Holocaust Survivors of Iasi Death Trains to receive Compensation Pensions

Romanian police and civilians remove corpses from the Iasi death train. Photo courtesy United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Jewish survivors of the Holocaust era “death trains,” pogrom and subsequent open ghettos in Iasi, Romania are now eligible to receive compensation pensions.

The announcement follows the Claims Copnference’s early July negotiations with the German government.

Approximately 15,000 Jews were murdered between the Iasi pogrom and “death trains.” Some Jews who survived the massacre of the pogrom were forced onto train cars where they were left for days while the train traveled between towns, killing most of the occupants through suffocation, dehydration and madness. Those Jews left behind in Iasi were forced to live in a designated section of the town set up as an open ghetto, under curfew, in constant fear of deportation to labor camps, enduring regular beatings and cruelty by both German and Romanian soldiers.

The Claims Conference has negotiated for an increase for their provision of home care and other services across the Claims Conference programs around the world. In part, these additional funds will be used to provide pensions to Iasi survivors who do not currently receive a pension.

Iasi survivor Frances Flescher said, “Jews from Romania, we went through hell, and they didn’t recognize it. We were persecuted and wore yellow stars and the hunger that we went through and everything. I don’t know every place, but I know in Iasi what we went through.”

More than the additional financial support, Flescher was concerned that she and those who survived from her town will now receive the long overdue recognition of their suffering.