Archaeologists discover mass grave from Holocaust period in Romania
Archaeologists have unearthed the mass grave of 100 Jews killed during the Holocaust in a forest area near the village of Popricani, close to the city of Iasi, in northeast Romania, according to the Elie Wiesel Institute. This is the second mass grave dating from the Holocaust era in Romania, after the one discovered in 1945 also in Iasi.
The mass grave is believed to contain the remains of men, women and children shot in 1941 by troops of the pro-Nazi Romanian regime. The discovery was also based on testimonies from several local inhabitants, who recollected witnessing the killings. 16 bodies have been exhumed so far.
"One of the witnesses saw the shooting of the Jews because the soldiers thought that he himself was Jewish and intended to also shoot him," the Elie Wiesel Institute said in a statement.
Around 380,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews are believed to have been killed in Romanian-controlled territory during the second World War. Romania was home to 750,000 Jews before the war, but only 8,000-10,000 remain, according to Israeli publication Haaretz.
The Elie Wiesel institute has been set up to study the Holocaust in Romania. It was created by Governmental decision in 2005. Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel is a Romanian-born Jewish-American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor.