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Romania

ROMANIA

ROMANIA , country in East-Central and South-East Europe, in the Carpatho-Danubian region, north of the Balkan Peninsula, partly on the littoral of the Black Sea. The territory comprising Romania was known as Dacia in antiquity; Jewish tombstones, other inscriptions with Jewish and Palmyrean names written in Greek or Latin from the Roman period (1st–3rd centuries c.e.) and a coin from the period of Bar Kochba's revolt with an inscription in Hebrew were discovered in the counties of Transylvania and Oltenia. Jewish and Palmyrean names are also present in some Greek inscriptions discovered in the county of Dobrogea, known in antiquity as the Roman province Moesia Inferior. Early Christian missionary activity in Dacia and the Hellenistic towns of Moesia may have been due to the existence of Jewish groups there. Later, the Carpatho-Danubian territory was mentioned in some Hebrew sources from the 10th to 12th centuries. A Jewish presence is attested in the 14th century in the port towns of the Southern Bessarabia county on the Black Sea. In the 15th century, there were Karaite communities in the same towns, one of them, Akkerman (in Romanian: Cetatea Albă; in Russian: Belgorod Dnestrovskij) called in Hebrew Ha-Ir ha-Levanah ("the white city"). The Karaite Jews continued to live there until the middle of the 18th century. Occasional temporary presence of Ashkenazi Jewish merchants in Moldavia (called in Romanian: Moldova, principality located in the North-East, between the Oriental Carpathians and the Dniester and the Black Sea, founded at the beginning of the 14th century) occurred in the second half of the 15th century and in the beginning of the 16th century. In the second half of the 16th century, some Sephardi Jews from the Ottoman Empire visited Wallachia (called in Romanian: Ţara Românească, the second Romanian principality, located in the South, between the Southern Carpathians and the Danube, founded at the beginning of the 14th century) as exporters of cattle to the Ottoman Empire, dealers of wine, importers of textiles, and moneylenders. Some of them settled in Bucharest, the capital of Wallachia. Jewish creditors from Constantinople loaned money to candidates to the thrones of the principalities: they needed the money to pay the amount demanded by the Turkish sultan to obtain the princely function, since the principalities had become vassals to the Ottoman Empire in the first half of the 15th century. Some of those Jewish creditors accompanied the new princes to the principalities to make sure that they would repay their debt. Other Sephardi Jews from Turkey and from Italian states served as physicians or diplomats at princes' courts. In 1594–1595 the princes Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) of Wallachia and Aron Tiranul (Aron the Tyran) of Moldavia killed their Jewish and Muslim creditors to avoid paying their debts to them.

As Moldavia was on the trade routes between Poland-Lithuania and the Ottoman Empire many Jewish merchants traveled through it. Some settled there. In the 16th century there were Jewish communities in several Moldavian towns. More intensive waves of Jewish immigration resulted from the Chmielnicki massacres (1648–49). Beginning in the 17th century Moldavian princes granted special charters to Jews; known is a charter given to Jews from Jassy in 1666. The Great Synagogue of Jassy was built about 1670.

In the last decades of the 18th century, more Jews from Galicia began to settle in Moldavia as a result of demographic changes, the partition of Poland, Austrian emperor Joseph ii's toleration edicts, and the economic growth of the Romanian principalities after the Kücük-Kainargi Russian-Turkish peace treaty (1774). It was the beginning of a new wave of immigration. Many of them were Ḥasidim. These Jewish craftsmen and merchants obtained special charters. They helped to reestablish war-ravaged towns or to enlarge others. Some of them settled at crossroads and founded commercial centers, the so-called burgs; in this activity they were encouraged by landowners. Many Jews were occupied in buying and selling agricultural products from neighboring villages to towns, and bringing and selling industrial products to peasants. The burgs were founded as a part of the economic development toward a commercial economy and the urbanization process. After the settlement of the Jews, landowners gave them charters including advantages, such as exemption from taxes, land for prayer houses, ritual baths, and cemeteries. When two counties of Moldavia were annexed by their neighbors (Bukovina by Austria in 1775 and Bessarabia by Russia in 1812), some Jews from these counties preferred to move to Romanian Moldavia, where they were not harassed by the authorities and had both family and business connections. Among the Jews occupied in commerce (in towns, but especially in burgs), there were also many craftsmen, such as furriers, tailors, boot makers, tinsmiths, and watchmakers; they settled mainly in the towns. There were also Jewish exporters of agricultural products and importers of industrial and luxury products, and Jewish moneylenders, who later on became bankers. In villages, Jews leased inns and brandy distilleries. The process of urbanization and the immigration of Jews continued in the first half of the 19th century. Many immigrants also arrived from Russia, partly as a result of the forced conscription in the period of Czar Nicholas i. The number of Jews grew in Moldavia as did the number of the so-called "Jewish burgs"; later part of them became insignificant. Jewish immigration into Wallachia was from Moldavia only (a re-emigration) and some Sephardi Jewish immigration from the Ottoman Empire as a result of the political and economic changes in the Balkan part of that empire.

Among the rabbis and Torah scholars present in Moldavia and Wallachia in the period from the 17th to the beginning of the 19th centuries may be mentioned Solomon ibn Aroyo, a kabbalist and also a physicist (Jassy, at the beginning of the 17th century); Nathan Hanover (Jassy, second half of the 17th century); Haim Thierer (present in some towns of Moldavia, second half of the 18th century); Eliezer Papo (Bucharest and Silistra, beginning of the 19th century).

From early on commercial competition was one of the main reasons for anti-Jewish hatred in Romania. In 1579 the sovereign of Moldavia, Petru Schiopul (Peter the Lame), ordered the banishment of the Jews on the grounds that they were ruining the merchants. In the Danube harbors it was the Greek and Bulgarian merchants who incited riots against the Jews, especially during Easter. Anti-Jewish excesses in the neighboring countries often extended to the Romanian principalities. In 1652 and 1653 Cossacks invaded Moldavia, attacking many Jews from Jassy. In 1714, there was a small pogrom in Bucharest and the synagogue (built of stones) was destroyed on the order of the sovereign of Wallachia, Stefan Cantacuzino. Greek Orthodox Christianity also preached intolerance toward Jews and shaped the first code of law: the Church laws of Moldavia and Wallachia in 1640, of Byzantine inspiration. Both proclaimed the Jews as heretics and forbade any relations with them. The state and the Church encouraged the conversion of Jews to Orthodox Christianity and offered economic and social advantages to the converts. With the exception of physicians, Jews were not accepted as witnesses in trials. In the codes of 1746 and 1780 the Jews are scarcely mentioned. On the other hand, the first books of anti-Jewish incitement of a religious character appeared around this time: Alcatuirea aurita a lui Samuil rabbi jidovul (The Golden Order of Rabbi Samuel the Jew) and "A Challenge to Jews" (Jassy, 1803). The image of the Jew in Romanian folklore includes satanic aspects: the Jews were satanized under the influence of the church. In the course of the rebellion against the Turks (1821), Greek volunteers crossed Moldavia on their way to the Danube, plundering and slaying Jews as they went (in Jassy, Herta (now Gertsa), Odobesti, Vaslui, Roman, etc.).

The judicial status of the Jews in the principalities was of an ethnical-religious guild (in Romanian: breasla, called breasla jidovilor in Moldavia, and breasla ovreiasca in Wallachia). There were guilds set up according to nationality and religion (e.g., Armenians, Catholic-Kiprovitchian Bulgarians, Jews) and others organized according profession (which included Moldavian or Wallachian Christian-Orthodox craftsmen or merchants from towns). The system was based on the Ottoman system of "isnafs" (in Turkish: isnaf). The guild took care of tax collection proportionate to the number of persons organized in it; the Jews (i.e., the Jewish Guild) were obliged to pay a poll-tax for the right to settle. This system, known from 1666 in Jassy (the right to settle was granted by the sovereign through a gold-charter, in Romanian: hrisov) may have existed some decades previously in Moldavia. The head of the guild was the "senior" (in Romanian: staroste; in Hebrew: rosh medinah). The "senior" was responsible for tax collection. The system was based on that existing in Poland: the Ashkenazi Jews, of Polish origin, maintained their tradition. The "senior" was exempted from payment and had some advantages, granted by the sovereign through a special charter. Later the abuses began: the "seniors" were elected from among members of the same family. In the 1830s the tax paid in Moldavia was called – in Romanian – the crupca (also a system of Polish origin; in Polish: korowka). The sovereigns preferred to put the rabbi in charge of collecting the tax, with him exempted from paying. Later (last decades of the 18th century) his administrative function was called in Turkish hakhambashe and he was named ḥakham-bashi (the rabbi, who was the chief of the Jewish guild). Every rabbi, however, had to pay bribes (officially) to be recognized in his function. In Moldavia, the rabbis were from the same family: descendents of Rabbi Naphtali ha-Kohen of Posen, whose son, Bezalel was appointed as rabbi of Jassy community in 1719. In Wallachia the "senior" maintained his administrative and fiscal function, but consulted the rabbi of Jassy for halakhic problems and became his representative in Bucharest. The collective tax, set by the guild in agreement with the tax-collector, was paid from the tax on kosher meat, taxes on religious ceremonies, and contributions from every family head. The expenses of the institutions (talmud torah, hekdesh, cemetery) were covered by the remainder. The rabbi's salary was set according to the number of slaughtered cattle, of religious ceremonies, and of boys learning in the talmud torah.

The situation changed once again at the end of the 18th–first decades of the 19th centuries. Owing to the competition among the rabbis for this function and to the fact that many Jews considered the ḥakham bashi as insufficiently learned in Torah, his prestige was low, and learned rabbis were considered by the Jews as their real spiritual leaders. The growing number of immigrants from Galicia and Russia at the beginning of the 19th century opposed the ḥakham bashi, since such an institution was unknown to them and many of them were followers of Ḥasidism and led by ẓaddikim. As they were foreign subjects they asked their consuls to intercede, and in 1819 the prince of Moldavia decided that the ḥakham bashi should have jurisdiction only over "native" Jews. The Ḥasidim did not buy meat slaughtered by a non-Ḥasidic slaughterer, because his knife was not polished. So, they bought meat from "illegal" slaughterers and did not pay the tax on kosher meat. The collective tax paid by the Jewish guild to the state was smaller. Finally, after agreements with the representatives of the immigrant Jews (Ḥasidim), because of permanent strife among the diverse groups of Jews and their complaints to the authorities, the latter decided in 1834 to abolish the ḥakham bashi system and institution in Moldavia. In Wallachia, although the ḥakham bashi institution was not abolished, it remained inactive. Jewish communal life and organization were changed. The Ottoman system was changed to the Russian system. The Jewish guild became the Jewish community, called "the Jewish nation" (in Romanian: natia ovreeasca). Since the fiscal system could not be changed radically, the method of collective taxation on kosher meat remained in use but was carried out by representatives of the government for a relatively short period. After around a decade it was changed, proving impractical: only the wealthy Jews bought meat, while the poor consumed mainly vegetables. The functions of the community devolved on to the various prayer houses and the artisans' guilds and sometimes on the ḥevra kaddisha or the Jewish hospital.

(For the early history of the other regions which later made up Romania see *Bessarabia, *Bukovina, and *Transylvania).

Emerging Romania

The Russian-Turkish peace treaty of Adrianopol (1829) canceled the interdiction of the export of some Moldavian and Wallachian agricultural products from the Ottoman Empire and decreed freedom of commerce. Between 1829 and 1834 Moldavia and Wallachia were occupied by Russia. A nearly similar constitution (the so-called Organic Law) was prepared for both principalities during that period and promulgated in 1832. The constitution was similar to the one already existing in Wallachia and Moldavia. From 1832 to 1856 the two principalities were protectorates of Russia. The Organic Law of Moldavia (together with additions promulgated between 1834 and 1856) also dealt with the position of the Jews. Their communal organization was on the Russian model (kahal). Jews were forbidden to own property in the villages. Additions to the laws promulgated in 1839 and 1843 gave the authorities the right to determine which Jews were useful to the country, the others being declared vagrants and expelled. However, the Organic Law of Moldavia stipulated that Jewish children could attend public schools if they dressed like the Christian children. Jews were exempted from military service. The number of Jews increased owing to emigration from Galicia and Russia. The number of Jewish burgs in Moldavia also grew. In Bucharest (Wallachia) the community was fragmented. In the early 1840s the Sephardi Jews of Bucharest left the community and founded their own community with their own traditions. The Ashkenazi Jews of Bucharest who were Austrian and Prussian subjects also left the community and founded a community supported by the Austrian and Prussian consuls, in order not to pay taxes. The "native" and Polish (Russian) Jewish subjects remained as the Ashkenazi community. Later on, these two Ashkenazi communities reunited.

