Between 28 June and 6 July 1941, Romania was the scene of a mass anti-Semitic crime of unprecedented violence. That summer, nearly 15,000 Jews were assassinated in the town of Iasi. At the time of this mass killing, the planned extermination of Jews in Europe had not yet begun. And while in Iasi there were no gas chambers or crematoria, everything else was the same: Terror, humiliation, people packed into wagons, famine, public executions, and hatred. The orders came from above and they were enthusiastically carried out by the police, the army, and the people.
It took 60 years for the Romanian state to admit its direct responsibility for the pogroms and to offer an official apology to the Jewish community.
All that remains of this massacre is a handful of photos, most of which were taken by German soldiers, and a few witnesses, the last survivors of those terrible events who were just children in 1941. But now, they are telling their stories, and thanks to their testimonies and archive footage, including some previously unpublished material, this film will look back at the dramatic events that opened the deadliest chapter of the Second World War.
Direction: William Karel & Nellu Cohn
Production: Cinétévé for France Télévisions
Pessac International History Film Festival