07 October 2016

Czernowitz - Cernăuți - Černivci • What is to be remembered?


2011-2014 Research Project on Memory of Vanished Population Groups in today´s East-Central European Urban Environments, implemented by the Center for European Studies at Lund University and specialists in partner cities.

Project’s Outline: The Research Project Memory of Vanished Population Groups in today’s East-Central European Urban Environments. Memory Treatment and Urban Planning in L’viv, Chernivtsi, Chisinau and Wroclaw has been implemented in 2011-2014 by the Center for European Studies at Lund University together with local experts in the cities of interest.

This project explores the complex role, which the built environment plays in collective memory of 4 East-Central European cities: L’viv and Chernivtsi in Ukraine Chisinau in Moldova and Wroclaw in Poland, and how this memory functions . All 4 cities have been hit by genocide and expulsions during and after WWII, they all underwent changes of national boundaries and communist dictatorships, dissociated from the earlier national affiliation. Those political and ideological forces aimed to change the identity of the cities, to erase or reinterpret historical traces and urban cultural heritage. A reconciliation between expelled and settled population groups is a matter of recognition of the vanished population groups’ contribution to the history, cultural heritage and identity of the cities.

The project’s concern is how the old urban environments are being treated at the urban planning level and by the current city dwellers of L’viv, Chernivtsi, Chisinau and Wroclaw . The work included inventories of the built environment and its use before 1939, its treatment in urban planning and in memories of city dwellers (by current city population and local intellectuals). At the same time, it has been the project’s interest to collect and reflect on the knowledge and attitudes among the postwar city population on the vanished population groups and their built environment. The study covers the communist and post-communist era, ending with conclusions for future development.

In 2011-2014 research group from the Center for European Studies, Lund University, together with partners (specialists and experts from L’viv, Chernivtsi, Chisinau and Wroclaw) have carried out an extensive research, which included on-site inventories, study of written sources, museum and archival materials, surveys, interviews with city dwellers, local intellectuals and decision-makers. Data collection and its interpretation allowed to register built environment of vanished population groups once lived in all 4 cities; to understand how this environment (buildings, streets, squares, etc.) is being managed today and treated within city planning; to collect resident’s knowledge and memories on vanished population groups and environment they once lived in and to reflect on attitude of local elites to once multinational urban landscape and its current changes.

Courtesy: Memory of Vanished Populations

25 September 2016

Bericht aus dem Sanatorium Dr. Poras • Report from the Sanatorium Dr. Poras


Dr. Joseph Poras: Much mention is made of the beauty and healing powers of the air and water in and about the shtetl of Solca in the Bukovina. One of the most famous health sanatoriums was that of Dr. Hermann Poras built in Solca in 1876. Dr. Hermann Poras was born in Czernowitz (Chernivtsi, Ukraine) in 1835, and attended the University of Vienna Medical School receiving his degree December 1859. He became K. K. Imperial district physician of Sanitary Council No. 2. For the years 1870 - 1971 he was appointed from Czernowitz as the member of the State Parliment and then took up residence in Rădauți (Romania). He married Henrietta Weiss of Lvov and had five children. They lived in Rădauți, and summered in Solca, where he was owner, director of the Sanatorium. In 1872 he was appointed as a progressive member to  the Jewish Community Council of Rădauți and participated in the bitter battle with the Orthodox over control of the Great Synagogue (Gold's History of the Jews in the Bukowina). His son, Josef, took over management of the Sanatorium in 1899. Above is the face page of a book which was written by him detailing the treatments in his father's Sanatorium. The book goes into great detail about the different types of water and inhalation therapies used and a statistical analysis of their frequency and efficacy. Patients came from as far as Switzerland and Germany to seek treatment for rheumatism, gynecological, respiratory, digestive and locomotive ailments. The Sanatorium was advertised heavily in Jewish newspapers throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire. "Guide Book though the Bukowina 1907" has a fine example of the text that was used at the time. In 1904, Dr. Josef Poras moved his family from Vienna to Czernowitz, which was a three hour trip to the Sanatorium. They resided there until WWI, and then moved back to Vienna, at which time he opened a private medical practice at Waehringerstrasse 18 and specialized in ear, nose and throat.

Solca Sanatorium, May 2006: Great grandson Dr. Joseph Poras pictured in front of building.

