25 January 2019

Transfer of Jews from Transnistria to Turkey


USHMM: "Through Executive Order 9417 on January 22, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the War Refugee Board (WRB), tasked with the 'immediate rescue and relief of the Jews of Europe and other victims of enemy persecution.' An independent government agency under the Executive branch, the WRB operated until President Harry S. Truman closed it with Executive Order 9614 on September 15, 1945. After World War II, the WRB's first director, John Pehle, described the board as 'little and late' in comparison to the enormity of the Holocaust. In the War Refugee Board’s final report, the staff estimated that they saved tens of thousands of lives, and aided hundreds of thousands more."

This archival treasure brings into the light of day the correspondence between the

• International Commitee of the Red Cross, Geneva/Switzerland
• War Refugee Board, Washington/USA
• American Embassy, Ankara/Turkey
• Secretary of State, Washington/USA
• Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, Executive Council of the Joint Distribution Committee, Lisbon/Portugal
• World Jewish Congress, New York/USA

including these two most comprehensive reports:

Travel Report by Charles Kolb, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) representative stationed in Romania, on his journey to Transnistria between December 11-21, 1943.

Report of the Situation of the Jews in Transnistria, January - April 1943, by the World Jewish Congress.

Courtesy: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum

27 December 2018

Athene Palace Bucharest • Hitler's 'New Order' Comes to Rumania


The University of Chicago Press: "On the day that Paris fell to the Nazis, R. G. Waldeck was checking into the swankiest hotel in Bucharest, the Athene Palace. A cosmopolitan center during the war, the hotel was populated by Italian and German oilmen hoping to secure new business opportunities in Romania, international spies cloaked in fake identities, and Nazi officers whom Waldeck discovered to be intelligent but utterly bloodless. A German Jew and a reporter for Newsweek, Waldeck became a close observer of the Nazi invasion. As King Carol first tried to placate the Nazis, then abdicated the throne in favor of his son, Waldeck was dressing for dinners with diplomats and cozying up to Nazi officers to get insight and information. From her unique vantage, she watched as Romania, a country with a pro-totalitarian elite and a deep strain of anti-Semitism, suffered civil unrest, a German invasion, and an earthquake, before turning against the Nazis. A striking combination of social intimacy and disinterest political analysis, Athene Palace evokes the elegance and excitement of the dynamic international community in Bucharest before the world had comes to grips with the horrors of war and genocide. Waldeck’s account strikingly presents the finely wrought surface of dinner parties, polite discourse, and charisma, while recognizing the undercurrents of violence and greed that ran through the denizens of Athene Palace."

Read in addition the new foreword by Robert D. Kaplan to ATHENE PALACE: Hitler’s “New Order” Comes to Rumania by R. G. Waldeck, published by The University of Chicago Press!

09 November 2018



World Digital Library: "In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Bukovina is Number 5 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Bukovina, a region in southeastern Europe that is today partly in Ukraine and partly in Romania, was, at the time this study was written, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was annexed by Austria in 1776, following the Russo-Turkish War (1768−74) and the first partition of Poland (1772). The study notes that the Bukovina "lies on the great highway of migration from east to west, and is consequently inhabited by a strange mixture of races, even to the present day." The main groups living in the territory (formally an autonomous duchy administered as an Austrian crown land) included Romanians, Ukrainians (Ruthenians), Germans, Jews, Poles, and Magyars. The major industries were agriculture and forestry. Austria ceded the province to Romania after World War I. In 1940 the Soviet government pressured Romania to cede the northern portion of Bukovina (along with Bessarabia) to the Soviet Union, which controlled the territory until the breakup of the Soviet state in 1991."