In the 1848 revolutions of Moldavia and Wallachia, directed against the Russian protectorate and against absolutism and serfdom, the revolutionaries appealed to the Jews to participate. They distinguished, however, between useful and non-useful Jews (the latter being nominated for expulsion) and proposed the "emancipation of the Israelites and transformation into useful citizens," proclaiming their civic equality. Some Jews took part in the 1848 revolution of Wallachia (see Davicion *Bally), but the majority of Jews did not participate in the revolutions. However, under the influence of revolution, some "progressive" Jews revolted against the leadership of the Ashkenazi community and took over for a short period. The revolutions were suppressed (in Moldavia immediately by the sovereign, in Wallachia after three months by the Russian and Ottoman armies).

Independent Romania

The peace treaty of Paris (1856), which concluded the Crimean War and granted the principalities a certain autonomy under the suzerainty of the seven European powers, proclaimed inter alia that in the two Danubian principalities all the inhabitants, irrespective of religion, should enjoy religious and civil liberties (the right to own property and to trade) and might occupy political posts. Only those who had foreign citizenship were excluded from political rights. The leaders of the Moldavian and Wallachian Jews addressed themselves both to the Romanian authorities and to the great powers, asking for the abolition of the discriminations against them. However, the opposition of Russia and of the Romanian political leaders hindered this: the special assembly decided that only Christians would obtain citizenship. The two principalities united in 1859; Bucharest became the capital of the new state (United Principalities, and from 1862 Romania); Alexandru Ioan Cuza, who was a member of the 1848 revolutionaries' group and not antisemitic, became their sovereign. The number of Jews was then 130,000 (3% of the total population). In 1864 native Jews were granted suffrage in the local councils ("little naturalization"); but Jews who were foreign subjects still could not acquire landed property. Political rights were granted to non-Christians but only parliament could vote on the naturalization of individual Jews – but not a single Jew was naturalized.

In 1866 Alexandru Ioan Cuza was ousted by anti-liberal forces. A new sovereign, Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, was elected and a new constitution adopted. Under the pressure of demonstrations organized by the police (during which the Choir Temple in Bucharest was demolished and the Jewish quarter plundered), the seventh article of the constitution, restricting citizenship to the Christian population, was adopted. Even the visit to Bucharest of Adolphe Crémieux, president of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, who delivered a speech in the Romanian parliament, had no effect. In the spring of 1867 the minister of interior, Ion Bratianu, started to expel Jews from the villages and banish noncitizens from the country. In the summer of the same year Sir Moses Montefiore arrived in Bucharest and demanded that Prince Carol put a stop to the persecutions. But these continued in spite of the promises given. Hundreds of families, harassed by humiliating regulations (e.g., a prohibition on building sukkot), were forced to leave the villages. Local officials regarded such persecution as an effective method of extorting bribes. Neither the repeated interventions of Great Britain and France nor the condemnatory resolutions in the parliaments of Holland and Germany had any effect. The Romanian government reiterated that the Jewish problem was an internal one, and the great powers limited themselves to protests.

At the Congress of Berlin (1878), which finalized Romanian independence, the great powers made the grant of civil rights to the Jews a condition of that independence in spite of opposition by the Romanian delegates. The Romanian representatives threatened the delegates of the Jewish world organizations, as well as the representatives of the Jews of Romania, by hinting at a worsening of their situation. Indeed, after the Congress of Berlin other antisemitic measures were introduced, and there was incitement in the press and public demonstrations organized by the authorities on the Russian model, in order to prove to the great powers that the people were against Jewish emancipation. Their aim was also to create an antisemitic atmosphere on the eve of the session of parliament which was to decide on the modification of the article in the 1866 constitution concerning Jewish naturalization. Prince Carol, opening parliament, declared that the Jews had a harmful influence on economic life and especially on the peasants. After stormy debates parliament modified the article of the constitution which made citizenship conditional on Christianity, but stated that the naturalization of Jews would be carried out individually, by vote of both chambers of parliament. During the following 38 years 2,000 Jews in all were naturalized by this oppressive procedure; of those, 883 were voted in en bloc, having taken part in the 1877 war against Turkey.

This caused the great powers to refuse for a time to recognize independent Romania. However, they finally followed the example of Germany, which took the first step after having received pecuniary compensation from the Romanian government through the redemption of railway shares belonging to Silesian Junkers and members of the German imperial court – at six times their quoted value. The situation of the Jews continued to grow worse. Up to then they had been considered Romanian subjects but now they were declared to be foreigners. The Romanian government persuaded Austria and Germany to withdraw their citizenship from Jews living in Romania. The Jews were forbidden to be lawyers, teachers in public schools, chemists, stockbrokers, or to sell commodities which were a government monopoly (tobacco, salt, alcohol). They were not accepted as railway officials, in state hospitals, or as officers. Jewish pupils were later expelled from the public schools (1893). Meanwhile political intimidation continued. In 1885 some of the Jewish leaders and journalists who had participated in the struggle for emancipation, among them Moses Gaster and Elias Schwarzfeld, were expelled from Romania. Both major political parties in Romania – the Liberals and the Conservatives – were antisemitic, with only slight differences. In 1910 the first specifically antisemitic party, the National Democratic Party, was founded, under the leadership of the university professors A.C. Cuza and Nicolae Iorga.

Ḥasidism, Haskalah, Religious Reform

The majority of the Jews of Moldavia were Ḥasidim. Most of them followed the admor of Ruzhin, Rabbi Israel *Ruzhin Friedmann. Others, especially those of Russian origin, were Ḥasidim of the Chabad movement. In 1809, Rabbi *Abraham Joshua Heshel of Opatow settled in Jassy, having been invited by the local leader and moneylender Rabbi Michel ben Daniel; he left the town in 1813. The next year another Ḥasidic rabbi, Joseph David Ha-Kohen from Zwolew (1750–1828) settled in Jassy. In 1834, at the suggestion of the admor Rabbi Israel of Ruzhin, the Ḥasidic Rabbi Joseph Landau was invited to Jassy, where he became the town's rabbi until his death (1853). Owing to the large number of appeals to the rabbinical tribunal, another Ḥasidic rabbi, Aharon Moses *Taubes, was invited to Jassy and settled there; he died in Jassy in 1852. In 1852 the admor Menahem Nahum Friedman settled in Stefanesti and founded the Ḥasidic dynasty and "court" of Stefanesti. In 1866, the admor Isaac ben Shalom Friedman settled in Buhusi and founded the Ḥasidic dynasty and "court" of the same name, which became the central Ḥasidic court in Romania. Later, admorim from the same family founded other Ḥasidic dynasties and "courts" in Romania, such as Pascani, Adjud, and Focsani. Other admorim and Ḥasidic rabbis from the Gutman, Halpern, Derbaremdige, Landman, Zilberfarb, Wahrman, Teumim, Drimer, Frenkel, and Sulitzer-Moscovici families also settled in Romania in the 19th–first half of the 20th centuries.

The presence of maskilim, many of them having emigrated from Galicia, is also attested from the 1830s. Later they became more active and began to organize. One of them was Michel Alter Finkelstein of Jassy, fighter for cultural integration, modernization, and changing of Jewish East-European manner of dress. An important maskil from Bucharest was Judah ben Mordechai (Julius) *Barasch, a physicist and also a writer in the Hebrew, German, and Romanian languages. The first Jewish school functioning with a Haskalah movement curriculum was founded in Bucharest in 1851, in the Jewish community holding Austrian and Prussian citizenship, with Julius Barasch as its principal; in 1852 in Bucharest (in the community of "native" and Polish Jews) Naftaly K. Popper became a Hebrew teacher; in Jassy (1853) Benjamin Schwarzfeld became the principal. A "Society for Israelite Culture" was founded in 1862 in Bucharest, functioning for only one year. At the end of the 1850s and in the 1860s some maskil Hebrew writers were active in Moldavia: Matitiahu Simha Rabener (editor of the Hebrew review Zimrat Ha'aretz; Mordechai Streslisker (Marvad Sat); Hillel Kahane; Hirsh Mendel Pineles (Ha-Shalash) and others.

Some maskilim adopted the idea of also reforming religious worship. They advanced their proposals in the 1850s in Bucharest. After a conflict with *Malbim, the rabbi of Bucharest from 1858, they succeeded in influencing the Romanian government to expel him, maintaining that he was against progress (1864). However the majority of the Jews were Orthodox and remained loyal to him. In 1866, the reformists opened the "Choral Temple" in Bucharest; its first preacher was Antoine Levy. In the same period the Choral Temple "Beth Ya'aqov" was opened in Jassy, founded by the baron Jacob Neuschatz. In 1889 the Sephardi reform temple (Cahal Grande) was founded in Bucharest. However the trend was only of moderate reform: most of the reform rabbis were graduates of the Breslau seminary. This trend continued after World War i in the period of the first chief rabbi, Dr. Jacob Isaac *Niemirower.

At the end of the 19th century, the currents of radical Haskalah, Jewish socialism, and Jewish nationalism also appeared in Romania. Activists for Jewish nationalism were Karpel Lippe, a Hebrew writer; Samuel Pineles; Menahem-Mendel Braunstein (Mibashan), also a Hebrew writer, who later immigrated to Palestine; and Israel Teller. At the end of December–beginning of January 1882, a conference of Ishuv Eretz Israel organizations in Romania took place in the town of Focsani.

Internal Organization

Because of conflicts between Ḥasidim and maskilim, and also due to the integrationist trend, Jewish communities ceased to exist or became inactive at the beginning of the 1870s. A new form of organization became necessary. The first general Jewish representative body, after the dissolution of the Jews' Guild and the internal strife in the communities, was the Brotherhood of Zion society, the forerunner of the B'nai B'rith, created in 1872 under the influence of Benjamin Franklin Peixotto, the first American diplomat in Romania. He thus succeeded in shaping a cadre of leaders for the Jewish institutions, but did not see any solution for the masses but emigration. For that purpose he initiated a conference of world Jewish organizations which convened in Brussels (Oct. 29–30, 1872). Under the influence of assimilationist circles, emigration – considered to be unpatriotic – was rejected as a solution of the Jewish problem. The conference suggested to the Jews of Romania that they should fight to acquire political equality. After some years, however, a mass movement started for immigration to Ereẓ Israel.

The political organization founded in 1890, under the name The General Association of Native Israelites, tended to assimilation and strident patriotism, claiming citizenship only for those Jews who had served in the army. Under pressure by a group of Jewish socialists it extended its demands, claiming political rights for all Jews born in the country. In 1897 antisemitic students attacked members of the congress of the association and caused riots in Bucharest. The association ceased its activity, and an attempt at reorganization in 1903 failed. Under the pressure of increasing persecution accompanied by an internal economic crisis, in 1900 a mass emigration of Jews began; they traveled on foot as far as Hamburg

and from there went to the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Up to World War i about 70,000 Jews left Romania. From 266,652 (4.5% of the total population) in 1899 the Jewish population declined to 239,967 (3.3%) in 1912. The 1907 revolt of the peasants, who at first vented their wrath on the Jews, also contributed to this tendency to emigrate; Jewish houses and shops were pillaged in many villages and cities of Moldavia, 2,280 families being affected. At the same time the persecution of the Jews increased. Their expulsion from the villages assumed such proportions that in some counties of Moldavia (Dorohoi, Jassy, Bacau) none remained except veterans of the 1877 war.

In 1910 the political organization called Uniunea Evreilor Pamanteni (The Union of Native Jews), uep, was founded to combat anti-Jewish measures and to achieve emancipation. Its first head was Adolphe Stern, former secretary of B.F. Peixotto. The uep tended toward integration in Romanian society. It operated by intercession with politicians, through petitions to parliament, and by printed propaganda against antisemitism. In a single case it was successful through direct intercession with King Carol i, who held up the passage of a bill discriminating against Jewish craftsmen (1912).

At the end of the 19th century there began the organization of Jewish communities, together with the creation of a Jewish school system as a result of the expulsion of Jews from the public schools (1893). The impoverishment of the Jewish population also created a need for social assistance which could not be provided by the various existing associations. To achieve the legalization of the communities, several congresses of their representatives were organized (April 1896 in Galati, 1902 in Jassy, and 1905 in Focsani), but they could not agree on the proper nature of a community. Some claimed that it should have an exclusively religious character; others wanted a lay organization dealing only with social welfare, hospitals, and schools. The different Jewish institutions (synagogues, religious associations, hospitals) endeavored to preserve their autonomy. There was a struggle for the tax on meat, too, each demanding this income for itself. At the same time assimilationist groups of students and intellectuals launched a drive against the community, which they defined as an isolationist instrument; in this move they were joined by antisemites who called the community a "state within a state," a Jewish conspiracy aiming to establish supremacy over the Romanians. Some proposed putting the communities under the Ministry of the Interior. An attempt in 1897 to introduce into parliament a bill on the Jewish communities, its purpose being defined by the proposer as "to defend the Jewish population against its ignorant religious fanatics," failed because of the opposition of the liberal government of the day. Later the principle of autonomy prevailed at Jewish community congresses, owing to the influence of the Zionists, especially Rabbis J. [Jacob] Nacht and J. Niemirover. Protests were lodged against the interference of the local authorities (mayors, chief commissioners of police, etc.) as well as against the oath more judaico. The principle of autonomy finally triumphed, owing to the young Zionists who penetrated the local communities, especially in the country.