On April 28th, 2014 the legendary Dr. Poras Sanatorium in Solca was destroyed by fire. Dr. Joseph Poras wrote: "Thank you to those who wrote me expressing their sadness at the loss of the historical sanatorium in Solca. During its day, at the turn of the century, Dr. Poras Sanatorium was the magnet for upper class Jews to spend the summer months healing and schmoosing. Jews from all over the Hapsburg empire came to enjoy the healing powers of the water and air in this beautiful area of now Romania. Many a shidduch was made as family members paraded their teenagers on the long afternoon walks through the woods. The evenings were filled with food music, poetry and song when the guests relaxed after a day of spa treatments. As Edgar so aptly put it 'More and more, vestiges of the (Jewish) past are disappearing. What a pity!'Sincerely, Dr. Joseph Poras, great grandson of Dr. Hermann Poras b. Czernowitz 1835"

Courtesy: Dr. Joseph Poras

01 July 2016

Journey Through Darkness • Durch die Hölle • Itinéraire dans les ténèbres

Wollheim Memorial: Willy Berler was born in Czernowitz in the Bukovina region on April 11, 1918. His father was a merchant, and the family, which also included Willy’s older brother, led an upper-middle-class life. Willy, a member of Zionist youth organizations, made a trip to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1936. Starting in 1937, he attended an agricultural school there, but returned a year later, at his parents’ urging, to study chemistry in Liège, Belgium.

His parents survived the war in Romania, as they managed to bribe Romanian officials and live in hiding. When the German Wehrmacht invaded Belgium in 1940, Willy Berler and two Jewish friends fled to France and went to a refugee camp near Marseille. Lack of money led him to return in October 1940 to Liège, where he earned his living by teaching German to adults. He was arrested by the Gestapo on April 1, 1943, after one of his pupils denounced him, and put in a transit prison [SS Camp Fort Breendonk].

Mecheln-Auschwitz 1942-1944 - The Destruction of Jews and Gypsies from Belgium: Only a few miles away fom the SS Camp Fort Breendonk, the Dossin Barracks were used from 1942 until 1944 as a transit camp for Jews and gypsies from Belgium and the North of France, assembled here to set out on their journey of no return to Auschwitz. Leon Messing, was 15 years old and the youngest deportee from Bukovina on the date of departure of Transport 10 on 15 December 1942. The oldest deportee from Bukovina was Abraham Moses Reder was 76 years old on the date of deportation on Transport 11 of 26 September 1942. Just like my [Edgar Hauster's] uncle Maximilian Hauster, born on 26 November 1909 in Czernowitz, deported with  Transport 19 of 14 January 1943, neither would return in 1945. Only two women and two men out of 104 deportees (INDEX OF NAMES), who had their roots in Bukovina, survived after 8 May 1945: Sara Adler and Theresia Breitner from Czernowitz, Wilhelm Berler from Nepolokoutz and Juda Meier Fleischer from Siret. 96,2% of the people originated from Bukovina deported on in total 28 Transports were wiped out.

There he became friendly with Michel Zechel, a Jewish doctor. They were deported to Auschwitz on April 19. Willy Berler was sent to the Buna/Monowitz concentration camp and placed there in the “lumberyard detachment,” carrying heavy logs with his bare hands. After a week, totally exhausted, he entered the infirmary. After his release, his block elder took pity on him and arranged for his transfer to the Auschwitz I main camp in early July 1943. There he was sent to the prisoner infirmary and, with the help of Michel Zechel, was placed in the block for the very weak who needed to convalesce.

In late January 1944, as a former chemistry student, he was assigned to the SS Hygiene Institute at Rajsko, where he had to work in a plant cultivation lab. During the night of January 18, 1945, along with the other prisoners at Auschwitz, he was forced to go on the death march. Passing through the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, he reached the Buchenwald concentration camp on February 6. There he was freed by the U.S. Army on his birthday, April 11, 1945.

Willy Berler returned to Belgium. In 1946, he and his brother, who had fought in the Red Army, brought their parents from Romania to join them. He worked in industry and married his wife, Ruth, in 1947. In collaboration with the historian Ruth Fivaz-Silvermann, Willy Berler wrote the book Durch die Hölle. Monowitz, Auschwitz, Gross-Rosen, Buchenwald (published in English as Journey Through Darkness: Monowitz, Auschwitz, Gross-Rosen, Buchenwald in 2004), most of which is the story of his survival. The rest of the book consists of short, separate texts contributed by Fivaz-Silvermann, providing background information that supplements Berler’s account with annotations and source references.

