The mass grave of Holocaust victims is located in Podu Iloaiei, a village near Iasi.
Photo: Rabbinical Centre of Europe
BUCHAREST (EJP)---Students at the University of Iasi in Romania have allegedly been purchasing parts of skeletons from a mass Jewish grave, the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) has learned.
The grim discovery was made by an American Jew living in Iasi, a city in northeastern Romania, who sent an email to the Rabbinical Centre’s department of burials and cemeteries
According to his testimony, local medical students have purchased human bones and skulls for research purposes from a mass grave of Holocaust victims located in Podu Iloaiei, a nearby village.
The city of Iasi is known for a large number of institutes of higher education attracting thousands of international students, of which the University of Medicine and Pharmacy GT Popa is the most prominent.
Current enrolment includes some 50 Jewish students, primarily Israelis.
During the Holocaust two death trains left Isai after the famous pogroms on June 30th, 1941.
One of the two trains stopped in Podu Iloaiei and 1,194 Jews who died along the way from thirst and exhaustion were buried in a mass grave in the village.
The email described an exchange between the American and the students who freely and openly offered up information about making use of the Jewish bones from the grave.
The medical students explained that each bone costs 40 dollars, which is paid to the cemetery custodian. For that price the workers dig the grave for the bones and "clean them up nicely."
In response to the email, RCE representatives approached a number of Jewish medical students at the GT Popa school in Iasi. These students confirmed that information about the sale of human bones and skulls have circulated in the university.
This is in sharp contrast to the practice in most universities with medical departments where the students are educated using plastic parts. However, the Jewish students contacted were unable to name a direct source for the purchase of the bones.
Earlier this month, the Rabbinical Center of Europe sent two students to Podu Iloaiei for investigative purposes. Upon reaching the cemetery, the foreign students posed as Romanian medical students.
They asked the female caretaker of the mass grave whether the purchase of a number of bones would be possible to arrange. During the ensuing discussion, which was recorded and later filed in the RCE offices, the woman did not deny being involved in such a grisly business.
However, throughout the discussion the caretaker continually referred the visitors to her husband.
One Jewish student at GT Popa who asked for anonymity for "fear of retaliation from the students and university staff," said that it was clear that the woman was wary and was concealing information.