The Struggle for Naturalization

Following World War i Romania enlarged her territory with the provinces of Bukovina, Bessarabia, and Transylvania. In each of these the Jews were already citizens, either of long standing like those who had lived in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, or more recent like those from Bessarabia who achieved equality only in 1917. Indeed, the naturalization of the Jews of Romania was under way in accordance with the separate peace treaty concluded with Germany in the spring of 1918. In August 1918 the Romanian parliament passed an act concerning naturalization with many very complicated procedures, the latter being, moreover, sabotaged when they had to be applied by the local authorities. After the defeat of Germany, Prime Minister Ionel Bratianu realized that at the peace conference the naturalization of the Jews would be brought up again, so he tried to resolve the problem in good time by issuing a decree of naturalization on Dec. 28, 1918, proclaiming individual naturalization on the lines adopted after the Congress of Berlin. The decision had to be made by the law courts instead of parliament, on the basis of certain certificates which were very difficult to obtain. Though threatened by the government the Jewish leaders rejected the law, and, following their warning, the Jewish population abstained from putting in applications to the court. Their demand was for citizenship to be granted en bloc by one procedure – after a declaration by every candidate at his municipality that he was born in the country and held no foreign citizenship, the municipality would have to make out the certificate of citizenship.

Although the Romanian government continued to assert that the Jewish problem was an internal one, of national sovereignty, when the delegation led by Ionel Bratianu appeared at the peace conference in Paris (May 1919) Georges Clemenceau reminded him that after the Congress of Berlin Romania had not implemented the provisions concerning the political rights of the Jews. This time the great powers decided to include guarantees in the peace treaty. A Jewish delegation from Romania, composed of uep, Zionist and Jewish socialist representatives, arrived in Paris. They joined the Jewish delegations participating in the peace conference and claimed that the peace treaty should lay down the kind of obligatory laws concerning naturalization which Romania should pass. To prevent the conference's imposition of naturalization of Jews, Ionel Bratianu wired to Bucharest the text of a law (promulgated as a decree on May 22, 1919), according to which citizenship could now be obtained by a declaration of intent in writing to the law court, the latter being obliged to make out a certificate of confirmation which conferred the exercise of political rights. Those who did not possess foreign citizenship, those who satisfied the requirements of the enlistment law, and those who had served in the war were declared citizens, together with their families.

The peace conference did not, however, fail to include in the treaty the obligation of Romania to legislate the political emancipation of the Jews, which no other measure should abrogate. Bratianu resigned in protest, and only after an ultimatum sent by the peace conference did the new Romanian government led by Alexandru Vaida-Voevod sign the peace treaty. In Bukovina 40,000 Jews were threatened with remaining stateless, on the pretext of their being refugees who had only recently entered the country. A professor of the faculty of law at Jassy published a study in 1921 asserting that this naturalization was anti-constitutional. In 1923 there began a new struggle for the enactment of naturalization in the new constitution. Adolphe Stern, the president of the uep, was elected as a deputy to parliament and had to fight the law proposed by the Bratianu government which in effect canceled most of the naturalizations already acquired. After hard bargaining, not without renewed threats on the part of the government, the naturalization of the Jews was introduced into the constitution on March 29, 1923, thus also confirming the naturalization of those from the newly annexed territories who would otherwise have been threatened with expulsion. Nevertheless there was a great difference between the laws and the way in which they were implemented. In a regulation published two months after the passing of the constitution, many procedural restrictions on the Jews living in the new provinces were introduced. In practice, the civil service, the magistracy, university chairs, and officers' corps remained closed to Jews. uep became the Union of Romanian Jews (Uniunea Evreilor Români – uer) and Wilhelm *Filderman became its president.

Increasing Antisemitism

Growing social and political tensions in Romania in the 1920s and 1930s led to a constant increase in antisemitism and in the violence which accompanied it. Antisemitic excesses and demonstrations expressed both popular and student antisemitism and cruelty; they also served to divert social unrest to the Jews and show Western public opinion that intervention on their behalf was bound to miscarry. In December 1922 Christian students at the four universities proclaimed numerus clausus as their program; riots followed at the universities and against the Jewish population. As was later revealed in parliament, the student movements were organized and financed by the Ministry of the Interior. The leader of the student movements was Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, the secretary of the League of National Christian Defense which was headed by A.C. Cuza. The students formed terrorist groups on the Fascist model and committed several murders. In 1926 the Jewish student Falic was murdered at Chernovtsy. The assassin was acquitted. In 1927 Codreanu broke away from A.C. Cuza and founded the Archangel Michael League, which in 1929 became the Iron Guard, a paramilitary organization with an extreme antisemitic program.

On Dec. 9, 1927, the students of Codreanu's League carried out a pogrom in Oradea Mare (Transylvania), where they were holding a congress, for which they received a subsidy from the Ministry of the Interior: they were conveyed there in special trains put at their disposal free of charge by the government. Five synagogues were wrecked and the Torah scrolls burned in the public squares. After that the riots spread all over the country: in Cluj eight prayer houses were plundered, and on their way home the participants in the congress continued their excesses against the Jews in the cities of Huedin, Targu-Ocna, and Jassy. At the end of 1933 the liberal prime minister I.G. Duca, one of the opponents of King Carol's dictatorial tendencies, dissolved the Iron Guard and after three weeks was assassinated by its men. The guard was reformed under the slogan, "Everything for the Country." Codreanu's ties with the Nazis in Germany dated from that time. Carol ii later aided other political bodies with an antisemitic program in an attempt to curb the Iron Guard. From 1935 Al. Vaida-Voevod led the Romanian Front, and made use in his speeches of such slogans as the blood libel, the parasitism of the Jews, their defrauding the country, their international solidarity, and the Judaization of the press and national literature.

After Hitler came to power in Germany (1933), the large Romanian parties also adopted antisemitic programs. In 1935 the new National Christian Party announced that its program included "the Romanization of the staff of firms and the protection of national labor through preference for [our] ethnic element" – that is to say, the removal of Jews from private firms. Gheorghe Bratianu, leading a dissident liberal party, demanded "nationalization of the cities, proportional representation in public and private posts, in schools and universities, and revocation of Jewish citizenship." In July 1934 the "Law for Employment of Romanian Workers in [Private] Firms" was enacted, and in fact established a numerus clausus. The Ministry of Industry and Trade sent all firms special questionnaires which included a clause on "ethnic origin." In 1935 the board of Christian Lawyers' Association, founded that year by members of the bar from Ilfov (Bucharest) gave an impetus to antisemitic professional associations. The movement spread all over the country. Its program was the numerus nullus, i.e., revoking the licenses of Jewish lawyers who were already members of the bar and not accepting new registrations. At the universities students of the Iron Guard forcibly prevented their Jewish colleagues from attending lectures and the academic authorities supported the numerus clausus program, introducing entrance examinations; in 1935–36 this led to a perceptible decrease in the number of Jewish students, in certain faculties reaching the numerus nullus. In other professional corporations no Jews were elected to the board; they were prevented by force from participating in the elections. The great Romanian banks began to reject requests for credits from Jewish banks as well as from Jewish industrial and commercial firms, and the Jewish enterprises were burdened by heavy taxes, imposed with the aim of ruining them. Jewish firms were not granted import quotas for raw materials and goods. Meanwhile Germany financed a series of publications and newspapers aimed at fastening an alliance between the two countries and removing Jews from all branches of the professions and the economy. Many a Jewish merchant and industrialist was compelled to sell his firm at a loss when it became unprofitable under these oppressive measures.

Jewish Political Life

Despite the attempts of the older assimilationist and established Jewish groups, the inclination of Romanian Jewry – thanks largely to the trends among Jews of the newly annexed provinces and to the impact of Zionism – was toward a clear-cut Jewish stance in politics. In 1919 the Union of Romanian Jews, led by W. Filderman, recommended that the Jews vote for those Romanian parties which would be favorable to them. As none of the parties formulated an attitude toward the Jewish problem, the Union decided that the Jews should withhold their votes. In the 1920 elections the Union joined the Zionists to form a list which conducted its election campaign under the symbol of the menorah. As the elections were rigged, not a single candidate succeeded in entering parliament. The Union managed to send Adolphe Stern to parliament in 1922 through joining with the Peasants' Party. From 1923 the Zionists pressed for a policy of a national minority

status for the Jews. Their proposal was not accepted by the Union.

In 1926 the first National Jewish deputies and senators were elected from Bukovina, Transylvania, and Bessarabia. As a consequence of these successes the National Jewish Club, in which representatives of the Zionist parties also participated, was founded in Bucharest. Such clubs were established in all the cities of the Old Kingdom. In 1928 four National Jewish deputies were returned to parliament (two from Transylvania, one from Bukovina, and one from Bessarabia). They formed a Jewish parliamentary club. In 1930 the Jewish Party (Partidul Evreesc) was established in the Old Kingdom and on May 4, 1931, it held its general congress. Adolphe Stern joined this party. In the elections to parliament, a month later, the Jewish Party gained five seats, and in the 1932 elections it again obtained five. The situation of the Jewish parliamentarians was far from easy, because they were not only interrupted during their speeches but were often physically attacked by the deputies of the antisemitic parties. After 1933 there were no more Jewish members of parliament, except for J. Niemirower, who in his capacity of chief rabbi was officially a senator.

In 1913, the Ashkenazi Jewish community of Bucharest was founded as a modern association open to all the Ashkenazi Jews in the capital. Similar communities were founded in other towns of the Old Kingdom. In 1921 the Union of the Jewish Communities of the Old Kingdom was founded. Yet the undefined legal status of the Jewish communities in Romania tempted local authorities to meddle more and more in their affairs. A rabbi from Bucharest, Hayyim Schor, proclaimed himself chief rabbi. He demanded recognition of a separate Orthodox community everywhere in Romania, and was willing to be satisfied with the status of a private association for the Jewish community, thus abandoning the demand for its recognition as a public body. The Union and the Zionists opposed him. On May 19, 1921, the congress of Jews from the Old Kingdom met in Bucharest and elected Dr. Jacob Itzhak Niemirower as chief rabbi. In 1922 Jewish representatives demanded that two communities be recognized: the Ashkenazi and the Sephardi (and for Transylvania an Orthodox community too, as was traditional there). Only in 1928 did parliament pass the Law of Religions applying the provisions of the constitution, which recognized Judaism as one of the eight historical religions and the community as a juridical person in public law. On the basis of this law all the property of the religious institutions was transferred to the ownership of the communities. In January 1929 the minister of religions limited the application of this law, instructing that communities become juridical persons only after the approval of their statutes by the ministry; he also permitted communities of "diverse rites," and not only the Ashkenazi or Sephardi, and in Transylvania the Orthodox type, thus accepting the program of Rabbi Schor. Mayors and police commissioners thought that this gave them a legal cover to dissolve the elected boards of the communities and to appoint others to their liking, although the Ministry of Religions issued a circular prohibiting interference by local authorities. Only in 1932 did the communities gain general recognition as juridical persons in public law. In 1936, the unions of Jewish communities from all the provinces of Romania (also the Orthodox and Sephardi unions of communities) founded a representative organization for all the Jews of Romania: the Federation of the Unions of Jewish Communities of Greater Romania.

The certificates of Jewish schools were not recognized and their pupils had to pass state examinations, paying a fee (which was a charge on community budgets as they covered this fee for the poor) until 1925, when the certificates of Jewish schools were recognized if the language of tuition was Romanian. (Although Romania had signed the Minorities Treaty in Paris, it had never implemented it.) All Jewish schools were maintained by the communities; in Bessarabia, Tarbut maintained Hebrew schools. The Ministry of Education contributed only a token subvention. The Jews of annexed Transylvania used the Hungarian language in the Zionist press, even under Romanian rule, those of Bukovina German, while in Bessarabia the language of the Jewish press was Yiddish. Each province kept its traditions, autonomous structure, and cultural life, within the framework of the all-Romanian Federation of Jewish Communities. Culturally, the deeply rooted Jewish life of Bessarabia, with its Hebrew teachers, writers, and journalists, had a great influence, especially in the Old Kingdom.

In 1924 there were 796,056 Jews in enlarged Romania (5% of the total population): 230,000 in the Old Kingdom, 238,000 in Bessarabia, 128,056 in Bukovina, and 200,000 in Transylvania. In 1930 their number was 756,930 (4.2% of the total population): 263,192 in the Old Kingdom, 206,958 in Bessarabia, 92,988 in Bukovina, and 193,000 in Transylvania.