01 June 2016

Un album al Cernăuțului • Album von Czernowitz • The Album of Czernowitz


Preface [4-5]
The History of the City [6-55]
Administration [56-79]
The Romanians [80-109]
The Germans [110-137]
The Jews [138-177]
  • Bernhard Baltinester [143-145]
  • Gottfried Bursztyn [146]
  • Josef Fischer [147]
  • Friedrich Fischer [148]
  • Bernhard Flemminger [149-150]
  • Dr. Max Fokschaner [151]
  • Elias Kampelmacher [152-153]
  • Markus Kampelmacher [153-154]
  • Matthias Roll [154-155]
  • Aba Steiner [155-156]
  • Josef Steiner [157]
  • Dr. Benno Straucher [158-160]
  • Wilhelm Tittinger [160-161]
  • Jakob Hecht [162]
  • Jakob Kindler [163]
  • Karl Klüger [164-165]
  • Dawid Tittinger [165]
  • Dr. Neumann Wender [166]
  • Hersch Trichter [167-168]
  • Dr. Salo von Weisselberger [168-169]
  • Dr. Salomon Kinsbrunner [170]
  • Lazar Roth [171]
  • Adolf Wallstein [172]
  • The Jewish House [173-174]
  • The Toynbee Hall [175-177]
The Poles [178-191]
The Ukrainians [192-209]
Trade and Manufacturing Sector [210-249]
Industry [250-291]
Miscellaneous [292-309]

01 May 2016

Die "Judenfrage" in Rumänien • The "Jewish Question" in Romania

Südostdeutsche Tageszeitung, 1941/04/20
Adolf Hitler's 52nd Birtday: "Führer Command, We Follow!"


1938/01/12: The Jewish Question in Romania
1938/01/26: Accelerated Divorce Proceedings Between Pedigreed Romanians and Jewish Women
1938/12/20: More Than 1100 Liquor and Tobacco Licenses Revoked
1939/03/04: Fake Documents in the Citizen Review
1939/05/18: Romania and the Congress of Berlin
1939/11/26: The Final Figures of the Jewish Audit
1940/07/02: The Refugees Arrive by Automobiles, Trains, Horse Carriages and Ships
1940/07/09: Perfect Order at the New Romanian-Russian Border
1940/08/06: Jews are not Prevented from Relocation to Bessarabia
1940/10/18: Strange Deaths of Jews in Chisinau
1940/12/03: Iancu Edelmann & Co. Produce Fake IDs
1940/12/07: No Hurdle for the Migration of Jews to Bessarabia
1941/03/28: Jews Without Camouflage
1941/07/11: The Conquest of Czernowitz
1941/07/11: How the GPU, Assisted by the Jews, Resided in Czernowitz
1941/08/07: Severe Jewish Decree for Bukovina
1941/08/10: Dr. Popovici Mayor of Czernowitz
1941/08/10: The Christianization of Jews over the Last Ten Years
1941/08/12: When do the German Farmers Return?
1941/08/22: Jewish Houses Are Not Auctioned
1941/09/06: All Properties of Jews are Transferred to the State
1941/09/13: "The Marshal’s Right-Hand"
1941/09/14: Ukraine in Figures

The Czernowitz Jews
Südostdeutsche Tageszeitung, 1941/09/24, p. 6

From about 70,000 Jews originally in Czernowitz, only about 30,000 to 40,000 remain after the liberation of the city. In order to house them appropriately, a delegation from Czernowitz embarked on a journey to Lodz, Krakow and Lublin to study the organization of the local ghettos.

1941/10/07: The Speech of the German Ambassador
1941/10/28: Jewish Crimes Against the Romanian Population
1941/11/06: Referendum in Romania on November 9th
1941/11/23: Jews from the Eastern Territories Smuggled to Bucharest
1941/11/30: Jewish Question Settled in Transnistria
1941/12/04: Smuggling of Jews to Bucharest
1941/12/07: Disciplinary Procedure Against Fildermann
1942/01/21: They Didn’t Like the Stay in the Ghettos
1942/01/22: Jews Have to Clear the Snow For 5 Days
1942/01/27: The Jews are Clearing the Snow
1942/01/29: Additional Jews Conscripted for Clearing the Snow
1942/01/30: Eastern Jews Are Not Allowed into the Country
1942/03/08: Deported to the Concentration Camp in Transnistria
1942/05/06: Smuggling of Food for the Jews in Moghilev
1942/05/14: The Coffeehouse Jews
1942/05/29: "The Sacred War"
1942/07/05: Sharp Measures Against Work-Shy Jews
1942/07/07: Expropriation of the Properties of the Jewish Communities

