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Before the beginning of World War II, there were 50,000 Jewish residents in Iaşi, 50 percent of the total population. Yet the pogrom that took place in Iaşi on at the end of June 1941 was, according to Radu Ioanid, "one of the most savage pogroms of World War II". He adds, in The Holocaust in Romania: The Destruction of Jews and Gypsies under the Antonescu Regime, 1940-1944, that "Iaş i was to Romanian anti-Semitism what Vienna was to Nazi Jew-hatred". The vicious pogrom, which really started on June 26 when Jews were accused of collaboration with Soviet Jewish aviators, became the cover for the evacuation of Jews on two horrible journeys which began on June 29 but which had been planned earlier. There is no accurate count of those murdered and injured in the pogrom, but estimates range from 900-4000. Ioanid cites a different number when he includes not only the pogrom but the "aftermath," using an estimate of 13,266. Here we are concerned, however, not with the pogrom itself but with the survivors of the two "death trains" that left Iaşi with thousands of Jews.
About 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 29, 1941, the 2,500 or so Jews who had survived the pogrom and were being held at the police station were transferred to the train station. Various accounts estimated 2,430-2,590 prisoners were herded into 33-39 windowless cars, with about 80-200 Jews in each. Ioanid uses the figure of 2,530.
Originally the "deportees" were to be sent to Tîrgu Frumos; then Călăraşi (Kalarash) was chosen. But that was just the beginning of the contradictory changes. The first train left Iaşi between 3:30 and 4:15 a.m. on the 30th; at 7:30 a.m. it passed Tîrgu Frumos (40 km from Iaşi), went to Paşcani, Lespezi, returned to Paşcani, then went to Roman, and stayed there from 11:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at which time it went to Tîrgu Frumos again, arriving at 9:30 p.m. The doors to the packed boxcars had been closed the entire time, and the prisoners had had no food or drink the entire trip. The conditions on the trip and the removal of the dead are described in horrifying detail in Ioanid's book. The living in the last boxcar were allowed to disembark -- barely 200 survivors of the 17-hour death train-and moved to a synagogue, where they were subjected to other tortures. On July 1 Iaşi gendarmes took charge and emptied the corpses and at approximately 4:00 p.m. the death train resumed its journey to Călăraşi. The train stopped at Mirceşti, 40 kms from Tîrgu Frumos, the next morning, where 327 corpses were unloaded. On July 3 the train passed through Săbăoani, 10m kms away, and then went to Roman, where it was not allowed to stop because of the smell. Finally the train returned to Roman, where 53 more corpses were removed. On July 4-5 the train was at Mărăşeşti (120 kms from Roman), where 10 additional dead bodies were removed. The next night, 40 more were removed at Inoteşti. Finally at Ploieşti the surviving prisoners were give bread and water. On July 6, the train arrived at Călăraşi, with 1,076 survivors, 69 close to death, and 25 more corpses.
The 500 km journey over a period of 6 1/2 days in excruciating heat, mostly without water, for the prisoners had yielded 1,400 fatalities.
About 4 am on June 30 1941, another contingent of approximately 1,902 Jews at the police station was scheduled for the second train. The train left at 6:00 a.m. with 18 cars; the last car included 80 dead bodies of Jews killed earlier. The train arrived after 8 hours at Podul Iloaei (20 kms from Iaşi), its destination. Ioanid writes, "Some cars arrived with as many as one hundred dead and as few as three or four half-dead survivors; in some of the wagons a prisoner had died, on average, two or three minutes." At Podu Iloaei, there were 708 survivors and 1,194 dead.
This collection consists of two separate lists of Jews who survived two transports by train from Iaşi (Jassy) Romania. There are 1,609 records in this collection: 1,056 from Train #1 and 553 from Train #2. These lists were compiled by the Jewish community of Iaşi but the numbers of survivors do not correspond to those cited by Radu Ioanid in his book.
Due to the illegibility of the original images, it is especially important that when searching the database, the researcher takes into consideration alternate spellings. The pages are especially dark where the addresses are listed, making that information difficult to decipher. We were fortunate to have volunteers familiar with the Romanian language enter the data for this collection.
The fields of the database are as follows:
For assistance with the translation of "Occupations", please see the JewishGen InfoFile: "Romanian Occupation Definitions - English Translations" at: http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/RomanianOccs.htm.
The information contained in this database was indexed from the files of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (RG-25-004M, Reel 148). This information is accessible to you today thanks to the efforts of the following JewishGen volunteers: Nolan Altman (coordinator), Tibor Hollander, Israel Holdengraeber, Edward Mitelsbach, Monica Talmor and Susan Vendel and Paula Zieselman who recorded all of the names from Train #1.
In addition, thanks to JewishGen Inc. for providing the website and database expertise to make this database accessible. Special thanks to Susan King, Warren Blatt and Michael Tobias for their continued contributions to Jewish genealogy. Particular thanks to the Research Division headed by Joyce Field and to Nolan Altman, coordinator of Holocaust files.
Nolan Altman and Joyce Field
This database is searchable via both JewishGen's Holocaust Database and the JewishGen Romania Database.
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Last Update: 15 Sep 2005 by WSB.