Courtesy: Library of Congress

28 October 2018

Die österreichisch-ungarische Monarchie in Wort und Bild • The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in Word and Picture


The World of Habsburgs: "Crown Prince Rudolf initiated a compendium on the Habsburg empire, intended as a peace project to unite different peoples and thus to save the crumbling Monarchy. Excluded from the political life of the court by the conservative figures surrounding his father due to his liberal and progressive ideas, Rudolf made his own mark when, in 1884, he initiated the monumental encyclopaedia Die österreichisch-ungarische Monarchie in Wort und Bild (‚The Austro-Hungarian Empire in Words and Pictures‘), named after him as the ‘Kronprinzenwerk’. The work was a kind of compendium intended to record the entire empire with all of its peoples. The Kronprinzenwerk was certainly impressive in statistical terms; over a period of 17 years, from 1885 to 1902, there appeared 397 individually-published instalments which were sent every two weeks to subscribers. In total, the project comprised 24 volumes containing 587 articles by over 400 authors (largely locally-based folklorists who themselves belonged to the ethnic group being investigated) and around 4,500 illustrations by 264 artists from across the Crown Lands. It was thus the biggest work published by the Imperial-Royal Court and State Publishing House. In keeping with the dualistic structure of the Monarchy, a German and a Hungarian edition were prepared by two separate teams of editors – in parallel, but differing somewhat in terms of content, the Hungarian version being primarily directed at an urban middle-class target audience. Great hopes were placed in the work, at least at the beginning, both by the publishers and the press, which gave it considerable public attention in the 1880s. Against the background of the virulent conflicts between the Monarchy’s nationalities which took place during this decade, the work was intended to be a peace project linking people together and directed against all separatist forces; through the communication of knowledge, it aimed to bring reconciliation and strengthen solidarity within the Danube Monarchy. Following Rudolf’s death, and with the shifting of the topics dealt with in the volumes from the centre to the periphery of the empire, public interest increasingly evaporated. Today, a complete edition of the Kronprinzenwerk is a much-sought-after collector’s item. (Julia Teresa Friehs)"

Courtesy: https://archive.org/

08 July 2018

Report of the "Soviet Extraordinary Commission" for Czernowitz

Chernovtsy regional commission for assistance
in damage accounting and investigation of atrocities
committed by fascist occupiers on
the territory of the Chernovtsy region

City of Chernovtsy

of the city commission on damage accounting,
summarized information and conclusions
by senior investigator of the Chernovtsy regional
Prosecutor's office on identifying the atrocities
committed by German-fascist
occupiers and their collaborators against
citizens of the USSR. Lists of Soviet
citizens killed and tortured,
exiled, repatriated to Chernovtsy,

and those guilty of the atrocities.
Started: July 27, 1945
Completed: July 31, 1945

238 leafs [written in pencil]

Fonds Number R-653
List Number 1
Item Number 103

[Translation by courtesy of Prof. Iosif Vaisman] 

USHMM: "Reel 21: [...] Fond 653. Opis 1 #103. Soviet Extraordinary Commission. July 1945. Trajan Popovici, Mayor of Cernauti personally commands executions. Killings, torture, etc. List of citizens repatriated to Cernauti. List of those killed by occupiers with indication of ethnicity (almost exclusively Jews.) Letters from Jews from Transnistria to their relatives in Bukovina asking for help. (Russian). List of Soviet citizens deported in Fascist Slavery in Germany with indication of ethnicity (July 5 1945). 50.000 deported. Names of 1,053 identified, the names of the rest impossible to identify. Information of damages inflicted by the occupiers. Declarations of Jews concerning goods that were confiscated from them."

JewishGen: "In 1942 [and the succeeding years], after the Soviet Army recaptured land occupied by Germany [and/or its allies], the USSR established an "Extraordinary State Commission" to document exactly what had happened in every Soviet locality occupied by the Nazis [and/or its alles]. Under the direction of special NKVD (predecessor of the KGB) units, teams were to record the names of those killed.  Property damage was also recorded. In most places NKVD personnel were assisted by local residents. These reports, [partly] handwritten in Russian, are organized geographically by republic, oblast (state), raion (county) and town. They were stored in the Central State Archive of the October Revolution in Moscow, with relevant copies in republic area archives. These reports were microfilmed in Moscow by Yad Vashem in 1990. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington has copies of these microfilms: 27 reels, [RG-22.002M]."