Expulsion of the Jews from Romania
Südostdeutsche Tageszeitung, 1942/08/08, p. 3

The governmental "Judenzentrale" has now completed the official census of all Jews residing in the territory of Romania. It leads to the result that in total only 273,409 Jews live in today’s Romanian state territory, not counting Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina (which should be viewed from a different perspective). Out of this, 97,868 Jews are attributed to Bucharest; thus, the country’s capital is at the same time the city with the highest Jewish population, with a share of about 37%. According to official findings, in Bessarabia there are now no more Jews at all, following the expulsion to the east of the inhabitants of the Jewish ghetto of Chisinau. Czernowitz still has about 16,000 Jewish residents, but they now live in another quarter than the previous one of this formerly very heavily jewified city. The share of the Jews in the remaining cities is as follows: Iasi 24,000; Bacau 13,000; Galati 13,000; Piatra-Neamt 11,000; and Timisoara 11,000. Except for Bucharest and Timisoara, and the formerly heavily jewified Moldavian cities, none of the Romanian cities has more than 10,000 Jewish residents; the remaining 90,000 Jews were gathered in the provinical capitals, where the Jews from the rural areas have also been concentrated. 17,000 out of the total number of male Jews received permission to remain in their companies as part of "economically indispensable workforces," while all the rest were enlisted for forced labor. When it comes to the solution of the Jewish Question in Romania, the announcement by the Undersecretary of State for Romanization on the upcoming elaboration and publication of a Jewish Statute is of highest significance. According to this, compulsory wearing of the Jewish badge and other restrictions will be introduced for the Jews. Meanwhile the "Judenzentrale" is making comprehensive preparations for the total expulsion of the Jews from Romania. As soon as autumn this year, 25-30,000 Jews will be expelled from areas of the country already defined. However, the expulsion will have to be suspended in October, since thereafter no further capacity will be available for the transport of Jews out of Romania to their dedicated destination areas. Next spring the expulsion will be carried forward to its conclusion. Considering that 800,000 Jews lived in Romania prior to the territorial losses of 1940 (out of which 200,000 were allocated to Hungary according to the Vienna Award), one can get an idea of the relief given to the country by the transfer of 185,000 Jews to Transnistria and other Eastern Territories. The expulsion of the remaining Jews recorded in today’s census will gradually progress as well, so that Romania, alongside Slovakia, will be the first non-German state which brought the Jewish Question to a truly Final Solution.

1942/08/08: Romania’s Contribution
1942/08/09: Jewish Speculators are Deported Across the Bug River
1942/08/11: Roaming of Jews in the Streets is Forbidden
1942/08/14: Romania Becomes Free of Jews
1942/08/15: Roaming in the Streets of Bucharest is Forbidden
1942/09/23: Death Penalty for Unauthorized Return from Transnistria
1942/10/06: "Labor Army" in Transnistria
1942/10/20: The City Center of Czernowitz Cleared of Jews
1942/12/05: The Romanization Office Manages More than 11,000 Houses
1943/01/06: The Liquidation of Former Jewish Properties
1943/02/12: The Dispossession of Jews from the Annexed Territories
1943/03/06: "I Believe in the  Final Victory"
1943/03/17: That’s what the Romanian Population Should Never Forget
1943/06/18: Two Jews Condemned to Death in Czernowitz
1943/07/02: Census of Jews in Czernowitz
1943/11/26: Romania’s Battle Against Judah

 Courtesy: ANNO - AustriaN Newspapers Online 

03 April 2016

Pogromurile din Bucovina si Dorohoi • The Pogroms of Bukovina and Dorohoi

Carmen Tagsorean, PhD Candidate, "Babes-Bolyai" University of Cluj-Napoca:

Abstract: Some of the most important names of Romanian cultural life belong to the writers of the Jewish community. Whether we refer to the interwar or postwar period, their talent is illustrated both in the press and in the literature of the time. One of the existential dilemmas they had to face was that of their double identity. They belonged to the Jewish community, but, at the same time, to the Romanian society. Many of the Jewish writers put their thoughts on paper either in Romanian or in German (the Jews from Bukovina). Although slightly known in 2014’s Romania, but highly valued and praised in Israel where he was nicknamed "the senior of the Romanian writers", the journalist and writer Marius Mircu was part of the elite group of Jewish intellectuals. His contribution to the preservation of the Jewish history in Romania (nineteenth and twentieth centuries) is still valued by the Jewish community. Marius Mircu’s cultural identity has been created by the blending of three cultures: Jewish, Romanian, and French (he lived and studied in France between 1929 and 1932). Through this study we aim to clarify if the writer was haunted by the anxieties of his cultural identities.


Conclusions: Romanians, as well as the Jews in Romania, were really fortunate to have in their service a personality so complex and well-balanced as Marius Mircu. Born and raised in a bicultural community (half Romanian and half Jewish), Marius Mircu learned from early childhood integration and assimilation that over time turned him into a personality with a great potential to represent both cultures in his writings. His dual identity was not a handicap for him; on the contrary, it gave him a vantage point from which he was able to observe, to extract the essential and to give back a wise and colorful picture of the humanity he lived in. He built a bridge between the two communities, dedicating his talent and energy to the cause of love and understanding among peoples. He did it in both languages, for both cultures. A gifted human being, he lived to write and he wrote to live.