THE HOLOCAUST IN ROMANIA by Radu Ioanid

THE HOLOCAUST IN ROMANIA

The Destruction of Jews and Gypsies Under the Antonescu Regime, 1940-1944

KIRKUS REVIEW

The director of the Benjamin and Vladka Meed Registry of Jewish Holocaust Survivors at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum documents the dimensions of anti-Semitic horror in Romania during WWII. Unlike Nazi Germany, Romania did not engage in the organized murder of its Jewish population; but through a brutal program of deportation and deprivation, the government managed to kill a quarter of a million Jews, leaving behind about 375,000. Ioanid comments mordantly that this relatively high rate of survival was due not to humanitarianism but to “the inefficiency and corrupt nature of the Romanian administrative system.— As might be expected in a volume of this nature, Ioanid presents anecdotes and details that shatter the heart. On a bitterly cold day gentile children hurled snowballs at a naked Jew chained to a post in a village square; two brothers were disemboweled, “their intestines hung like neckties on other corpses” and “displayed on meat hooks and labeled —Kosher meat——; dogs raced through the streets with pieces of unburied Jews in their jaws; soldiers used Jewish blood to grease the axles of their carts; starving residents of Pociora, “the most horrific site of the Jewish internment,” survived by eating the flesh of dead prisoners. Amid these searing images are lists and charts that quantify the cruelty: numbers of victims, dates of deportations, populations of transit camps. Also included is powerful testimony from survivors, from trial transcripts (Romanian war-crimes trials were held between 1945—52) and from some of the myriad documents Ioanid consulted in archives all over the world. Perhaps his greatest service is to provide names for so many of the victims, personalizing the cruelty and rendering it all the more tragic. A seminal work—part narrative, part reference—destined to stand on the shelf alongside other classics of Holocaust history. (8 pages b&w photos)

Pub Date: Jan. 7th, 2000
ISBN: 1-56663-256-0
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Ivan Dee/Rowman & Littlefield
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1999




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