Social Structure

The Jewish population of Old Romania was for the most part an urban one. According to the 1899 census, 79.73% of the Jews lived in cities, forming 32.10% of the whole urban population of the country. Only 20.27% lived in villages, forming 1.1% of the whole rural population. This phenomenon was a result of the ban on Jews dwelling in a rural area. In the Moldavia province, where the Jews were most heavily concentrated, they formed a majority in several towns. In Falticeni they were 57% of the total population; in Dorohoi, 53.6%; in Botosani, 51.8%; in Jassy, 50.8%. In several smaller towns of that region their proportion was greater: in Gertsa, 66.2%; in Mihaileni, 65.6%; in Harlau, 59.6%; in Panciu, 52.4%. The Romanian population was 84.06% farmers, the Jews constituting the middle class. According to 1904 statistics, 21.1% of the total number of merchants were Jews, but in some cities of Moldavia they were a definite majority, such as in Jassy, 75.3%; Botosani, 75.2%; Dorohoi, 72.9%; Tecuci, 65.9%, etc. Jews represented 20.07% of all artisans, and in several branches they were a majority: 81.3% of engravers, 76% of tinsmiths; 75.9% of watchmakers; 74.6% of bookbinders; 64.9% of hatmakers; 64.3% of upholsterers, etc. Industry was not advanced in Romania before World War i. There were 625 industrial firms altogether, 19.5% of them owned by Jews. Jews were 5.3% of the officials and workers in these industrial enterprises. In several branches of industry there were Jewish factory owners: 52.8% of the glass industry; 32.4% of the wood and furniture industry; 32.4% of the clothing industry; 26.5% of the textile industry. Of the liberal professions only medicine was permitted to Jews. They constituted 38% of the total number of doctors. The occupational distribution of the Jews was as follows; agriculture, 2.5%; industry and crafts, 42.5%; trade and banking, 37.9%; liberal professions, 3.2%; various occupations, 13.7%.

There are no detailed statistics of the period between the two world wars. The provinces of Bessarabia, Transylvania, and Bukovina were annexed to Old Romania, increasing the Jewish population threefold. In every province their occupational structure was different as the result of historical development. In the two annexed provinces, Transylvania and Bukovina, the Jews had enjoyed civil rights from the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and were also represented in the liberal professions. On the other hand, their situation in Bessarabia in czarist times was worse than in Old Romania – a fact which also influenced their occupational structure. The few known figures refer to Greater Romania, with all the annexed territories. The only census taken in Bessarabia was in 1930, and according to those figures the occupational distribution of the Jewish population was as follows: industry and crafts, 24.8%; trade and banking, 51.5%; liberal professions, 2.9%; miscellaneous, 8.2%. It should be noted that Jewish bankers (such as the bank of "Marmorosh-Blank") invested money in the developing industry of Greater Romania. Some industrial enterprises, comprising several factories such as the sugar, metal, and textile works, etc., were owned by Jews. In the late 1930s, under the influence of Nazi Germany in Romania, the whole occupational structure of the Jews collapsed because of persecution on the economic level, which preceded political persecution and murder.

Cultural Life

Since most Romanian Jews were of Polish or Russian extraction, their religious and cultural traditions were similar to those of the Jews of Eastern Europe. Their rabbis and teachers, as well as their religious trends came from there. The spoken language of the Ashkenazi Jewish population was Yiddish; Judeo-Spanish was used by Sephardi Jews; Romanian became more widely used among them only in the second half of the 19th century, at the time when the first Romanian universities were established (Jassy in 1860 and Bucharest in 1864). In that period, too, the development of modern Romanian literature began. In 1857 Julius Barasch published the first newspaper in Romanian and French – Israelitul Român – whose function was to fight for equal civil rights for Romanian Jewry. In 1854 another two newspapers – Timpul (Di Tsayt; Bucharest) and Gazeta Româno-Evreească (Jassy) – appeared in Romanian and Yiddish, but all three papers ceased publication before the end of a year. Other such attempts met the same fate. Only in 1879 did the weekly Fraternitatea begin to appear, lasting until 1885, when it ceased publication upon the expulsion from Romania of its chief editors, Isaac Auerbach and Elias Schwarzfeld, for their stand against persecutions. This paper, which represented the assimilationist trend, was opposed to the incipient pre-Zionist movement which sponsored the establishment of the colonies of Zikhron Ya'akov and Rosh Pinnah in Ereẓ Israel. Then two papers in Romanian also appeared, supporting aliyah: Apărătorul, which was published in Bucharest from 1881 to 1884 with A.S. Gold as editor, and the weekly Stindardul, which was published in Focsani from 1882 to 1883. The Yiddish paper Ha-Yo'eẓ which appeared in Bucharest from 1874 to 1896 also supported aliyah. Eleazar Rokeah, an emissary from Erez Israel, published as special organs of the pre-Zionist movement the Hebrew paper Emek Yizre'el in Jassy (1882), and the Yiddish Di Hofnung in Piatra-Neamt (1882), and Der Emigrant in Galati (1882). Of the Jewish press in Romania the weekly Egalitatea, edited by Moses Schwarzfeld, survived for half a century. The weekly Curierul Israelit, edited by M. Schweig, began to appear in 1906 and continued up to 1948, becoming the mouthpiece of the Uniunea Evreilor Români (Union of Romanian Jews) after World War i. In the time of Herzl several Zionist papers appeared in Romania but did not last long. In 1913 the monthly Hatikva in Romanian was issued in Galati under the editorship of Leon Gold who gathered round him the outstanding Jewish authors in Romanian. Apart from original articles they also published translations of a high literary standard from modern Hebrew poetry and classical Yiddish literature. After World War i, from 1919 to 1923, there was published in Bucharest a daily newspaper in Romanian with a Zionist national tendency, Mântuirea, edited by A.L. Zissu, with Abraham Feller as chief editor. This paper stood for the idea of a Jewish political party and sharply attacked the tendencies of assimilationist circles. The weekly Renasterea Noastră (1923–42, 1944–48), edited by Samuel I. Stern, continued in this direction subsequently. The Zionist Federation published the weekly Ştiri din Lumea Evreească, edited by I. Ludo and later by Theoder Loewenstein. Between the two world wars the Zionist students' association published the monthly Hasmonaea. The number of Jewish journalists grew between the two wars, some of them even becoming chief editors of the great democratic papers. They included Constantin Graur, B. Branisteanu, Em. Fagure, G. Milian (Bucharest); A. Hefter (Jassy), and S. Schaferman-Pastoresu (Braila). After they had acquired a knowledge of Romanian, several Jewish scholars at the end of the 19th century became distinguished in the field of philology and folklore: Lazar Saineanu (Sainéan), compiler of the first practical dictionary of Romanian (1896); M. Gaster, who did research on early Romanian folklore; Hayman Tiktin, author of a scientific grammar of Romanian in two volumes (1893–94). This tradition continued down to later times. I.A. Candrea also compiled a Romanian dictionary (1931), as did J. Byk and Al. Graur after World War ii. A number of these scholars also devoted time to research on the history of Romanian Jewry. The pioneer in this field was J. Psantir, whose two Yiddish volumes contained Hebrew headings: Divrei ha-Yamim le-Arẓot Rumanye (Jassy, 1871) and Korot ha-Yehudim be-Rumanye (Lemberg, 1877). A society for research into the history of Romanian Jewry was established in 1886 and named for Julius Barasch. Among its active members were J. Psantir, M. Gaster, Lazar Saineanu, Isac David Bally, Elias Schwarzfeld, Moses Schwarzfeld, and others. In the three publications of their bulletin they published source material, memoirs, and bibliographical notes, as well as some combined research and monographs of Jewish communities. Although the society ceased activities after four years the scholars continued their researches. Part of their works appeared in the 19 volumes of the annual Anuarul pentru Israeliţi and in the weekly Egalitatea published by M. Schwarzfeld. Frequently, the articles are apologetic or polemic, their authors being interested in demonstrating the length of the Jewish presence in Romania as an element justifying Emancipation. Between the two world wars Meir A. Halevy published several monographs on the history of the Jews of Romania. The Templul Coral ("Choir Synagogue") then erected in Bucharest a museum, library, and archives for the history of Romanian Jewry. In some bulletins of these institutions and in the annual Sinai (1926–32), edited by Meir A. Halevy, there also appeared researches on the history of Romanian Jewry.

The Jewish theater also developed in Romania. The first Judeo-Spanish play written by Moshe Kofinu was presented in Giurgiu and published in Bucharest in 1862. The Yiddish theater was founded in Jassy in 1876, by Avrum Goldfaden, writer, producer and actor.

Holocaust Period

German penetration into the Romanian economy increased as the Nazis moved eastward with the Anschluss of Austria (1938), the annexation of Czechoslovakia (1939), and the occupation of western Poland at the outbreak of World War ii. A considerable number of Romanian politicians agreed to serve German interests in exchange for directorships in German-Romanian enterprises, and German trade agreements with Romania always demanded the removal of Jews in the branch involved. In this way, Jews were expelled from wood commerce and industry.

In the summer of 1940 Romania succumbed to German and Soviet pressure (after the Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty) and transferred Bessarabia and part of Bukovina to the Soviet Union. Following the Hitler-Mussolini agreement, in September 1940 northern Transylvania was transferred to Hungary, and southern Dobrudja to Bulgaria. On June 30, 1940, 52 Jews were murdered in Dorohoi by a retreating Romanian regiment. Hoping to ensure its borders after the concessions, Romania, which had not been invaded by the German army, became a satellite of Nazi Germany. The first result of this move was the cancellation of Romanian citizenship for Jews, a measure taken by the government, which included members of the Iron Guard, under German pressure in August 1940. On September 6, when King Carol abdicated, Ion Antonescu, who had been minister of defense in the Goga government, came to power. His government included ministers from the ranks of the Iron Guard, and Romania was declared a National-Legionary State (the members of the Iron Guard styled themselves "legionnaires"). There followed a period of antisemitic terrorism that lasted for five months. It began with the confiscation of Jewish-owned shops, together with the posting of signs "Jewish shop" and picketing by the green-shirted "legionary police." The reign of terror reached its height when Jewish industrial and commercial enterprises were handed over to the members of the "Legion" under pressure from the Iron Guard. The owners of the enterprises were arrested and tortured by the "legionary police" until they agreed to sign certificates of transfer. Bands of "legionnaires" entered Jewish homes and "confiscated" any sums of money they found. This resulted in a mortal blow to the Romanian economy and chaos that frightened even the German diplomats. Antonescu tried on several occasions to arrest the wave of terrorism, during which a number of Romanian statesmen opposed to the Iron Guard were killed.

On Jan. 21, 1941, the Iron Guard revolted against Antonescu and attempted to seize power and carry out its antisemitic

program in full. While part of the "Legion" was fighting the Romanian army for control of government offices and strategic points in the city, the rest carried out a pogrom on Bucharest Jews, aided by local hooligans. Jewish homes were looted, shops burned, and many synagogues desecrated, including two that were razed to the ground (the Great Sephardi Synagogue and the old bet ha-midrash). Some of the leaders of the Bucharest community were imprisoned in the community council building, worshipers were ejected from synagogues, the Palestine Office of the Zionist Organization was attacked and its director murdered, and wealthy Bucharest Jews were arrested, according to a previously prepared list. Those arrested were taken to centers of the Iron Guard movement: some were then taken into the forests near Bucharest and shot; others were murdered and their bodies hung on meat hooks in the municipal slaughterhouse, bearing the legend "kosher meat." The pogrom claimed at least 125 Jewish lives. There were no acts of violence in the provinces because the army was in firm control and fully supported Antonescu. This was also Hitler's reason for supporting Antonescu. Romania held an important role in the war contemplated against the Soviet Union, not only as a supply and jumping-off base, but as an active partner in the war.

A period of relative calm followed the Bucharest pogrom and permitted Romanian Jews to gather strength after the shock of the violence. Antonescu, however, was thereafter under constant German pressure, for when their revolt failed, members of the Iron Guard found refuge in Germany, where they constituted a permanent threat to his position, as he now lacked his own party to serve as a counterbalance. In January 1941 Manfred von Killinger, a veteran Nazi known for his antisemitic activities, was appointed German ambassador to Romania. In April he was joined by Gustav Richter, an adviser on Jewish affairs who was attached to Adolf Eichmann's department. Richter's special task was to bring Romanian anti-Jewish legislation into line with its counterpart in Germany.

During the War

On June 22, 1941, when war broke out with the Soviet Union, the Romanian and German armies were scattered along the banks of the Prut River in order to penetrate into Bukovina and Bessarabia. Romania, under the government of Marshal Antonescu, was an ally of Germany and fought with the Nazi army in the war against the Soviet Union. The declared purpose of Romania's involvement in the war was to retrieve the Romanian territories (Bukovina and Bessarabia). One week after the war started, on June 29 and 30, 1941, the large Jewish community in Jassy was shattered by a pogrom unprecedented in all of Europe. Over 14,000 Jews lost their lives during the massacres in the city, massacres initiated and supervised by the army and the local police. In addition, many perished in the subhuman conditions of the death trains that transported Jews who had been arrested.

