A third World War II era mass grave has been unearthed in Romania.
By World Israel News Staff
In Romania, military prosecutors said on Tuesday that human remains, assumed to be from mass killings during World War II, have been unearthed at a third location in an area where previous mass graves had been found. Also discovered were a grenade and 82 mm caliber gun-mortar.
The archaeologists, supported by the Elie Wiesel Institute, have been searching in northeast Romania since a grave filled with the remains of over 100 Jews murdered by Romanian troops allied with Nazi Germany was first discovered.
The finds were near a mass Jewish grave discovered by archaeologists in 2010.
“Notified by the Elie Wiesel Institute… we launched a criminal probe regarding the June 29 unearthing of many human remains during archaeological research work in the proximity of an area where a mass grave was found in 2010,” prosecutors said in a statement reported by Israel Hayom.
The latest discovery includes the body parts of at least 40 people, including 12 children, historian Adrian Cioflanca told AFP. Cioflanca is credited with the research that discovered the mass grave in 2010, near a forested area in Vulturi.
As part of his research, Cioflanca interviewed contemporary witnesses who survived the war. They testified that more than 100 Jews were killed in 1941, in the area, leading to the find.
Vulturi, the area in question, is the second place where a mass grave has been found in Romania. The first was discovered in 1945 and contained the remains of 311 bodies. All three graves are located in close vicinity.
Though Romania had previously denied its part in the extermination of its Jewish population during the Holocaust, the country admitted in 2003 that it was an accomplice to killings.
Nobel laureate, activist and Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel, who was born in Romania, led an international commission in 2004. The commission concluded that, during World War II, between 280,000 and 380,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews were killed in Romania and areas it controlled.
Before the war, the Romanian Jewish population stood at about 750,000. Today, between 8,000 and 10,000 Jews remain in the country.