01 November 2017

Hitler's Forgotten Ally • Ion Antonescu and His Regime, Romania 1940-44


Palgrave McMillan: This book is the first complete study in English of Antonescu's part in the Second World War. Antonescu was a major ally of Hitler and Romania fielded the third largest Axis army, joined the Tripartite Pact in November 1940 as a sovereign state and participated in the attack on the Soviet Union of 22 June 1941 as an equal partner of Germany.

Dr. Dennis Deletant is Professor of Romanian Studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College, London, UK, and at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands (on secondment). He is the author of several volumes of studies on the recent history of Romania. In 1995 he was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to the development of British-Romanian relations.

Courtesy: ResearchGate

15 October 2017

Lost Childhood • Verlorene Kindheit • Copilărie pierdută



Introduction [10]
Project Description [16]
Jews in Radautz [20]

Aron Ashkenazy [38]
Arthur Klinghoffer [50]
Eita Abramovitch [62]
Erika Feiler, née Weinstein [70]

Bondy Stenzler [100]
Edgar Hauster [120]

Courtesy: Europaschule Rövershagen • Projektgruppe "Kriegsgräber"

29 September 2017

About my Family / Autobiographical Fragments • Despre familia mea / Fragmente autobiografice

Osias Stenzler's Credo: "God blessed me with a long life, celebrating in Radauti between friends, 95 years of life and I hope the divinity will give me some more time (my grandfather reached a hundred years). I let my followers the confession of my work, saying that each of us must put the shoulder, if we want the society to move in the desired direction for us. Of course the road is not easy, it is done with sacrifices and offerings…."


"The Osias 'Shike' Stenzler Radautz Booklet" is a unique document compiled by Osias Stenzler over about three decades until his death in the year 2008 at the age of 99 years. His memory, unlike his eyesight, never faded, even at an advanced age. After the loss of vision, Osias’ sons Daniel and Bondy kept his records from dictation and so we have the rare opportunity to discover a real treasure chest making alive the Jewish life in post WW2 Radautz. The booklet is headlined "Occupations and Professions Practiced by the Jewish Population of Radautz", but beyond the long list of names it contains authentic notes and remarks on the Radautz Jewish community.

Courtesy: Bondy Stenzler

31 August 2017

Mesholim • Fables


On April 3, 1880 in the town of Lipcani, Bessarabia the great fable writer, Eliezer Steinbarg was born. It’s no exaggeration to say that among the Jewish youth in pre-war Bessarabia, Bukovina and Marmarosh-Sighet it was immpossible to find someone who didn’t know at least one line of a Steinberg fable...

Ostjüdische Zeitung, 11.01.1933

Courtesy: Yiddish Book Center

25 June 2017

Stimmen der Nacht • Voices of the Night


The poems written by Bernhard Horowitz, Laura (Pomeranz) Horowitz, and her sister Edith Pomeranz, in Bershad between 1943-1945, deal with daily life, emotions, fears, descriptions of nature, forced labor, and liberation.

Transnistria Deportee Identification Cards from the year 1948

Ossi Horovitz: "Thank you for your visit in Bershad [Bershad, Oy Vey Bershad], and for your contribution to not let this place to be forgotten. This is the place were my grand parents, all from Czernowitz, perished. The parents of my father, Yerma and Zirl Horowitz and the parents of my mother, Osias and Zipora (Cilly) Pomeranz, died during the first winter (1941-1942). My parents, Bernhard and Laura Horowitz and my mother’s sister, Edith (Dita) Pomeranz survived, but Dita died afterwards, after long severe sufferings, caused by the years in Bershad. After the death of my parents, I found the poems in German, which they had written in Bershad. Some of them where published in a little volume "Stimmen der Nacht", Hartung-Gorre Verlag Konstanz, 2000."