The Jewish population of Bessarabia (approximately 200,000) and Bukovina (93,000) was considered hostile, foreign, and destined for "elimination" in the program of "cleansing the land" conceived by Antonescu. This intensely antisemitic propaganda campaign, conducted on all levels of the state hierarchy and especially in the army, portrayed this population – and, by extension, all Jews – as the embodiment of the "Bolshevik danger." The Jews in the reacquired territories were held responsible for mistreating, humiliating, and even killing many Romanian soldiers during the retreat in the summer of 1940.

A completely different fate, though no better, befell the Jews in Transylvania (approximately 200,000, including those in Banat). In northern Transylvania, under Hungarian rule, the Jews shared the fate of Hungary's Jews during the war, most of them being deported and exterminated at Auschwitz. Of the 200,000 Transylvanian Jews, 160,000 (mostly Orthodox) were in the northern part. Until close to the end of the war, the fate of the Jews in southern Transylvania, which was still part of Romania, was similar to that in the other Romanian regions – Moldavia and Wallachia, known as the Regat.

The armies' combined advance through Bessarabia, Bukovina, and the Dorohoi district was accompanied by massacres of the local Jewish population. At the beginning of August 1941 the Romanians began to send deportees from Bukovina and Bessarabia over the Dniester River into a German-occupied area of the U.S.S.R. (later to be known as Transnistria). The Germans refused to accept the deportees, shooting some and returning the rest. Some of these Jews drowned in the river and others were shot by the Romanian gendarmerie on the western bank; of the 25,000 persons who crossed the Dniester near Sampol, only 16,500 were returned by the Germans. Some of these survivors were killed by the Romanians, and some died of weakness and starvation on the way to camps in Bukovina and Bessarabia. Half of the 320,000 Jews living in Bessarabia, Bukovina, and the Dorohoi district (which was in Old Romania) were murdered during the first few months of Romania's involvement in the war, i.e., up to Sept. 1, 1941.

After this period the Jews were concentrated in ghettos (if they lived in cities), in special camps (if they lived in the countryside, or townlets such as Secureni, Yedintsy, Vertyuzhani, etc.). German killing squads or Romanian gendarmes, copying the Germans, habitually entered the ghettos and camps, removing Jews and murdering them. Jews living in villages and townlets in Old Romania (Moldavia, Wallachia, and southern Transylvania) were concentrated into the nearest large town. The Jews of northern Moldavia, which bordered on the battle area, were sent to the west of Romania: men under 60 were sent to the Targu-Jiu camp and the women, children, and aged were sent to towns where the local Jewish population was ordered to care for the deportees (who owned nothing more than the clothing on their backs). The homes and property of these deportees were looted by the local population immediately after they were deported.

On Sept. 16, 1941, those in camps in Bessarabia began to be deported to the region between the Dniester and the Bug rivers called Transnistria, from which the Germans had withdrawn, handing control over to the Romanians under the Tighina agreement (Aug. 30, 1941). The deportations included 118,847 Jews from Bessarabia, Bukovina, and the Dorohoi district. At the intervention of the Union of Jewish Communities in Romania, an order was given to stop the deportations on October 14; they continued however until November 15, leaving all the Jews of Bessarabia and Bukovina (with the exception of 20,000 from Chernovtsy) and 2,316 of the 14,847 Jews from the Dorohoi district concentrated in Transnistria. In two months of deportations 22,000 Jews died: some because they could walk no further, some from disease, but the majority were murdered by the gendarmerie that accompanied them on their journey. All money and valuables were confiscated by representatives of the Romanian National Bank. The Jews then remaining in Old Romania and in southern Transylvania were compelled into forced labor and were subjected to various special taxes. The prohibition against Jews working in certain professions and the "Rumanization of the economy" continued and caused the worsening of the economic situation of the Jewish population.

According to the statistical table on the potential victims of the "Final Solution" introduced at the Wannsee Conference, 342,000 Romanian Jews were destined for this end. The German embassy in Bucharest conducted an intensive propaganda campaign through its journal, Bukarester Tageblatt, which announced "an overall European solution to the Jewish problem" and the deportation of Jews from Romania. On July 22, 1942, Richter obtained Vice Premier Mihai Antonescu's agreement to begin the deportation of Jews to the Belzec extermination camp in September. From November 1942, however, it was obvious that the Romanian authorities were delaying this plan. Eventually they abandoned it entirely, owing to pressure both from Allied forces and the Romanian opposition, which was summoned especially by W. *Filderman, the most respected leader of the Romanian Jews. Pressure was also exerted by diplomats from neutral countries, as well as by the papal nuncio, Andreas Cassulo. Nevertheless, Eichmann's Bucharest office, working through the local authorities, succeeded in contriving the deportation of 7,000 Jews from Chernovtsy and Dorohoi and groups from other parts of Romania to Transnistria because they were "suspected of Communism" (they were of Bessarabian origin and had asked to return to the Soviet Union in 1940), had "broken forced-labor laws," etc.

At the beginning of December 1942 the Romanian government informed the Jewish leadership of a change in its policy toward Jews. Defeat at Stalingrad (where the Romanians had lost 18 divisions) was already anticipated. In 1942–43 the Romanian government began tentatively to consider signing a separate peace treaty with the Allies. Although a plan for large-scale emigration failed because of German opposition and lack of facilities, both small and large boats left Romania carrying "illegal" immigrants to Palestine, some of whom were refugees from Bukovina, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia. Between 1939 and August 1944 (when Romania withdrew from the war) 13 boats left Romania, carrying 13,000 refugees, and even this limited activity was about to cease, as a result of German pressure exerted through diplomatic missions in Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Two of the boats sank: the Struma (on Feb. 23, 1944 with 769 passengers) and the Mefkure (on Aug. 5, 1944 with 394 passengers).

Despite German efforts, the Romanian government refused to deport its Jews to the "east." At the beginning of 1943, however, there was a return to the traditional economic pressures against the Jews in order to reduce the Jewish population. This was achieved by forbidding Jews to work in the civilian economy and through the most severe measure of all, forced labor (from which the wealthy managed to obtain an exemption by paying a considerable sum). In addition, various taxes were imposed on the Jewish population in the form of cash, clothing, shoes, or hospital equipment. These measures, particularly the taxes to be remitted in cash – of which the largest was a levy of 4 billion lei (about $27,000,000) imposed in March 1943 – severely pressed Romanian Jewry. The tax collection was made by the "Jewish Center." W. Filderman, chairman of the Council of the Union of Jewish Communities, who opposed the tax and proved that it could never be paid, was deported to Transnistria for two months.

At the end of 1943, as the Red Army drew nearer to Romania, the local Jewish leadership succeeded in obtaining the gradual return of those deported to Transnistria. The Germans tried several times to stop the return and even succeeded in bringing about the arrest of the leadership of the clandestine Zionist pioneering movements in January and February 1944; however, these leaders were released through the intervention of the International Red Cross and the Swiss ambassador in Bucharest, who contended that they were indispensable for organizing the emigration of those returning from Transnistria and refugees who had found temporary shelter in Romania. In March 1944 contacts were made in Ankara between Ira Hirschmann, representative of the U.S. War Refugee Board, and the Romanian ambassador, A. Cretzianu, at which Hirschmann demanded the return of all those deported to Transnistria and the cessation of the persecution of Jews. At the time, the Red Army was defeating the Germans in Transnistria, and there was a danger that the retreating Germans might slaughter the remaining Jews. Salvation came at the last moment, when Antonescu warned the Germans to avoid killing Jews while retreating. Concurrently, negotiations over Romania's withdrawal from the war were being held in Cairo and Stockholm, and thus Antonescu was eager to show goodwill toward the Jews for the sake of his own future. In the spring Soviet forces also conquered part of Old Romania (Moldavia), and they made an all-out attack on August 20. On August 23 King Michael arrested Antonescu and his chief ministers and declared a cease-fire. The Germans could no longer control Romania, for they were dependent on the support of the Romanian army, which had been withdrawn. Eichmann, who had been sent to western Romania to organize the liquidation of Jews in the region, did not reach Romania.

The question of the number of Romanian Jews and of those in the territories under Romania's control who were murdered during the Holocaust is a complex issue, requiring more research. An International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania concluded in 2004 that between 280,000 and 380,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews were murdered or died during the Holocaust in Romania and the territories under its control. The Israeli historian Jean Ancel, author of essential studies on the topic, disagreed with this evaluation, and based on his extensive research, estimated that the number is considerably higher, at least 420,000 Jewish victims. These statistics of the Report include more than 45,000 Jews – probably closer to 60,000 – who were killed in Bessarabia and Bukovina by Romanian and German troops in 1941. At least 105,000 – other findings state as many as 120,000 – of the deported Romanian Jews died as a result of the expulsions to Transnistria. At least 130,000 indigenous Jews – or according to other statistics as many as 180,000 – were liquidated in Transnistria (especially in Odessa and the districts of Golta and Berezovka). Sometimes Romanian officials worked with German help, but more often they required no outside guidance. Nazi Germany was also responsible for killing Romanian Jews in Bessarabia, Bukovina, and mass killings in Ukraine and later in Transnistria. The Romanian authorities were accomplices in varying degrees to these murders. The documents do record numerous instances of Romanians – both civilian and military – rescuing Jews. But these initiatives were isolated cases, and in the final analysis were exceptions to the general rule. Of the 150,000 Jews of Northern Transylvania, 135,000 were killed in Nazi concentration camps after being deported by the Hungarian gendarmerie; no Romanian authority was involved in this operation.

Jewish Resistance

preparatory steps

As soon as Hitler assumed power in Germany (1933), Jewish leaders in Bucharest decided not to remain passive. In November the congress of the Jewish Party in Romania decided to join the anti-Nazi boycott movement, disregarding the protest raised by the Romanian press and antisemitic groups, but the Union of the Romanian Jews (uer) did not participate in the campaign. The necessity for a united political, as well as economic, struggle soon became obvious. On Jan. 29, 1936, the Central Council of Jews in Romania, composed of representatives of both Jewish trends – the uer and the Jewish Party – was established for "the defense of all Jewish rights and liberties against the organizations and newspapers that openly proclaimed the introduction of the racial regime." At the end of the year the Council succeeded in averting a bill proposed in the parliament by the antisemitic circles suggesting that citizenship be revoked from the Jews. During the same period the Romanian government attempted to suppress the state subvention for Jewish religious needs, as well as the exemption from taxes accorded to Jewish community institutions. The Council could not obtain the maintenance of the subvention, and it was finally reduced to one-sixth of its allotment.

When Goga's antisemitic government came to power, the Council began a struggle against it, gaining support and attention outside Romania. Filderman, president of the Council, left at once for Paris, where he mobilized the world Jewish organizations with headquarters in France and England and informed local political circles and the League of Nations of events in Romania. At the same time the Jews in Romania began an expanded economic boycott, refraining from commercial transactions, withdrawing their deposits from the banks, and delaying tax payments. The outcome was "large-scale paralysis of the economic life," as the German minister of foreign affairs stated in his circular of March 9, 1938. Thus the dismissal of the Goga government after only 40 days was motivated not only by external pressure, but by the effects of the Jewish economic boycott.

the union of the jewish communities

Following the downfall of the Goga government, King Carol's royal dictatorship abolished all the political parties in Romania, including the Jewish Party and the Union of Romanian Jews. The single body of the Jews in Romania was the Union of the Jewish Communities, whose board was composed of the leaders of both Jewish currents. The Union assumed the task of fighting against the increasing number of anti-Jewish measures promulgated by the Romanian authorities under pressure from local antisemitic circles and the German government. In some cases its interventions were successful; for example, it achieved the nullification of the prohibition against collecting contributions to Zionist funds, and, as a result of its protests, the restrictions against the Jewish physicians and the Jewish industrial schools were abrogated. In the summer of 1940, after Romania ceded Bukovina and Bessarabia to the Soviet Union, the Romanian police tried to eject Jewish refugees from those two provinces. The Union's board succeeded in moving the Ministry of the Interior to annul the measure. When the interdiction of ritual slaughter was decreed, the board obtained an authorization for ritual slaughtering of poultry. The cancellation of the prohibition against Jews peddling in certain cities was also achieved. When the antisemitic newspapers incited against the leaders of the Union, the police began to search their homes.

Ion Antonescu's government, with the participation of the Iron Guard, closed several synagogues (those with less than 400 worshipers in cities and 200 in villages) and transferred the property to Christian churches. The disposition was canceled after three days, however, as a result of an audience between the Union's president, Filderman, and Antonescu; simultaneously the minister of religion, who ordered the measure, was forced to resign. These acts took place during the first period of the new regime, dominated by the Iron Guard, when trespasses were committed against the Jews daily. The Union's board constantly informed Antonescu and the diverse ministries of these acts, pointing out their illegality and arbitrariness. The argument that constantly recurred in the memoranda presented by the Union's board was that the confiscation of Jewish shops and industrial companies caused the disorganization of the country's economic life. Antonescu used the information provided by the board to support his stand against the trespasses. The Iron Guard responded with a terror campaign against the Jewish leaders; some were arrested and tortured by the "legionary police," others were murdered during the revolt against Antonescu.

