CHISINAU, Moldova - Dozens of Moldovan Jews, along with politicians and foreign guests, including Israeli Transportation Minister Avigdor Lieberman, gathered yesterday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of a pogrom in Chisinau that killed 49 Jews and left hundreds more injured.
On April 7, 1903, angry mobs attacked Jewish inhabitants of the city, then known as Kishniev, and under Russian control.
Some 1,500 Jewish homes and businesses. Thousands of Jewish families were left homeless.
According to historians, false rumors claiming that Jews used children's blood to make Passover bread incited local Russian and Romanian inhabitants of Chisinau to attack Jews.
The massacre started when the body of a dead Christian child was found in the city. It was later determined that he was killed by a relative.
Waves of other brutal pogroms in western Russia led to the massive emigration of Jews to the United States and Europe.
About 100 local Jews, as well as Moldova's President Vladimir Voronin and Lieberman, a native of Moldova, attended the low-key unveiling of a monument dedicated to the victims in a park in Chisinau, now the capital of Moldova.
The monument, created by a Moldovan Jewish architect, Simeon Shoiet, is made from russet-colored granite cubes, about as high as human beings.
The cubes are surrounded by fresh earth and scattered stones, which represent the victims of the pogrom.
It bears an inscription in Hebrew, Romanian and Russian.