, prolonged incarceration of prisoners in their shirts and underwear, forcing the disabled to work, starvation, 24-hour long workdays, work on construction sites under extremely low temperatures and half-clothed, it all lead to a mortality rate of 30 deaths per month and a raise in the number of disabled persons from 400 out of 2,500 prisoners,” Andrei Murau stated.
Moreover, a large number of permanent disability cases were reported during the same time. The detention regime imposed on prisoners at the Cernavoda Labor Camp can be characterized as an extermination regime, considering the inhumane conditions prisoners were forced to live in, Andrei Muraru added.
In an interview for Gandul newspaper, Cormos said if what he is being accused of were true, he would have had to kill a prisoner every two or three days, and explained the prisoners died before they even got to the camp. “The exhausted ones were the ones who came. I had to take in all the exhausted prisoners from the seven other camps at Cernavoda. How could they not have died? They even died on the way there. Does that mean I killed them? (…) Of all the commanders, only Cormos is finger-pointed at. If what they are accusing me of were true, I would have had to kill one prisoner every two or three days,” the torturer said further. He mentioned he has no regrets because he did not do anything beyond what was specified in the regulations.

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