The Zionist leadership negotiated with Antonescu about organizing the emigration of Romanian Jews (see Zionism in Romania). The minister of finance proposed that the emigration be financed by Romanian assets, which had been frozen in the United States, because Romania had joined the Axis. The transaction had to be accomplished through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (jdc), whose representative in Romania was also the president of the Union. In every city the Jewish community had to register those who wanted to emigrate and were able to pay the amount demanded by the government. The Union's board utilized this agreement as a leverage for achieving certain concessions, especially after Romania joined Germany in the war against the Soviet Union (June 1941). For example, when the evacuation of Jews from villages and towns began, the Union secured the government's agreement not to send these Jews to concentration camps (as had previously been ordered), but rather to lodge them in the big cities, where they were to be cared for by the local Jewish communities. Another achievement (on Aug. 14, 1941) was the liberation of the rabbis, leaders of communities, and teachers employed in Jewish schools, who had been arrested after the outbreak of war with the U.S.S.R., from the Targu-Jiu concentration camp. The Union raised the argument that the plans concerning the release of the Romanian properties in the United States were dependent upon those local leaders. On Aug. 2, 1941, the board achieved the cancellation of the order that Jews wear the yellow badge and other measures, including the creation of ghettos in the cities and mobilizing women for forced labor, in which Jewish men were already engaged. Richter insisted on the reintroduction of repressive measures, and on September 3 the order to wear the yellow badge was re-endorsed. This time, in addition to intervention by the Union's leaders, Chief Rabbi Alexander Safran appealed to the head of the Christian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Nicodem, and on September 8 Antonescu annulled the order. Nevertheless, the yellow badge was maintained in a number of Moldavian cities, as well as in Chernovtsy (Cernauti), the capital of Bukovina, where the German influence was strong.

During this period, when Romania suffered great losses on the front and Germany called for an increase in Romanian participation, the Union's board employed the argument that Romania, being an ally of the Third Reich, and thus a sovereign state, did not have to accept anti-Jewish laws that were applied only to German satellite countries. Hungary and Italy, allies that did not apply such measures at that time, were presented as examples. It is known from von Killinger's reports that Antonescu raised these objections in his dealings with the Nazi government.

After Jews began to be deported from Bessarabia and Bukovina to Transnistria, the board delegated Chief Rabbi Safran to intervene with the queen mother, Patriarch Nicodem, and the archbishop of Bukovina and induce them to intercede with Antonescu to halt the deportations and permit aid to those who had already been transported over the Dniester. Until a decision could be achieved through their intervention, and against the opposition of von Killinger, the 17,000 Jews who remained in Chernovtsy were not deported. However, the steps taken, with permission to provide assistance to those who had already been deported to Transnistria were sabotaged by difficulties raised by lower authorities. The Union also endeavored to gain the support of the U.S. ambassador, who interceded with the Romanian government. Nevertheless, when the ambassadors of Brazil, Switzerland, and Portugal proposed to the U.S. ambassador the initiation of an international protest against the Romanian anti-Jewish excesses, the latter reported to Washington that he did not possess enough exact information. Later on, however, in another report (Nov. 4, 1941), he described in detail the massacres committed in Bessarabia and in Bukovina and the cruelties that were committed during the deportations to Transnistria. The description was based on the information received from the Union. (It was only at the end of 1941 that Romania broke off relations with the United States, under German pressure.) The antisemitic press – financed and inspired by the German embassy – including the German-language Bukarester Tageblatt, then intensified the incitement against the Jewish leaders and their constant interventions against anti-Jewish measures.

At the end of 1941 the Union of the Communities was dissolved under pressure from Richter, and the Centrala evreilor (Central Board of the Jews) was set up at his suggestion in January 1942. Its leaders were appointed by Radu Lecca, who was responsible for Jewish affairs in the Romanian government, but they were actually subordinate to Richter. Nearly all of the new leaders were unknown to the Jewish public, with the exception of A. Willman, who shortly before his appointment had published a number of pamphlets proposing a kind of neo-territorialist plan to be accomplished with the aid of Nazi Germany. From the outset, the Jewish population expressed its distrust of the new organ. The former leaders of the Jewish institutions formed a clandestine Jewish Council with Chief Rabbi Alexander Safran as its president. The Council leaders handed memoranda personally to, or interceded individually with, Antonescu or his ministers, who went on to deal with them because the government did not trust the Central Board either.

In the spring of 1942 changes were made in the framework of the Central Board. Willman and some of his followers were removed and replaced by others appointed from among the leadership of the Zionist movement and the Union of the Romanian Jews (uer). Thus the Central Board was prevented from taking any harmful initiatives against the Jewish population. In the summer the Zionist Organization was dissolved at the request of the Germans, and this was a sign that the Germans disagreed with the Romanian policy, which aided Jewish emigration. In order to avoid the Nazi plan of deportation to Belzec, the queen mother was convinced by Safran to intercede with Ion Antonescu. Others were also requested to intercede on behalf of the Jews, such as the papal nuncio, Andreas Cassulo; the Swiss ambassador, René de Weck; and even Antonescu's personal physician. The nuncio's efforts were supported by the Swedish and Turkish ambassadors, and by the delegates of the International Red Cross. At the same time the Jewish Council achieved the annulment of the order to deport to Transnistria 12,000 Jews accused of having committed crimes or breaches of discipline.

the struggle to repatriate deported jews

After overcoming the danger of deportation to the extermination camps in Poland, the Jewish leaders began to request the return of those who had survived the deportations to Transnistria. The dealings with the Romanian government began in November 1942 over the question of a ransom to be paid by Zionist groups outside Romania. Eichmann's unceasing interventions prevented a clear-cut decision until, on April 23, Antonescu – under German pressure – issued the order that not a single deportee should return. The Jewish leaders then initiated the struggle for a "step by step" resolution to the problem, asserting that a series of categories had been deported arbitrarily, without previous investigation. The Romanian government ordered a detailed registration of categories. At the beginning of 1943 an official commission was appointed to classify the deportees. In July Antonescu authorized the return of certain cases (aged persons, widows, World War i invalids, former officers of the Romanian army, etc.). Implementation of the order, however, encountered difficulties raised by the governor of Transnistria, who was under the influence of German advisers. Only at the beginning of December did the deportees begin to return, according to categories: yet it was a struggle against time, as meanwhile the front had reached Transnistria.

From the beginning of 1944 the clandestine Zionist Executive dealt separately with Antonescu on the question of emigration. Its efforts had an influence on the general situation, as the Romanian authorities made the return of the deportees conditional upon their immediate emigration.

the committee of assistance

Whole strata of Romanian Jewry were pauperized because of the anti-Jewish economic measures. The former committee of the jdc continued its activity clandestinely under the control of the Union of the Jewish Communities and afterward of the Jewish Council. In October 1943 it was officially recognized within the framework of the "Jewish Central Board" as the Autonomous Committee of Assistance. Assistance was thus provided to the Jews evacuated from towns and villages who could not be maintained by the local communities. The most important accomplishment, however, was the aid in the form of money, medicines, utensils for craftsmen, coal, oil heaters, window glass, clothing, etc. transmitted to Transnistria. In order to cover the budget, money and clothing were collected in the regions not affected by deportations. These means, however, were far from adequate. Only owing to the important amounts acquired from the jdc, the Jewish Agency, and other world Jewish organizations was the Autonomous Committee of Assistance able to continue its activity.

In addition to all the official difficulties raised by the Romanian central authorities (the compulsory transfer of money through the National Bank at an unfavorable exchange rate, and the obligation of paying customs for the objects sent), the transports were frequently plundered on the way or confiscated by the local authorities in Transnistria. The assistance, however, was in itself an element of resistance. The mere fact that the deportees knew that they had not been abandoned, at least by their fellow Jews, contributed to the maintenance of their morale. The aid in its various forms saved thousands of lives. Through clandestine correspondence, carried by non-Jewish messengers, reports were received concerning the situation of the refugees. This means of providing information was insufficient, however, and the Autonomous Committee of Assistance therefore wanted to review the situation directly on the spot.

As early as January 1942 authorization was obtained from the Ministry of the Interior for a delegation of the committee to go to Transnistria; nevertheless, due to the opposition of the governor of Transnistria, the representatives could not get there until Dec. 31, 1942. The governor received them in audience at Odessa and tried to intimidate them by means of threat, telling them that their behavior would determine whether or not they would return to Romania. He gave them permission to visit only three of the camps in which deported Jews were concentrated. The delegates of the committee responded by requesting a regional conference with representatives of all the camps. During the railway journey to Mogilev, the delegates visited the Zhmerinka camp and received information about the surrounding camps. Upon their arrival at Mogilev (Jan. 8–9, 1943), a regional conference took place with the participation of about 70 delegates. Before the conference opened, the prefect and the commander of the gendarmes warned the delegates not to complain about their situation, adding the threat that complaints might endanger the further receipt of aid. However, the delegates clandestinely submitted a written report concerning the real situation to the representatives of the committee. From Mogilev the delegation left for Balta, where it did not receive a license for a regional conference, but each delegate from the ghettos or camps of the area was authorized to report individually about the situation. Back in Bucharest, after this two-week tour in Transnistria, the delegates presented their report, which was also sent to Jewish organizations abroad.

In December 1943 representatives of the Autonomous Committee of Assistance again left for Transnistria to organize the return of the deportees, taking with them wagons of clothing. One group of representatives left for the north, to Mogilev and its surroundings; another for the south, to Tiraspol. The central administration of Transnistria did not display any goodwill, but the local authorities provided wagons for the transport. On Feb. 15, 1944, two delegations started out to aid the return of the orphans. On March 17, 1944, another two delegations set out for Transnistria, but they could not reach their destination as the area had already become a front area, the northern part occupied by the Red Army.

The delegates installed themselves in Tighina (Bessarabia), whence they made contact with Tiraspol on the eastern bank of the Dniester River and succeeded in saving almost all those concentrated there. The Germans still had the time to organize a last massacre, murdering 1,000 Jews who were in detention in the Tiraspol jail. When Transnistria and Bessarabia were reconquered by the Soviets, the deportees who followed the armies were the last to succeed in returning to Romania, for afterward, at the end of June 1944, the Soviets closed the frontier. It was reopened only in May 1945 for a last group of 7,000 deportees, after prolonged dealings in Bucharest between the Jewish leaders and General Vinogradov, the head of the Soviet armistice commission.

[Theodor Lavi /

Lucian-Zeev Herscovici and

Leon Volovici (2nd ed.)]

The Early Post-Holocaust Years

When Romania broke with Nazi Germany and entered the war on the side of the Allies (Aug. 23, 1944), Romanian Jewry had been considerably decreased as a result of the Holocaust and it was about to decrease even further through emigration. The struggle for Jewish independence in Palestine influenced Romanian Jews, and the goal of aliyah, which had been deep-seated in the community in the past, became a powerful force. The decisive factor in the life of Romanian Jews after World War ii, however, was the political regime in Romania, which exercised its authority over the community life of Romanian Jewry, determined the structure of its organization, and limited its aspirations. Government control was prevalent during the first period – from Aug. 23, 1944, until the abolition of the monarchy (Dec. 30, 1947) – and even more so in succeeding periods, through all the internal changes that altered the regime in Romania.