Edith (Dita), Coca and Laura (Lola) Pomeranz in 1922

Courtesy: Ossi Horovitz

19 May 2017

Spovedania • Testimony


Yad Vashem: "The Insurgent Mayor. When Germany signed its non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, it took Besserabia and Northern Bukovina from Romania and gave it to the Soviet Union. In July 1941, when Germany attacked the Soviet Union with Romania at its side, the two territories were returned to Romania. For three days the returning Romanian soldiers carried out a massacre among the local Jewish population.

Born in 1892, Dr. Traian Popvici was the son of a Romanian Orthodox priest. He studied law in Czernowitz (Cernauti – the former capital of Bukovina – and today Chernovtsy in Ukraine) and earned a doctorate. When Soviet Russian annexed his town he moved to Bucharest. At first he supported Ion Antonescu's regime, but soon became disenchanted with its policy of segregation. When Czernowitz was returned to Romania in July 1941, Popovici was appointed mayor. By the time he moved into the mayor's office, some anti-Jewish decrees had already been enacted, and he tried to alleviate the Jews’ situation as much as he could. According to testimonies all persecuted Jews turned to him for help.

On 10 October 1941, the Romanian governor, acting on Antonescu's orders decreed the creation of a ghetto and the deportation of the city's Jews. Popovici expressed his objection, but to no avail. Within a few days the deportations began, and Jews from Czernowitz were transported across the river to Transnistria. By mid-November 28,000 of the town's Jews had been deported. The terrible conditions in Transnistria and the inhuman forced labor led to the death of approximately half of the deportees. Popovici later described the deportation: 'Out there a great column of people was going into exile: old men leaning on children, women with babies in their arms, cripples dragging their mangled bodies, all bags in hand; the healthy ones pushing barrows or carts or carrying on their backs coffers hastily packed and tied, blankets, bed sheets, clothes, odds and ends; all of them taken from their homes and moved into the ghetto.'

In his memoirs Popovici said that he contemplated stepping down, but was determined not to abandon the Jews in their time of need. Disregarding the risk to his person, he continued to protest to the governor and to Antonescu, arguing that the Jews were vital to the economic stability of the town. His ruse succeeded, and he was ordered to draw lists 20,000 Jews within four days. The Jews who received the exemption from deportation were allowed to return to their home. Popovici distributed authorizations to Jews - well above the quota he was given, and to people who had no professional skills whatsoever.

The abuse of his mandate cost him his job. In spring 1942 he was charged with granting permits to 'unnecessary' Jews, and was removed from his position and returned to Bucharest. In June 1942 another 5,000 Jews of Czernowitz were deported to Transnistria – most of them perished. The Jews remaining in Czernowitz survived.

Immediately after the war, Popovici wrote a book entitled Confession of Conscience. He described the events as a Romanian tragedy with deep implications for the moral consciousness of the Romanian nation. Traian Popovici confessed that he was not an adversary of Antonescu. 'Like many others in this country I believed in the myth of the strong man, of the honest, energetic, and well-meaning leader who could save a damaged country.' He went on to describe his motivations in helping the Jews: 'As far as I am concerned, what gave me strength to oppose the current, be master of my own will and oppose the powers that be, finally to be a true human being, was the message of the families of priests that constitute my ancestry, a message about what it means to love mankind. What gave me strength was the education I had received in high school in Suceava, where I received the light of classical literature, where my teachers fashioned my spirit with the values of humanity, which tirelessly enlightens man and differentiates him from the brutes'. It should be noted, of course, that many who had received the same education were among the perpetrators and bystanders, and that on the other hand, many rescuers did not enjoy and enlightened education at all. The answer to the question what prompted certain people to preserve human values is more complex.

Popovici died in 1946. Twenty-three years later, in 1969, he was recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations -- the first Romanian to receive this honor.

Paying tribute to Popovici in his own country took longer. In June 2000, by resolution of the Bucharest town hall, a street in the Romanian capital was named 'Dr. Traian Popovici,' after the former mayor of Cernăuţi during the Second World War, who saved thousands of Jews from deportation to Transnistria."

Courtesy: Dr. W. Filderman Foundation