The image depicts 3 people lain on the ground, dead – hence the unnatural posture.
They are leant against a wall which was not represented in this image.
All three have pants depicted with a texture made up of parallel lines and hair of a texture with Xs. On their bodies, wounds are represented as small relief lines which mark recent torture.
The left side of the image depicts a man with a hand behind his back. The hand is not visible; therefore it has not been represented.
This man has a stick stuck in his head, whose relief texture is palpable; it may be an axe handle.
In the middle there is a woman wearing a scarf, a blouse of corrugated texture and a small blazer.
On the right part of the image there is a short-haired man covered with a blouse.
The Iași Pogrom was one of the most traumatic moments of Romanian history, with a special place in the history of the city. The city hosted a significant Jewish community that had dwelt there since the end of the 18th century and throughout the 19th century. At the time of the pogrom (June 27-29, 1941, a few days after the day when Romania had joined Germany in World War II), the Jewish population of the city was of a. 45,000 people [Bibliography 1].
The pogrom was part of the plan of the Jewselimination from Bessarabia, Bukovina and Moldavia, known as “The general plan” [Bibliography 2], appliedin these territories. In an age characterized by rising anti-Semitism (starting in the 19th century but strongly enhanced during the interwar by the extreme right-wing, ultranationalist, anti-Semitic, promoter of extreme Orthodoxy party Christian National Defense League, later named Legion of the Archangel Michael, and then the Iron Guard), rumors were spread that the Jewry collaborated with the Soviet enemy. Thus, according to the opinion of historian Armin Heinen, the Iași Pogrom is part of the events possible in border areas during the early days of the war, in the special context in which the Jews had been explicitly declared enemies, and in which hatred against them had been constantly nourished [Bibliography 3]. As a matter of fact, as early as before the invasion of the Soviet Union, there was an “anti-Semitic hysteria” in the Romanian army [Bibliography 4].
On June 27, 1941, Marshal Ion Antonescu, Commander-in-Chief of the Romanian Armed Forces, phoned Constantin Lupu, the chief of Iasi garrison, requiring the evacuation of all Jews from the city. Then, during the 28-29 night, while the Jewish houses were combed out, Antonescu made a new call, reiterating his command, also recorded in writing by Constantin Lupu [Bibliography 5]. Moreover, the command stated that any Jew who would assault the Romanian Army should be executed, thus giving leeway to the ensuing murders [Bibliography 6].
Extreme violence outburst on the night of June 28-29, with robberies and murders of the Jewish population. Survivors were incarcerated in the Police Headquarters [Bibliography 7]. The institution that participated most actively in the June 28-29 events was the Iasi Police, alongside police units from Bessarabia and the Gendarmerie. Other participants were soldiers and civilians [Bibliography 8].
The second stage of the Iasi Pogrom took place on June 29, when the surviving Jews were taken to the train station, while being beaten, robbed and humiliated [Bibliography 9]. They were crowded, up to 120 people, in the wagons that still have the sad name of “death trains”, while the full capacity was of only 40 people [Bibliography 10]. The lack of oxygen and the terrible summer heat were the cause of hundreds of deaths. There were two trains: one that headed to PoduI Iloaiei (approx. 15 km from Iasi), and another one to Călărași, in the south of Romania. Out of 2700 people on the former train, only 700 survived. On the latter, out of 5,000 people, after a seven-day journey, 1,011 reached the destination alive [Bibliography 11].
The death toll is still under debate. The Special Information Service provided a toll of 13,266, while the Jewish community declared that the number neared 14,800 dead. In August 1942, the armed forces in Iași, which were still looking for manpower, mentioned a number of 13,868 missing Jews [Bibliography 12]. Beyond the precise death toll, the tragedy of the Jews from Iasi is unquestionably one of the most important moments in the history of Holocaust in Romania, a phenomenon whose memory was the most difficult to assume and integrate in contemporary history [Bibliography 13].
1, 5, 6, 7, 11. International Commission of the Holocaust in Romania, Final Report, Polirom, Iaşi, p. 120; p. 121; p. 123; p. 126.
2, 12. Jean Ancel, Responsabilitatea autorităţilor statului pentru înscenarea, pregătirea şi executarea Pogromului de la Iaşi şi stabilirea numărului victimelor, in Pogromul de la Iaşi (28-30 iunie 1941)-Prologul Holocaustului din România, coordinated by George Voicu, Polirom, Iaşi, 2006, p. 43.
- Armin Heinen, Locul Pogromului de la Iaşi în cadrul Holocaustului românesc, in Pogromul de la Iaşi (28-30 iunie 1941)-Prologul Holocaustului din România…, p.133; p. 57.
- Vladimir Solonari, Purificarea naţiunii. Dislocări forţate de populaţie şi epurări entice în România lui Antonescu. 1940-1944¸ Polirom, Iaşi, 2015, p. 160
- Dorel Bancoş, Social şi naţional în politica guvernului Ion Antonescu, Eminescu Press, Bucureşti, 2000, pp. 159-160.
- Dr. Iosif Finkelstein, Iaşii mei¸ available from http://www.old.inshr-ew.ro/publicatii, p.32 (accessed on November 24, 2018).
- Professor Carol Iancu, Montpellier: “Există un anti-Semitism puternic astăzi. Rasismul este frica de celălalt şi provine de la necunoaştere”, interview available at https://adevarul.ro/locale/timisoara/carol-iancu-1_5303b835c7b855ff567591e2/index.html(accessed on November 24, 2018).
- Carol Iancu, Alexandru Florin Platin (eds.), Pogromul de la Iaşi şi Holocaustul în România, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University Press, Iaşi, 2015, p. 119.