The Communist Period

For a few years after the abolition of the monarchy, Romania closely followed the line dictated from Moscow. This situation continued until the end of the 1950s, when the first signs of an independent Romanian policy began to appear. Until 1965 the pattern of this policy gradually solidified, and from then, with the personal changes after the death of the general secretary Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Romania entered with a more independent policy. All the changes in government and policy also left their on Jewish community life. The situation of Romanian Jewry always had a special character. Even in the days of complete dependence on Moscow, when the tools and institutions of national Jewish identity were destroyed and expression of Jewish aspirations was repressed, Romanian Jewry was not compelled to be as alienated from its national and religious identity as were the Jews of the Soviet Union. At the end of the 1960s the Jewish community in Romania found itself in an intermediate position. Its activities displayed indications of free community life as well as the limitations imposed by the government. Variations in the government's policy also reflected the connection between the status of Romanian Jewry and the official attitude of Romania toward Israel. This mutual influence was expressed in all the areas of Jewish life and especially through the central issue of the right to leave the country and settle in Israel.

population

The characterizing factor of the demography of Romanian Jewry during this period was the constant decrease in the community's size. The only source on the size of the Romanian Jewish community at the end of World War ii is a registration (the results of which were published in 1947) that was carried out on the initiative of the World Jewish Congress. According to the registration, there were 428,312 Jews in Romania at the time. This number was the balance after the losses caused by the Holocaust, the annexation of Bessarabia and North Bukovina by the U.S.S.R., and the migration to Palestine during the war. The professional composition of the community at that time (1945) was as follows: 49,000 artisans, 35,000 employees, 34,000 merchants and industrialists, and 9,500 in the free professions. Ten years later the Jewish population had been reduced to about a third. According to the census taken on Feb. 21, 1956, there were 144,236 Jews in Romania, of whom 34,263 spoke Yiddish. But these figures are probably lower than the true numbers, as it is known that in the above-mentioned census members of minority groups were not allowed to identify freely with their national group. The drastic reduction in the size of the Romanian Jewish community was largely a result of mass emigration, especially during the years 1944–47. The means of emigration were dictated by the conditions of the war and its aftermath. At the end of the war thousands of Jews, terrified by the Holocaust, fled Romania through its western border, which was still open, and reached the West by their own means. In addition to this spontaneous migration, 14 refugee boats left Romanian ports carrying 24,000 "illegal" immigrants to Palestine. A portion of Romanian Jewry, including thousands who left Romania of their own volition immediately after the war, was also among those who boarded refugee boats to Palestine in other European ports. From the establishment of the State of Israel (1948) until the end of the 1960s, over 200,000 Romanian Jews settled in the new state. In addition, it should be noted that not all the Jews who emigrated from Romania went to Israel; about 80,000 others were scattered throughout other countries. At the end of the 1960s the Romanian Jewish community numbered no more than 100,000.

the liquidation of jewish organizations

On Aug. 23, 1944, when Romania joined the Allies, the Zionist movement came up from underground to operate legally and openly through all its currents and institutions. The same was true of the Jewish Party, which was reorganized as the representative body of Romanian Jewry and headed by the Zionist leader A.L. Zissu. In 1945 an extension of the Communist Party was established among the Jewish population under the name the Jewish Democratic Committee (Comitetul Democrat Evreesc). For about four years the Zionist movement maintained regular activities in the fields of organization, education, training farms, and Zionist funds, as well as through international ties. In 1948 there were 100,000 members in the movement and 4,000 in He-Halutz, with 95 branches and 12 training farms. The Zionist Organization in Romania participated in the world Zionist Congress in Basle in 1946. A general representation of Romanian Jewry (including delegates from the Jewish Democratic Committee) was present at the Montreux conference (1948) of the World Jewish Congress. These were the last regular contacts of Romanian Jewry with Jewish organizations abroad; afterward the ties were severed for an extended period.

The more the Communist Party strengthened its power, the more Zionist activity in Romania turned from "permitted" to "tolerated," until it was finally outlawed completely. The instrument of this process was the Jewish Democratic Committee, which never succeeded in striking roots among the Jewish population, in spite of the support it received from the authorities. The cue to abolish Zionist activities was given in the decision of the central committee of the Communist Party on June 10–11, 1948, in the midst of Israel's War of Independence. The decision stated that "the party must take a standon every question concerning the Jews of Romania and fight vigorously against reactionary nationalist Jewish currents." As early as the summer of 1948 the liquidation of Zionist training farms was begun, and the process was completed in the spring of 1949. In November 1948 the activities of the Zionist funds were forbidden. On Nov. 29, 1948, a violent attack on the branch of the Zionist Organization in Bucharest was organized by the Jewish Communists. On Dec. 12, 1948, the party decision was again publicized, including a clear denunciation of Zionism, "which, in all its manifestations, is a reactionary nationalist movement of the Jewish bourgeoisie, supported by American imperialism, that attempts to isolate the masses of Jewish workers from the people among whom they live." This statement was published in the wake of a bitter press campaign against Zionism during November and December 1948.

The persecution of the Zionist movement was also expressed by the imprisonment of sheliḥim from Ereẓ Israel. On Dec. 23, 1948, a general consultation of Zionists was held and resulted in the decision to dissolve "voluntarily" the Zionist organizations. Following this decision, the Zionist parties began to halt their activities, with the exception of Mapam, the youth movements, and He-Halutz. The World Jewish Congress also ceased to operate in Romania. Those organizations that did not close down at the time continued to operate formally until the spring of the following year. On March 3, 1949, however, the Ministry of Interior issued an order to liquidate all remnants of the Zionist movement, including youth movements and training farms. With this order the Jewish community in Romania was given over completely to the dominance of the government alone – at first by means of the Jewish Democratic Committee, until it too was gradually dissolved. In April 1949 the youth movement of the Jewish Democratic Committee was disbanded just as the Communist Party Youth (utm) was organized, and the committee itself was disbanded in March 1953, together with all other national minorities' organizations in Romania. In 1949–50 the activity of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Romania was discontinued by order of the government. The hostile attitude toward the Zionist movement was also expressed in Romania's attitude toward Israel, which gradually hardened and led to the frequent imprisonment of previously active Zionists. The periods of time when emigration was ceased (April 1952 until 1956) were led by violent anti-Zionist campaigns. Zionist organizations were banned as of 1949. Yet the new Communist regime brought about a radical change: a significant number of Jews became prominent in the political and administrative hierarchy of the new regime, among them the long-time Communist militant Ana *Pauker.

There were ups and downs, however, especially in the area of propaganda, until the situation in general began to improve at the beginning of 1967.

community life

With the liquidation of the Zionist Movement and the dissolution of the Jewish Democratic Committee, the religious communities (kehillot) were the only organized bodies left in Romanian Jewry. The legal foundations for their activities were laid down even before other Jewish frameworks were destroyed. In 1945 the "Regulations on Nationalities" were passed and declared the formal equality of members of all national minority groups before the law. Regulations of the activities of the recognized religions, including Judaism, were set down in the Aug. 4, 1948, order of the presidium of the Grand National Assembly (which also served as the presidency of the state). The regulations of the Federation of Communities of the Mosaic Religion, which were approved by the Assembly's presidium on June 1, 1949, were based upon this order. Dr. Moshe Rosen became chief rabbi in 1948. He was instrumental in organizing massive Jewish emigration from Romania as well as in establishing a satisfactory community life even within the Communist regime and the threat of fast diminution of Jewish communities.

The Federation's scope of activity was limited to the area of religious worship alone. In the first years of the Communist regime and its complete dependence upon Moscow, Jewish Communists infiltrated into the Federation, but afterward their participation in Jewish religious bodies decreased, although it did not cease altogether. The Federation of Communities was responsible for maintaining synagogues and cemeteries and supplying religious objects, unleavened bread for Passover, kosher food, and the like. It was not authorized to deal in matters of Jewish education, however, although it did have the right (according to a decision of the department of religions on Nov. 13, 1948) to set up seminaries for training rabbis, and for a few years it maintained a yeshivah in Arad (Transylvania). According to the registration of 1960, there were 153 communities throughout Romania that maintained 841 synagogues and battei midrash (56 of which were no longer in use), 67 ritual baths, 86 slaughterhouses, and one factory for unleavened bread (in Cluj). From 1956 the Federation also published a tri-language biweekly (in Romanian, Yiddish, and Hebrew) entitled Revista Cultului Mozaic din R.P.R. ("Journal of (Romanian) Religious Jewry"). From 1964 the chief rabbi Rosen officiated as the chairman of the Federation and was also a member of the National Assembly. Thus the Federation became the general Jewish representative in the country.

education

With the renewal of Jewish life after the war, Jewish education also began to operate again. In 1946 the total number of Jewish schools was 190 with 41,000 students. In 1948 five yeshivot, 50 talmud torah schools, 10 Bet Jacob schools, one elementary school of Tarbut, five dormitories for students, 14 dormitories for apprentices, the agricultural training institute (Cultura AgricolD), three vocational schools in Bucharest, and three vocational schools in provincial cities (Huṣi, Sibiu, Radauti) were supported by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. A substantial number of educational institutions were maintained by the various Jewish communities without outside support. The network of Jewish education was destroyed in the autumn of 1948, when all schools in Romania were nationalized. At that time a small number of schools in which the language of instruction was Yiddish were established (in Bucharest and in Jassy) and remained open until the 1960/61 school year. After the nationalization Jewish education remained in the hands of melammedim, whose activities were tolerated by the authorities. In 1960 there were 54 talmud torah schools, in addition to the yeshivah that was established in Arad in 1956. By the end of the 1960s the number of educational institutions had very considerably decreased.

culture

At the beginning of the period under discussion, the language of Jewish writers and poets, including those who wrote about Jewish subjects, was Romanian. During the first years after World War ii the Jewish press was fairly large. The most important newspaper was Mântuirea, which began to reappear after Romania joined the Allies and continued to be published until the Zionist movement ceased to exist. In 1945 the press of the pro-Communist "Jewish Democratic Committee" began to appear, and its major newspaper was Unirea, in Bucharest, which lasted until 1953. As long as Zionist activity was permitted, the Zionist publishing house Bikkurim and the He-Halutz publishing house, as well as the Yavneh Company for the distribution of books on Jewish history and Hebrew literature, continued to operate. In Jewish contributions to Romanian literature, art, and music, the influence of the memories of the Jewish milieu was sometimes felt. The writers and poets A. Toma, Maria Banus, Veronica Porumbacu, Barbu Lazareanu, and others belonged to this group. Among the writers who wrote in Yiddish were Jacob Groper, Alfred Margul Sperber, and Ludovic Brukstein. The most outstanding Jewish artists were Josif Iser, M.H. Maxy, and Jules Perachim. Well-known Jewish musicians were Matei Socor, Alfred Mendelsohn, and Max Eisikovits. The only Jewish cultural institution was the Jewish theater in Bucharest. It was established as a state institution in 1948. The Jewish theater in Jassy, which was established at the same time, closed down in 1968. During the 20 years of its existence, the theater produced 107 plays including works by A. Goldfaden, Shalom Aleichem, Yiddish playwrights, and others. In 1968 the Bucharest Jewish theater performed on tour in Israel.

Israel-Romania Relations to the End of the 1960s

In September 1948 the first Israel representative to Romania, the painter Reuven Rubin, arrived in Bucharest, but neither he nor his successors succeeded in substantially developing the relations between the two countries for a number of years. Until 1965 the relations were regular but cool, especially because of the attitude of the Soviet Union toward Israel, which was strictly followed by Romanian foreign policy. Every so often the relations between the two countries were shaken by crises that were felt on the level of diplomatic representation (the extended absence of a minister at the head of the mission) or were expressed by the expulsion of Israel diplomats. Cultural ties were not developed during the period, and trade also remained static at a modest level (in the climax year, the mutual trade balance between Israel and Romania reached $4.5 million). These relations improved considerably, however, as Romania grew more independent of the U.S.S.R. in international affairs. From February 1966 a Romanian minister again headed the Romanian mission in Israel. In March 1967 a high-level Romanian economic delegation visited Israel for the first time, and afterward an Israel economic delegation, headed by the finance minister, went to Bucharest; full trade agreements were signed. In 1968 the trade balance between the two countries reached $20,000,000, and subsequently trade increased. Cultural relations also expanded (Israeli musicians, choirs, etc. visited Romania and the countries exchanged art exhibitions), as did tourism from each country to the other. The Six-Day War (1967) served as a decisive test in the relations between Israel and Romania. On June 10, 1967, a consultation of all East European nations, including Yugoslavia, was held in Moscow and resulted in a denunciation of Israel's "aggression." The participating states also decided to sever diplomatic relations with the State of Israel. Romania, however, refused to sign the denunciation and also refused to carry out the conference's decisions. She did not sever diplomatic relations with Israel and refrained from taking part in the anti-Israel Soviet propaganda campaign. Romania repeatedly expressed her stand that the Arab-Israel dispute must be settled by political means, taking into consideration the just rights of both sides. In August 1969 Romania and Israel elevated their diplomatic missions to the rank of embassies.

[Eliezer Palmor]

Contemporary Period

The official census published in June 1977 gave the Jewish population as only 25,600; despite the fact that according to the statistics given by the Federation of Jewish Communities, which based itself on a registry of those in need of the community's services, the number was approximately 45,000, and its files did not include those Jews who had no connection with the communities. If these Jews are included, it would bring the total Jewish population to approximately 70,000. The Jewish community of Romania is an aging one; 25.51% of all Jews in Romania belong to the age category 41–60 and 46.2% to the age category 60–80. The majority of the Jews of Romania are professionals.

The institutions of the community, both local and central, have continued to function. The Federation of Jewish Communities, on which all the communities throughout Romania are represented, was recognized by the authorities and headed by Chief Rabbi Dr. Moshe Rosen who was a member of the Romanian Parliament.

Romania continued to be until the late 1980s the only country within the Soviet sphere of influence whose Jewish community maintained contact with international Jewish organizations and with communities outside Romania; close ties existed with the World Jewish Congress, the Joint Distribution Committee and others, as well as with Jewish communities throughout the world. Representatives of Romanian Jewry participated in the conference of the European branch of the World Jewish Congress which took place in Madrid (Dec. 4–6, 1976), and a delegation of the Federation of Communities, headed by Rabbi Rosen, participated in the Synagogue Federation Conference held in Jerusalem in February 1978. The Jewish State Theater in Bucharest continued to produce plays in Yiddish despite the dwindling of the potential audience. Several books in Yiddish have also been published.

In an earthquake which struck Bucharest on May 4, 1977, the Choral Temple and Malbim synagogue were damaged. During his official visit to Romania on Aug. 1, 1977 (see below), Prime Minister Menahem Begin participated in the Sabbath services in the Choral Temple and addressed the large congregation.

religion and culture

Synagogues throughout the country (about 150) continued to function. In addition to the chief rabbi, there were two other rabbis, Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Marilus in Bucharest and Dr. Ernest Neumann in Timisoara. Kosher meat was provided by ritual slaughterers who visited the various communities weekly.

In the latter part of December 1977 the Museum for the History of the Jews in Romania was opened in Bucharest, along with a center for documentation and research. In the same year the centenary of the founding of the Jewish theater in Romania was celebrated by a gala performance at which Tevye der Milchiger by Shalom Aleichem, The Dybbuk by Anski, and Lessing's Nathan the Wise were presented. A history of the Yiddish theater in Romania by Israil Bercovici was published in Yiddish and in Romanian (1976, 1981).

In September 1981 Romania was the site of the convention of the European Rabbinical Conference, the first time a major Jewish gathering had been held in an East European country since World War ii. The chief rabbis of England, France, Italy, and Holland were among the participants. The 25th anniversary of the publication of Revista Cultului Mozaic was celebrated in September 1981. The state publishing house has published a bibliographical work on the Jewish press in Romania, Yiddishe Presse in Rumenye by Wolf Vladimir Tamburu. An annual in Yiddish, Bukarester Shriftn, including Yiddish literature and studies on the history of Romanian Jews, was published between 1978 and 1988.

Research in the history of the Jews of Romania has been undertaken by a group of Jewish historians. Their activities center on the Federation of Communities' biweekly and deal especially with the role of the Jews in Romanian history. They also conduct research in municipal archives and the Jewish archives of the Federation. Several significant historical papers and collections of documents were published, edited by experienced historians (Itzik Şvarţ-Kara, Lya Benjamin, Victor Eskenasy).

relations with israel

Political relations between Israel and Romania were strengthened with statesmen exchanging visits, and particularly visits by Israelis. Romania consistently campaigned for a political settlement of the Near East conflict, for the implementation of the November 1967 Security Council resolution, and for a solution that will guarantee the territorial integrity and independence of all states in the region and lead to the withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied after the Six-Day War. Romania also underscored the need to solve the problem of the Palestinian Arabs in conformity with their national interests. The fact that the Romanian government adopted a policy quite different from that of the U.S.S.R. and the other East European governments and did not brand Israel as an "aggressor" permitted Romania and Israel to maintain normal relations.

In August 1977 Prime Minister Begin paid an official visit to Romania. He held wide-ranging talks with his counterpart Manea Manescu, with Foreign Minister Macovescu, and held two lengthy political talks with the President of Romania, Nicolae Ceausescu. The Begin-Ceausescu meeting played an important role in the decision of the president of Egypt to visit Jerusalem in November 1977, and Romania was the only East European country which expressed open support for the Israeli-Egyptian peace initiative. Two unscheduled meetings were held between the Romanian President and Moshe Dayan, Israeli foreign minister, in April 1978. Economic and trade agreements and an agreement for technical and agricultural cooperation was signed by both countries. The latter agreement, which was renewed in February 1977, is designed particularly to train experts in various agriculture-related fields or to supplement their knowledge. In 1980 Israeli exports to Romania amounted to $35 million, while Israel imported from Romania goods worth $48.5 million.

Post-Communist Period

The central development in Romanian life and especially in the life of the ever-dwindling Jewish community was the overthrow of the Communist regime and the attempts at introducing democracy into the country along Western lines. The change of rule did not bring in its wake any real changes in the life of the few Jews left in the country. Until his death in May 1994, the dominating figure in Jewish life continued to be Chief Rabbi Moses Rosen. The remnants of the Romanian Jewish community welcomed the overthrow of Ceausescu and the community journal published a special issue expressing joy at the change.

In the new spirit of freedom Rabbi Rosen was the object of personal attacks by antisemitic groups, which accused him of close cooperation with the communist regime. Two antisemitic newspapers waged this campaign, which the chief rabbi saw as an attack on the entire community. Romania Mare ("Great Romania") and Europa, weeklies publishing virulent antisemitic material, aimed their barbs personally at Rabbi Rosen. In order to quash the harsh complaints about active antisemitism, President Ion Iliescu invested effort, internally and externally, to placate Chief Rabbi Rosen. In 1993 he took the rabbi with him to the opening of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, dc, and before that participated in a memorial service for Holocaust victims held in the Bucharest Choral Synagogue, where Iliescu spoke and condemned antisemitism.

Upon the immigration to Israel of Rabbi Pinhas Wasserman of Dorohoi (1989), the home for the aged and the kasher restaurant there were closed. Otherwise, all the institutions, restaurants, and homes for the aged were still in operation – 10 restaurants and four homes (two in Bucharest, and two smaller ones in Arad and Timisoara). Needy Jews receive packages of food and clothing. All this activity is financed by the jdc, fighting a rearguard action to maintain the few remaining Romanian Jews. The situation of the elderly has worsened considerably as their pension's value has eroded to nothing because of inflation, and without the Joint's help they would be starving.

Despite the declining number of Jews, the communities run smoothly and without assistance from the Federation, whose central place has been taken under the prevailing circumstances by the Joint. In addition to the Bucharest community, there are organized communities in the Transylvania region, in Cluj, Oradea, Arad, Timisoara. and in eastern Romania in Piatre-Neamt, Botosani, Jassy, Braila, Galati, Constanta, Ploesti, Brasov, Sighet, Satu-Mare, and a number of small communities. 10 kasher canteens were still operated by the communities and kasher meat was provided by three ritual slaughterers.

Romania lost its special status regarding relations with Israel, since it was no longer the only Eastern bloc country to have diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. Relations continued to be normal and friendly, with efforts at increasing bilateral trade. From the late 1990s Jewish life throughout Romania continued to revolve around the synagogues and the kasher restaurants, operated by the Federation of Romanian Jewish Communities and funded by the Joint Distribution Committee.

Since the establishment of the State of Israel some 300,000 Romanian Jews have emigrated there. The more the number of Jews in Romania shrinks, the more difficult it is to obtain reliable current Jewish population figures. The Federation of Communities, whose numbers are used by the Joint, estimate that there is a total of 15,000 Jews, 8,000 of whom are in Bucharest, the capital. Timisoara (in Transylvania) and Jassy each has a community of some 900 people; all the others are scattered among a Romanian populace of 22 million people. The official 1992 government yearbook, citing statistical data from a kind of census, states that there are 9,000 Jews. It may be that not all Jews were counted or admitted to being Jewish, particularly those in mixed marriages. Even though the total number of Jews is small, emigration to Israel continues.

The death of Rabbi Moses Rosen in May 1994 significantly affected the remaining Jews of Romania. The passing at age 83 of the man who for over 40 years had served as chief rabbi and head of the federation of Romanian Jewish communities signified the end of an era which included the collapse of the Communist regime in the country.

The feeling of stagnation which followed the death of the Rabbi Rosen prompted the representatives in Romania of the ajdc, which essentially administers to Jewish life there, to find a new chief rabbi quickly. Among the five candidates, all from Israel, they chose in May 1995 the Romanian-born professor Yehezkel Marek, a lecturer in literature at Bar-Ilan University. After his return to Israel in 1999, Menahem Hacohen became chief rabbi.

Rabbi Rosen's death also put an end to the concentrated centrality of the Federation of communities and allowed for greater freedom to the individual communities. The Federation was no longer headed by the rabbi but by Prof. Nicolae Cajal, a well-known scholar and member of Romanian Academy. After his death in 2004, Dr. Aurel Veiner, an economist, was elected as president of the community.

The community biweekly was revamped and changed its names to Realitatea evreiască ("Jewish Reality"). Yiddish is no longer used, and the paper now appears in Romanian, English, and one page in Hebrew, for a total of 12 pages presenting information on the Jewish world with emphasis on Jewish culture and many quotations from Israeli newspapers translated into Romanian. The editor is Dorel Dorian, while the veteran editor, Chaim Riemer, who immigrated to Israel some years ago and then returned to Romania as an emissary of the Joint, was appointed "Honorary Director" and writes the Hebrew page. The Hasefer publishing house, sponsored by the Jewish Federation, is dedicated to topics connected to Judaism, Jewish culture and history, as well as to the study of the Holocaust.

In recent years antisemitism in Romania has been on a back burner, mainly in intellectual circles and, with few exceptions, is not accompanied by violent acts. Its most prominent spokesman was Corneliu Vadim Tudor, editor of the weekly Romania Mare. Especially during the 1990s, the journal and the political party of the same name incited against the Jews, against Israel, and also against the democratic forces in post-Ceausescu Romania. The Romanian president Ion Iliescu worked to block any rising antisemitism, especially when considering America's decision regarding the granting of economic concessions as a most favored nation. The Jewish community's attitude, as expressed by Cajal, differs from that held in the past by Rabbi Rosen. Cajal did not declare a general, vocal war on antisemitism, but focuses on providing information to convince the Romanians of the great contribution the Jews made to the Romanian people and to the country. The main important universities (Bucharest, Cluj, Iaşi, Craiova) set up special departments and centers for the study of Judaism, Jewish history, and for teaching Hebrew. However, public discourse was constantly fed by numerous antisemitic publications, which placed a special emphasis on denying crimes committed by the Antonescu regime against the Jewish population. An international commission of historians to study the Holocaust in Romania was set up in 2003 and chaired by Elie Wiesel. The conclusions of the Report issued by the commission were accepted by President Ion Iliescu as well as by his successor, Traian Băsescu. A National Institute for the Study of Holocaust in Romania was inaugurated on October 10, 2005, as one of the first significant implementations of the commission's recommendations. Several expressions of Holocaust commemoration were officially initiated in Romania, especially on October 9, established as official date for commemorating the Holocaust (on which date in 1941 the deportations to Transnistria began).

[Naftali Kraus /

Lucian-Zeev Herscovici and

Leon Volovici (2nd ed.)]

bibliography:

S. Baron, The Jews in Roumania (1930); J. Berkowitz, La Question des Israélites en Roumanie (1923); I. Cohen, The Jews in Romania (1938); W. Filderman, Adevarul asupra problemei evreesti din Romania (1925); M.A. Halevy, in: Anuarul evreilor din Romania (1937); A. Ruppin, Die Juden in Rumaenien (1908); E. Schwarzfeld, in: ajyb, 3 (1901/02), 25–87; idem, in rej, 13 (1886), 127ff.; idem, Impopularea re-impopularea si intemeierea targurilor si targusoarelor in Moldova (1914); M. Schwarzfeld, Ochire asupra istoriei evreilor in Romania (1887); idem, Momente din istoria evreilor in Romania (1889); idem, Excursiuni critice asupra istoriei evreilor in Romania (1888); idem, in: Annuar pentru Israeliţi, 10 (1887/88); 18 (1896); pk Romanyah (1970), 141–209, 219–224 (first pagin.), introduction and comprehensive bibl.; T. Lavi, in: Yad Vashem Studies, 4 (1960), 261–315; 5 (1963), 405–18; idem, Yahadut Romanyah be-Ma'avak al Hazzalatah (1965); M. Carp, Cartea Neagra, 1 (1946); I. Hirschmann, Caution to the Winds (1962). add. bibliography: E. Aczél, Publicaţiile periodice evreieşti din România, vol. 1 (2004); J. Ancel, Toledot ha-Sho'ah: Romanyah, 2 vols. (2002); L. Benjamin, Evreii din România în texte istoriografice (2002); I. Bercovici, Pirkei Romanyah (Tel Aviv, 1975); S. Bickel, Yahadut Romanyah: Historyah, Bikkoret Sifrutit, Zikhronot (Tel Aviv, 1978); N. Cajal and H. Kuller (eds.), Contribuţia evreilor din România la cultură şi civilizaţie (1996); W. Filderman, Memoirs and Diaries, ed. J. Ancel (2004/05); C. Iancu, Jews in Romania, 1866–1919 (1996); idem, Les juifs en Roumanie, 1919–1938 (1996); E. Mendelsohn, The Jews of East Central Europe between the World Wars (1983); A. Stern, Din viaţa unui evreu-român, vols. 1–3 (2001); L. Rotman and R. Vago (eds.), Toledot ha-Yehudim be-Romanyah, vols. 1–4 (1996–2003); L. Volovici, Nationalist Ideology & Antisemitism: The Case of Romanian Intellectuals in the 1930s (1991).

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